Cover Image: The Last

The Last

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A great concept with even better writing! This book was so suspenseful, gripping, and chilling! A little bit scarier than I am used to, but I really enjoyed it nonetheless!
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Imagine multiple places around the world being hit with a nuclear bomb… Imagine also being on the other side of the world from you family when this happens. That is the reality of Jon, the main character in this novel. He is away for a conference in Switzerland, and his wife and children are back at home in the USA. The world as everyone knows it goes into sudden and complete chaos!

2 months later, the hotel Jon is staying at in Switzerland has 20 people in it. Some stay at the hotel, others leave and head to the city in the hopes of reaching civilization and finding help. What ensues is chaotic, some commit suicide, some go crazy, and some do not know what to do. Supplies get short, tempers rise, fights break out, and the story follows Jon’s journey as he deals with the chaos.

A gripping novel that was interesting and terrifying at the same time.
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What would you do if you thought you were the last survivors of humanity? 
The Last centres around a group of survivors staying at a hotel in Switzerland, who have to figure out how to survive together at the hotel. Plus throw a murder into the mix. 
Although I liked The Last I did not love The Last.
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At first glance, it seemed like a book I would enjoy but it turned out it was more of a slow burn novel with not a ton of action. I still enjoyed it but I do prefer action packed thrillers. I found my interest dragging at times. 

I personally found that The Last seemed more like a character study about how people survive after they think the world is coming to an end. The characters wonder what happened to those who decided to leave the hotel and if their loved ones are still alive. The reader gets to know the characters that stayed in the hotel and even if they have little to fill up their time, survival is key for them.

Even if the book doesn't really have a lot of action, it is definitely thought-provoking. The reader gets to think about the decisions they would make if they were in the characters shoes (would they stay at the hotel or leave) and would they be able to make life and death decisions? Living in a time where nuclear bombs are assessible to some countries, the reader can really wonder what would happen if it happened to them in real life.

One thing that threw me off was that the reader doesn't get to know who is responsible for the bombings and why. The book is mainly told from Jon's POV so the reader doesn't really get to know the other characters reactions to everything that happens unless Jon decides to talk about it.

If you enjoy dystopian novels, you will most likely enjoy The Last. Thank you to Simon & Schuster for my copy via NetGalley.
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A secluded old mansion under an ominous sky? Yup, guaranteed to catch my interest. And then I listened to the first chapter and was absolutely hooked on Hanna Jameson's new novel The Last.

It's finally happened - nuclear war on a world wide scale. Jon was at a remote Swiss hotel attending a conference when it happened. Now he and twenty others are holed up in the hotel, waiting. For what they're not sure - rescue? Or just survival? Stay or go farther afield? And then the body of a young girl is found in one of the hotel's water tanks. Is there a murderer amongst them? The hotel also has a checkered past - suicides and ghosts are part of it's lore.

The setting is absolutely perfect for a 'locked room' mystery. And the cast of twenty strangers guarantees a wealth of conflict and suspects. Jon has no idea if his own family is alive and becomes focused on finding who killed the girl.

The dynamics of these survivors is fascinating. What will each do to survive? What alliances are forged? What secrets are being kept? And there's no way to predict what's going to happen - which I really like. I want to be surprised. And I was - the ending was unexpected. (Not sure if I loved it. But I loved the book.)

Jon decides to keep a 'history' of the 'after' and The Last is told through his documentation. "History is only the sum of its people and, as far as I know, we could be the last ones."

