Cover Image: Until the Last of Me

Until the Last of Me

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Member Reviews

What an incredible continuation of an already fascinating series of books. I loved everything about this even more than the first one. I feel like I connected more to the characters and I had more knowledge of historical events in this one, making it easier to point and say "Hey I understand that". Beyond that, the ending was incredible and I absolutely cannot wait for the next, and I assume final, book.
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Headlines:
Feminist stem sci-fi thriller
Ancient meets contemporary
Space programme

Okay, I jumped into this second installment hoping I'd be able to remember my place in the story and who was who with the characters. Neuvel wrote this in a way that readers will remember with ease this Kibsu race of women with a tendency for maths, space, killing and evasion.

While the whole premise of this story is about history repeating itself and how that played out with these generations of women, the story landed back with Mia and her daughter Lola. After the last book, the reader has a sense of what is coming to these women but also there was so much newness in the plot as the years went from the 1960s to the late 1980s. It was so interesting seeing the space race play out and Mia's subtle contribution but desire for more.

Lola was a whole other kind of daughter not seen in the previous story. She was rebellious, hard-headed and perhaps with less of a sense of Kibsu than her matriarchal predecessors. I winced over many of the decisions Lola made but it made for good reading; I am left wondering about Catherine...a lot.

The ancient had a place in this story, how the Kibsu women influenced their time and how they were able to communicate with Mia and Lola. I found that fascinating. The trackers were prevalent and hella messy. Violence always followed these guys but the Kibsu were not innocent by any means.

Suffice it to say, I am fascinated by this story, the historical-sci-fi-thriller pitch of the tale feels so fresh and I look forward to the conclusion.
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I really loved how clever this book was. I think I enjoyed it slightly less than book one in the series but I once again loved reading from Mia's perspective and seeing her life as a grown-up. So far, this is a really fun play on the great race to space. With some really interesting musical references intertwined throughout. I can't wait to see what the next instalment has for us.
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Neuvel continues his exciting and interesting series of the Kibsu. Their job to get man to space before a great evil comes. This second book turns everything on its head and leaves us waiting with trepidation to see how it ends in the third, forthcoming book.
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Hay que reconocerle a Sylvain Neuvel que tiene un estilo de escritura ágil y absorbente, capaz de tenerte pegado a sus páginas. Sin duda, le ayuda a conseguir este objetivo que la mayoría de sus obras están plagadas de diálogos y de acción, aunque también tiene algunos momentos, como los interludios de este mismo libro, para la divulgación. Until the Last of Me es la continuación directa de A History of What Comes Next, pero mientras que en la primera entrega las protagonistas hacían todo lo posible por acelerar la carrera espacial, en esta ocasión aunque se persigue el mismo objetivo la aproximación es totalmente distinta, casi arqueológica.


Y es que a pesar de que la misión es llevar a la Humanidad a las estrellas en el futuro es posible que la respuesta se encuentre en el pasado.

El ritmo de esta segunda entrega de la serie Take Them to the Stars es endiablado y a lo largo de sus más de trescientas páginas asistiremos a unos cuantos giros de los acontecimientos que no nos esperábamos. Me apasiona como Neuvel es capaz de mezclar situaciones y personajes reales con su mundo inventado para darle más consistencia y credibilidad, pero sobre todo me ha gustado cómo los personajes intentan liberarse de los papeles encorsetados que durante siglos y siglos habían interpretado sus antecesores.

También es de agradecer el guiño al lector que supone que cada capítulo tenga como título una canción y que haya creado una lista de Spotify donde se encuentran todas reunidas.

Es muy curioso que en vez de centrar su atención en los preparativos para la llegada a la Luna, quizá el momento más importante (y final) de la carrera espacial, Neuvel vuelque todos sus esfuerzos en hacernos entender lo apasionante que resultaron tanto el envío de las sondas Voyager como su periplo por las estrellas. Me lo imagino mientras escribía esas páginas con sus ojos brillando, porque se percibe en cada frase que es un tema que le apasiona.

¡Y todavía nos queda la última entrega por disfrutar!
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This series is growing on me. I loved the Sleeping Giants trilogy and the pace of this series is a little different. However, the scientific history and intelligent female characters make for a compelling read. I'm looking forward to the conclusion of this story. And interested in what Sylvain Neuvel will write next.
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💫ladies + space? sign. me. up.💫

UNTIL THE LAST OF ME is very much a Book 2, moving forward the alien mystery + space race tale Neuvel set up in the first book of the Take Them to the Stars series. As such, there is no way to talk about this one without talking about A History of What Comes Next, so if you haven’t read that yet . . . HOP TO. But also feel free to read on! No spoilers here.

