Cover Image: The Last Crucible

The Last Crucible

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Member Reviews

It's the first time I read a book featuring Campi Flegrei and the possibility of it's explosion. Campi Flegrei is a caldera and it would be a natural disaster if it exploded.
I appreciated the world building and the storytelling. The plot is engrossing and I liked it even if I didn't read the other books in this series.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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THE LAST CRUCIBLE is Book 3 in J. D. Moyer's exciting and adventurous RECLAIMED EARTH Series, set more than 7 centuries into the future,  following devastating climate change in the wake of a super volcano's eruption which decimated humanity and upended ecosystems.  Most of remaining humanity exist in orbiting ringworlds, yet a small band of survivors' descendants live in Western Sardinia,  in the Mediterranean,  until their contented and peaceful status is inexplicably interrupted. 

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Good stuff. This has some sophistication that other stories don't, including a lot of sci-fi. I don't know if this will sell well, but it is well-told, and is a nice conclusion to the series.

I really appreciate the free review copy!!
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The Last Crucible - J.D. Moyer
The Last Crucible is the third book in the Reclaimed Earth series.
In the year 2387, the Campi Flegrei volcanic region, which is nestled at the western edge of Naples, Italy, and stretches out into the Mediterranean Sea, erupted, wiping out most of the inhabitants of Europe and beyond. Escaping, more by luck than judgement, was the Western Coast of Sardinia. Here the town of Bosa has survived in ignorant bliss for hundreds of years, where you work to eat and eat to live.
Jana assumes she will be the next maghiarja (sorceress) after Sperancia. The Crucible is an object of ancient technology, and contained within is the knowledge of millennia. Jana knows she will only inherit this as Sperancia passes this life.
But has Sperancia been keeping secrets? What are those large silver rings in the sky? What of the sudden appearance of the new ringed shape object in close orbit?
The peaceful existence of Bosa is turned on its head when they receive strange visitors from a neighbouring town. 
But as the surviving human race on Earth seems to be progressing quite nicely, things are about to change. Jana has more than herself to think about, and in desperate times you need allies. But who do you trust?
I wasn’t surprised to find the darker side of humanity enter the fray, especially as the author had done it so well in his previous books. There are always going to be those who want to manipulate others, and we find it here. 
The story races along, and one of the main protagonists from the previous book (The Guardian), Tem, makes an early appearance.
Tem is a unique individual as he has roots in the village of Happdal, but he finished his education at the Standford ringstation. His intelligence, knowledge and guidance could be what Jana requires in her hour of need. 

It is quite a scary thing to think, how we take this planet for granted. We have started to feel the effects of climate change, with diverse weather and many more earthquakes. 
Today (2021), some 1.5 million people live within the volcano’s caldera and its surroundings. The cache of magma that could burst from the area’s hellish underbelly makes it one of the most hazardous areas on Earth.
So, it’s no stretch of the imagination to think that this catastrophe wouldn’t occur at some point.
What I do like about the author is the positivity he instils into the narrative. There are aspects of the novel where the author allows you to think that given the second chance, perhaps then, humankind wouldn’t make the same mistakes again. 
Also, I like the idea that would we necessarily need all the technology that ties us down so much that the gadgets rule us rather than the reverse being the case? 
The book offers insight into the psyche of a person who has never known the advantages that technology could bring or its disadvantages. This then is Where Jana comes into her own. She may be naive in some aspects of her life, but she has a much greater grasp of reality than many of the older generation of the inhabitants of Bosa. She is aware of the dangers and refuses to be seduced by the strange visiting newcomers promises. Similar to Tem. Although slightly better educated, Tem still has a slight naivety that makes him endearing.
And if we turn our thoughts back to technology, using it as bait to lure the inhabitants of Bosa sounds too good to be true. But as with all technology, some will abuse it for their own ends. And we find out that not all that glitters is gold.
This novel is an emotionally charged ride of epic proportions. The Last Crucible is moving, memorable and magical.
The Last Crucible is an exceptionally good read from the opening chapter onward, and the novel continues with the action throughout. 
The novel highlights human strengths and weaknesses, but it also gives us an insight into how the Earth can bounce back and respond to any catastrophe that may occur. To which I found uplifting and upbuilding and gave a positive spin to the narrative.
The Last Crucible is one of those Science fiction novels that are insightful and intelligent without being too far-fetched. 
You can read The Last Crucible as a stand-alone novel, but I would suggest reading the first two books before this, but it is not imperative. And is this the end for Jana, Tem and co? Well, you will have to read the book and make your own judgement?
I would strongly recommend this book to all Science Fiction fans, and I think it thoroughly deserves the 5-star rating I award it.
I would particularly like to thank Flame Tree Press for the free copy of the ARC book, and this is my honest and unbiased review.
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