As I mentioned, I decided to listen to The Last. The reader was Anthony Starke - a new to me narrator. And now one I hope I hear more of. His voice is so expressive and easily captures the emotions, nuances and tone of the book. He's a clear speaker and is easy to understand. There are many nationalities, ages and genders amongst the survivors and Starke has a voice for each of them. He uses different (and believable) accents for each and adjusts the tone and timbre convincing the listener that there are indeed a group of people in the hotel. And as I've said before, I find listening immerses me in a story. And I was completely caught up in this one! An excellent audio book!
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I did enjoy this book.  It is well written and did keep my attention but I don't think it is one I would read again and again in the future.  I do recommend it though
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I absolutely loved the way this story was written. This story was Jon's written journal of what went down when he got the news that the end of the world had begun. Such a cool way to read a book! Hanna is also super talented at writing a mystery novel. She has gone on my list of favorite authors for sure! This story read like a Twilight Zone story. Everything about this novel I loved. Except? The ending! It totally caught me off guard! I don’t know why I didn’t expect it, but it shocked me and still has my head spinning. I thought it was so unfitting for how the rest of the story went. It was just really far-fetched and didn't seem to belong. It's been gnawing at my brain for the last 24 hours. I don't know quite what to think of it, but just to take it as face value. Thank you Atria Books for gifting me a copy in exchange for my honest review.
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Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for a copy of The Last on Netgalley for review. 
The Last was such a fascinating mix of genres, part dystopian suspense and part locked room mystery. Trying to solve a murder after the world is in flux dealing with nuclear weapons is not what my first plan would be but it was an interesting idea. Lots of characters who would not normally be together end up together fighting for survival and to find their new place without even really knowing what is left to go out to or if they should stay in their secluded Swiss hotel.
I really liked this one but I found the ending really came out of no where, I wish there were more clues leading up to it. I also think there could have been a little less drama near the end, it just slowed the pace for me. Great idea and I think the combination of genres was my favourite part. I would definitely recommend this book!
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When the nuclear bombs start falling, first on Washington, then on other cities around the world, American historian Jon Keller is staying at a hotel in Switzerland. In the ensuing chaos, a number of his fellow guests flee or commit suicide, but Jon is among those that remain, and he begins to chronicle events and records people's stories for the future... Tensions mount among the survivors as they slowly realise that outside help is not coming and that dangers lurk around them. Then the body of a young girl is found in one of the rooftop water tanks. Who killed her, and is her killer still in the hotel? Convinced that the establishment is hiding more secrets, Jon attempts to investigate.

The constantly shifting relationships between guests, the intense psychological and emotional pressures they experience and their not always rational responses, the feeling of always being on the brink of the irrevocable, how quickly and easily violence takes hold, all contribute to making this novel feel very credible. Despite a few overly long scenes, I found this a gripping read.
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3.5/5 stars

The Last is a dystopian suspense book that takes place at a Swiss hotel.

The narrator is Jon. The story is basically his journal of events as nuclear bombs are blasted around the world.

There is also a bit of a murder investigation. 

This story is listed as dystopia. However, I would say that it is basically our world. The only difference is that nuclear bombs have gone off around the world..

The book is Jon's story. He is a historian who was at a conference at a hotel in Switzerland. When the unthinkable happens and a nuclear war is started around the world. There are a bunch of survivors at this hotel. But they have no internet access. So they really are unsure what is happening around the world.

The story is supposedly Jon's notes. And some of it feels that way. But some of it to me just really felt like a regular book. There was extensive dialogue and that really made it seem like the story was happening and it wasn't a journal.

There were parts of this story that I really enjoyed. I liked the different characters. I found the concept interesting. But there were some other parts that really dragged on. Plus I really didn't enjoy the parts that had to do with drinking and drugs.

I was very interested to see how this book would end. I think that the author did a pretty good job. I really couldn't figure out how things would end when it seemed like there was so much going on. But I was satisfied.
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[2.5 / 5 stars; review will be published on April 8]

I was drawn to this book because I’m intrigued by apocalypse and survival stories. I also loved the novels mentioned in the blurb (Annihilation and The Girl With All the Gifts). It also sounded as though it contained a mystery, set against the backdrop of nuclear devastation.

Unfortunately, as much as I tried to like this book, it wasn’t for me. While the story was intriguing at first, the “mystery” that lured me in was not as prominent as the synopsis made it seem.

The characters were tiresome and felt like sketches of characters, making it very difficult for me to care about them or what happened to them, or to even recall who was who. The story dragged on, characters did things that frustrated me, and while there was occasionally a nice turn of phrase or interesting occurrence, I only kept reading because I wanted to know if the mystery would ever get solved. It did, and it did so in a way that I struggled to accept as remotely plausible (Nathan’s dad?? Small world, I guess), and that also resulted in a murder, because why not. 

So as much as I wanted to enjoy this one, sadly, it just wasn’t for me.
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I was so excited for The Last. I am a post apocalyptic and thriller fanatic and this one checked all the boxes for me ! 

Set in a an isolated resort in Switzerland the survivors are struggling with this new world and now there is a murdered child in the water tank. Is the killer still in the hotel? Who is she and why was she murdered? Why is everyone so on edge and seem like they are hiding something ? 

This novel is a little bit more focused on the characters psychological struggle than the struggle to survive the end of the world. This disappointed me a little bit as I usually love a plot driven book. But over all it kept me interested and guessing.  The end was not at all what I expected (which I love) but it was a little rushed. 

3.5 stars out of 5
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“History is only the sum of its people and, as far as I know, we could be the last ones.”

What would you do if you thought you were part of the last group of surviving humans after a nuclear war breaks out? Jon Keller, the narrator of The Last, decides that one of the most important things to do is keep records of everything that happens.

