Saturday, September 28, 2013

Book Shelf: The Last Girl by Michael Adams

The end of the world happened quickly. The sun still shone, there was no explosion - just a tsunami-sized wave of human thought drowning the world in telepathic noise as everyone's inner-most secrets became audible.

Everyone's thoughts, that is, except sixteen-year-old Danby. Everyone looked like bad actors in a poorly dubbed movie. Their expressions didn't match their emotions and their lips didn't sync with what they were saying. But they were all so loud.


The end of the world happens in the blink of an eye.

When The Snap sweeps the globe, everyone can instantly hear everything that everyone else is thinking. As secrets and lies are laid bare, suburbs and cities explode into insanity and violence. What might have been an evolutionary leap instead initiates the apocalypse.

Sixteen-year-old Danby Armstrong's telepathy works very differently. She can tune into other people but they can't tune into her. With only this slender defence, Danby must protect her little brother and reach the safety of her mother's mountain retreat. But it's 100 kilometres away and the highways are blocked by thousands of cars and surrounded by millions of people coming apart at the psychic seams.

Danby's escape is made even more dangerous by another cataclysm that threatens humanity's extinction. And her ability to survive this new world will be tested by a charismatic young man whose power to save lives may be worse than death itself.(less)The Last Girl by Michael Adams is an immensely chilling dystopian debut that explores the harrowing impact of connectivity and the possible drastic impact it could have on our future in this harsh novel set amongst a Sydney backdrop.

More info on Goodreads......


The Last Girl really was an unexpected read for me. To begin with, there’s always something thrilling about reading good Australian fiction, and when an author utilizes the society in which they live this reflects so well on the book. Michael Adams has done that with The Last Girl. Here Michael Adams explores a concept none yet have with his exploration into our constant need to connect with one another via social media and or through texting. Adam’s different take on a dystopian world was something completely unique and different; he threw his society into a world where ones thoughts were completely bare. There were no secrets and hiding was impossible.

In a masterful manner Adams allows his story to unfold though the eyes of Danby; a teenage girl caught up in an explosion of thoughts when the worlds every thought suddenly becomes bare. The Last Girl was well written. Adams writes everyone’s thoughts in a kind of crazy haze—one thought from one person burs into another from someone else and then someone else and so on. To begin with this was confusing as the reader but as the story progressed I found I appreciated this—it felt authentic; I was experiencing things more like the heroine.

The setting of The Last Girl was another winner for me. Obviously, the book is set in Australia, but The Last Girl actually takes place in the back streets of Sydeny and the surrounding suburbs. This made the book was so incredibly real for me at times. Adams sets the book literally where I've lived my whole life; making reference to places like Bankstown and Penrith. I could jump on a train and be in Bankstown in half an hour...Penrith--my cousins live there, so growing up I spent every other weekend there.

Adam's dystopian world is harsh and raw and brutal. There's plenty of death, pain and tragedy. There's more death than life and Adams doesn't shy away from the harsh truths that one associates with this kind social destruction. Choices have to be made and decisions are tough; there's no saving everyone and surprisingly, I found I appreciated this brutality. It fit well with the story.

Danby was likable as a character but I found I was more absorbed in the overall story than with her per-se. I think her relationship with her family, including her brother Evan, and then Nathan was perfect within the story. Jack with a shocking twist as a young man who has immense power in this difficult situation but who's essentially the villain.

Featuring plenty of shocks, twists and harsh devastation, I look forward to reading the next book!

Source: Sent for review by Allen & Unwin (Thank you Lara!)
Format: Paperback
Buy it: Bookworld | The Nile |  Fishpond | Amazon (Kindle)
My Recommendation: Fans of good Aussie fiction and dystopian will want read this!
Cover: I quite like it. It's simply, but nice.
Will I read sequel/continue with series: Yes.

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