UTLOM picks up more or less where ‘History…’ left off, and is primarily concerned with Mia and her daughter, Lola, through the late 1960s to 1980s. Again, Neuvel interweaves historical events with supernatural intercession and spins the plot around questions of predestination. Periodic dips into the first century AD & late 19th c. break up the narrative & illuminate the purpose & methods of the ancestors of the One Hundred. Interstitials ft. the Trackers put them on a(nother) collision course with the Kibsu women. There remains a Tarantino-esque bloody violence here that I’m less a fan of, but don’t mind overlooking for the story. And in what feels like a recompense tailored for me specifically, there’s another KILLER PLAYLIST for the book (+ a couple hilarious ‘history of rock’ Easter eggs that have me wondering if I overlooked any in book 1).

This is a book so obviously written by someone infatuated with the human impulse & efforts to explore the universe beyond Earth’s atmosphere. The Voyager 1 & 2 probes are practically characters in the book, & the Further Reading section at the end is a big ol’ nerd fest of space facts & astronomy figures, including a plethora of historically forgotten women scientists who Neuvel has slyly inserted as characters in his fictional lineage.

I’ll link my book 1 review in Stories for those interested in dipping a toe in the series. I rec it to anyone who: had a Carl Sagan phase; likes a the alt-history brand of sci-fi; enjoys the show For All Mankind. UNTIL THE LAST OF ME is out now from @tordotcompub who were kind enough to send me an ARC.
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It’s not often than a follow on book is so much better than the first, but I suspect that this one succeed because it allowed for more story and less world building.  That said, do NOT pick this up without reading the first book first. I expect these are actually best read back to back to really appreciate the full story. 

I especially appreciate the notes at the end of the book explaining lots of historical facts that are woven into the novel. Those details, and the fact that the author shares them, really elevate historical fiction. The song title chapters are a fun addition as well.

Thanks to the publisher for providing an ARC through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
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Mia and Lola are the Kibsu and they and their kind are forever being hunted by psychopathic men while simultaneously trying to push humanity to explore the stars and the universe. However both are plagued by uncertainty and lack of knowledge which hinders them at every opportunity.

Like the first book, this story focuses around the space race leading up through the the Voyager missions. And while I didn't love the space history I do feel like I was better able to connect with the main characters. Lola is just a rebellious teenager and Mia an uncertain mother. Both struggling to figure out what their purpose is and what it means to sacrifice for it.

I did also appreciate the frequent inclusion of the point of view of one of the murderous trackers. The stories each held tension, that forced you to continue reading. I think that the story could end where it is now, but I would be curious to see what happens next in this world. Overall, lots to think about. I would recommend this one.

Thank you to Netgalley and Tor Boks for the e-copy of this book.
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Sylvain Neuvel is the only science fiction writer that I have to automatically read. His stories are always fast-paced adventures that are full of characters that I immediately want to know more about. 

This second book in the Take Them to the Stars series picks up just a few years after the events of the first book. We follow the Traitor and the Tracker through history from 1969-1986 until they have a final confrontation that changes everything.

I am very excited to see what will happen next.

Recommended for: fans of hard science fiction

Content warning: violence/murder

I received a digital ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I was so stoked to get an ARC of this book. Absolutely LOVED the first book, A History of What Comes Next and was patiently waiting for this one. In the first book, we met Sarah and Mia.. In this one, it's the story of Mia and her daughter Lola (I'm pretty sure that's the daughter's name). Mia and Lola continue on their mission to take the human race to the stars. In this book, we also get to see a little bit more of the Trackers and their backstories. I was so heartbroken about the ending of the book and I'm not sure if I'm able to recover....BUT looking forward to the third book of this series. I love Neuvel unique writing style and can't wait to read more by him.
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Sylvain Neuvel is officially my favorite sci-fi author, having knocked Orson Scott Card right off his throne. I've read everything Neuvel has written, and he can't put them out fast enough for me! This series is billed as satire, but I just call it great storytelling. Neuvel's research is stellar and fascinating with the back of the book providing his background and sources. The storyline is unique and combines sci-fi with historical fiction seamlessly.
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I think I liked the sequel a little less than the first book (it often is the case for many people)! Still, it was as full of action as the first. It was interesting to see how Mia evolved as the 100, and realized she is becoming more and more like her mother as Lola her daughter grows, and the danger closes in on them all.