This may seem strange, but it makes sense once you find out that he is a historian, who was visiting Switzerland for an academic conference. After nuclear war breaks out, he finds himself stranded in a hotel with a number of other guests and staff. With communications down, limited food, and an impending sense of doom, you quickly get the sense that no one is really safe, and anything could happen. 

Reading this book is like reading the main character’s diary (although he spends a lot of time telling people that it’s not a diary). He records events on an almost daily basis, including conversations with other survivors who are living in the hotel. While this is an interesting way to present the story, it is somewhat limiting, as you only get glimpses from one point of view. I think the story would have been very different if multiple points of view were included. 

The setting of The Last is inherently creepy. I mean, a nuclear war broke out and no one knows what’s going on. Plus, all of the characters are confined to a remote hotel, which you later find out is believed to be haunted. One of the characters had been compiling a history of the hotel before the war broke out, and found that it had quite the backstory: it had numerous sketchy, almost untraceable owners, at one point housed a serial killer, and many guests had reported strange sightings over the years.

To shake things up even more, after a few weeks, Jon and a couple other characters find a dead body that had been decaying in one of the water tanks (yes, they’d been drinking said water). Finding out who the girl was, and how she ended up dead, becomes a short of mission for Jon. Investigating becomes a good distraction (or does it?). Plus, there’s a looming fear that the murderer might still be inside the hotel. 

This sub-plot, plus the eerie atmosphere that the novel presents, is likely why The Last has been touted as Agatha Christie meets Stephen King. However, I had a difficult time seeing this. The mystery is overshadowed by the character’s desire to survive, and while some aspects of the book are a bit creepy, it’s really not that scary. 

The book’s description also compares it to “high-concept thrillers such as Annihilation and The Girl with All the Gifts.” This is what initially piqued my interest in reading it—I absolutely loved both of the aforementioned books—but felt like The Last fell short.

While I didn’t particularly enjoy this book, I think many others will. It has an uncomfortable setting, creepy descriptions, an impending sense of doom, and a wild plot twist. Sure, my expectations may have been a little high, but I did still enjoy this book overall. 

The Last will be available on April 9, 2019, and can be bought wherever books are sold. Thank you to the publisher for an electronic copy of this book via NetGalley.
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Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review. 
Jon ignored the text message from his wife, thinking he had time to answer it. While in Switzerland at a conference, the world ends- nuclear war starts, and countries all over the globe are demolished. Somehow, the hotel where Jon is staying has been relatively unscathed. Along with twenty other survivors, Jon tries to make the best of the world left behind. When he discovers the body of a young girl in one of the water tanks, Jon tries to focus on solving the little girls’ murder, in hopes of maintaining his sanity and his humanity. Soon enough, Jon, is caught up in a battle over who to trust, and whether or not one of the survivors in his midst could indeed be the murderer of the young girl. Are any of them safe? Is the killer still out there? Will he ever be reunited with his wife and children? 
Hanna Jameson is a new author to me, although evidently her four previous works are readily available in Europe. Her first North American novel, “The Last”, is dystopian fiction, with a little bit of “The Shining” for that extra amount of creepiness. 
There are plenty of characters in this novel, and they are hard to keep track of at first. However, once familiarity is established, each brings its own level of importance to the novel. Not only is “The Last” haunting and creepy, but it leaves one questioning so many things. How would you react to the end of the world? What would be considered ‘normal’? Who do you trust when you know no one? Would you run? Would you stay? Jameson’s novel leaves you with all of these questions, and many more. 
The protagonist, Jon, narrates the story from beginning to end, mostly in order, although parts of the very beginning are scattered (because Jon’s memory of the day is scattered, or so he claims). The storyline is easy to follow, and with each chapter ending with a cliff hanger moment, the novel is an easy read that is simply un-put-downable. 
I would have liked to have known more about the event that triggered the end of the world. In “The Last”, we get some snippets (mostly, though, I felt like there was a political agenda. Those who voted for “him” and those who “didn’t”, debated throughout the novel about who was to blame) but the issue itself was not examined enough. 
A creepy, dystopian novel with a satisfying and intriguing ending, “The Last” brings something new and unexpected to the table. A creative novel by a new (to me) author, I will definitely seek out any future works Jameson brings to the North American market.
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Thank you to NetGalley, Hanna Jameson and Simon & Schuster Canada for the free e-book in exchange for an honest review.

Jon left home for a conference thinking he had all the time in the world to spend with his family until he sees a string of horrifying notifications on his phone. The US has been hit with a nuclear bomb and that’s about all he knows before all the news outlets go black and the sky turns orange. Two months later, he and about twenty others are holed up in their hotel with a strange history of murderers and suicides. They begin to have trouble with the water and Jon and some of the hotel staff go to discover the problem and find a little girl murdered and put into the water tank. The supplies begin to dwindle and tempers begin to flare.

I just had to try this novel out when I found out it was about the end of the world because I love those novels and the look into how people think it is going to go. I was immediately interested in the book because it starts right off with the world ending and nothing was boring about this novel! I absolutely loved the way that the journal entries were from Jon’s point of view and kind of like journal entries to let the next generation know what happened and what was going on. I really liked the characters and how different they are were from one another and how differently they take the end of the world. I just enjoyed the progression of how people dealt with it and how they changed over time living thinking they were the only people left in the world. I flew through this novel and I did find the middle a bit drawn out but at the same time, we did need that information for further in the novel! I would definitely recommend!

Out April 9th!
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Stanford University history professor Jon Heller is at a conference in Switzerland when nuclear war breaks out around the world. With no Wi-Fi and no means of traveling or contacting his family – who could very well be dead – there’s nothing Jon can do but adapt to his new limited life in a historic hotel with a group of other survivors. Over the course of two months, the group learns to ration its food and establishes guidelines for dealing with crime. But when a young girl is found dead in one of the hotel's rooftop water tanks, it becomes clear that no one can be trusted. 

Told in a journal style from Jon's perspective, The Last explores the most mundane parts of the apocalypse - what will people eat? how will they get medical treatment? when will they run out of alcohol? - while also offering excitement in the form of a murder mystery. The Last is a bold and ambitious debut from Hanna Jameson. Playing off of themes familiar in Agatha Christie and Stephen King novels, this book is all about atmosphere, intrigue and uncertainty.

While little information is revealed about the cause of the nuclear war or which country was responsible for initiating it, Jameson makes sure to include small details that purposefully feel all too familiar to the world that we currently live in. Despite its unfathomable premise, The Last hits close to home with many of its themes. 

This is a fun and very interesting read about the current political climate of the world, and about how people adapt to unimaginable situations by doing what humans have always done - just kind of getting on with it.
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This book was a very interesting and engaging read. A series of nuclear bombs have struck a number of cities around the world.  Several people are now stranded at a hotel they were staying at when the bombs struck. The first several chapters were only a few sentences long, making the first part of the book a quick read.  As the story developed the chapters got longer as more things happened.  The story focused mainly on one theme, survival, food in particular becomes a concern as the plot develops.  The mystery portion of the book was more of a minor plot, a body is found in a water tank on top of the hotel, some effort is made to determine who it is and how they died. The ending tied all the loose ends together neatly. I would look for another book by this author.
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3.5 ⭐️ 

I found the overall story quite interesting - who doesn’t love an end of the world story - especially when parts of it seem like they can out of recent headlines .  However, it did start off quite small and it really took me a while to really figure out who all the major characters were.  The plot does pick up and get more exciting towards the end; and I almost want to know what happens to our group of characters next..
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This is not a dystopian book , however it is not a murder mystery book..  This appears to be a physiological review of how we can survive without the internet and without the communications with the other people.  and the answers is - no  we need our communications in order not to go mad.  The group of people from various counties are stranded in the hotel in the Swiss forest  after the onset of nuclear war. The war seems to be not the global one, where  some counties and cities escaped the destructions and the internet and some forms of communications are functioning ( hard to believe actually). People have water and electricity, some food, etc.  The events in the book take place in the first seventy days after the nuclear war, where people in the hotel are trying to understand their place in the changed world.   Some characters are well developed, some are  shown only as basic sketch. 
I found it hard to imagine that people in the hotel were only a few hours from the drive to to city and  only decided to  investigate what happening with the world after 70 days when their supplies  were diminishing.. The main character Jon keller, the historian, is not a leader and it appears to be we do not see any true leaders n the book.  I think this observation in the book might be very accurate, what will the group of  strangers  will do and how they will behave  thrown together without the communication with the outside world.  Nobody trusts each other and all have their own agenda, possibly very realistic scenario. 
The end of the  book appears to be attempt at spirituality, but is it confusing.
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I was not quite sure what to expect in this book as i am a die hard murder mystery girl and the murder mystery in this book was only a minor sub plot. This book far exceeded my expectations, i absolutely loved it, it was super fast paced and had some fantastically developed characters that i thoroughly enjoyed. The story was so unique, well thought out and suspenseful. The ending was amazing. This is one of those books where you are so taken into the story and the lives of the characters you are actually sad when its over. Im going to rank this book in my Top 20 list, i could not put it down and stayed up far far to late finishing it. I am definitely going to seek out other books by this author. I highly recommend giving this book a read. Add it to your "Want to Read" list on Goodreads because you do not want to forget about this one. Thanks to #netgalley for my early edition to read and review, i feel very privileged to have been one of the early readers of this amazing book
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