I'm a little frustrated that we aren't as immersed in the time period as we were in WW2 in book 1. I know I keep comparing them, but I read both back to back and I can't help it ! However, I liked seeing the Kibsu patterns in all the women of the family. Lola is also taking a new approach to this so-called curse/talent, whatever you want to call it, and it's refreshing! She might seem a little bratty, but her vision of the world changes a lot of things. Sure, it's not always smart, but at least it was entertaining!

Until the Last of Me brought more depth to the duology, gave insight on the Tracker, how the traditions evolved, and we get a little more explanation regarding the artifact, the rivalry between Kibsu and Tracker, etc. Some may also like the fact that we have little interludes in which we get to know several former Kibsu. I have to admit I didn't like those too much, as it broke the narration a bit for me, but it's still interesting enough.

It gave a nice closure to the series, and I'm happy I got to read it :)
Thank you Netgalley and Tordotcom for providing me an e-arc!
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4.5 stars

It’s very rarely that I’ll like the second book in a series and middle book of a trilogy more than the first. But Until the Last of Me is an exception to that rule.

Whatever I was missing in A History of What Comes Next comes to fruition in this book. There’s still some history missing, but to be fair, the main characters don’t know either. I just want to shake Neuvel at this point. Just tell me, I can’t take it any longer!

While A History of What Comes Next follows Sarah and Mia, Until the Last of Me follows Mia and her daughter Lola. It starts similar, where they’re still fleeing the Trackers, trying to remain hidden while also putting themselves into positions of power to help with space travel.

A once in a lifetime (literally) event comes through, and Mia knows this is her chance. She was feeling downtrodden, thinking she’d never do her part, until she learns of the planets aligning. She will do whatever it takes to take them to the stars. 

This book felt less like an alternative history book and more actual science fiction. I liked both for different reasons, but I feel like we’re actually getting somewhere now. I can’t wait to see when the third one comes out. (I’ll be stalking Sylvain Neuvel on Twitter if you need me.)

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the chance to read this advanced review copy!

TW: death of parent, violence, animal death
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Until the Last of Me, the most anticipated sequel to "A History of What Comes Next" by Sylvain Neuvel is a creative take on the space race and told in a similar writing style that us readers have come to expect and love. It’s a multi-generational genre mashup of historical fiction and science fiction -- closely mirroring timelines and historical figures from our recent history.  

After finishing Until the Last of Me, I have now completed six books from Neuvel.  I am finding that his writing just gets better and better with every story, as does his storytelling.  I love the clinical-type way he tells stories.  He has created his own style that leaves its mark.  Most of Neuvel's work to date has always fell more on the plot-driven side for me.  Until the Last of Me goes against the grain and did feel more character-driven, and I was thrilled to see how the story would play out.  Neuvel has created a fantastic concept.

"Maybe that's what God is. Beauty seeping through the violence, finding its way into broken cups and spilled tea."

Being as this is a sequel, it goes without saying that "A History of What Comes Next" should be read first.  At only 304 pages, this packs a whole lot in so few pages. The time jumps were seamlessly woven in and the direction of the plot was purposeful and clear.

Thank you Netgalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge for providing a copy for review.  This review will be posted to FanFiAddict.
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**Thank you to NetGalley, Tor, and Macmillan for the eARC of this incredible title!**

I have loved everything I have read from Neuvel so far and this book was no exception! Until The Last Of Me continues the Take Them To The Stars series and picks right back up where the first book left off. 

Lola, daughter of Mia, is older and starting to figure things out on her own. Most importantly - following her lineages rules of preservation and helping humans with their search for knowledge. I found the beginning of the book a tiny bit confusing while I was still learning characters/points of view but after that it really ramped up.

I think what I appreciate so much about this author is that he has a plot that is absolutely mind blowing, then he sprinkles in these great bits of science fiction throughout the entire book. I loved the action in this book and the fact that it continued the series along so nicely.

Possibly my favorite thing about this book was seeing things from the “trackers’” point of view. I can always appreciate when an author takes a horrible villain and makes me feel sorry for them.

Check this book out if you love SciFi, aliens, space themes, action books, history, or ancient societies!
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The saga of the Kibsu continues in this second installment with literally astronomical stakes.

In the first novel of this series, A History of What Comes Next, we learned that the progress of science on this planet has always been secretly guided by the Kibsu, a humanlike species of superstrong, supersmart aliens whose genetic line split at some point in antiquity, with the female line dedicated to developing mathematics and teaching it to humans, and the male line sworn to hunting down their female counterparts as punishment for some supposed treason no one remembers anymore. For centuries, these aliens have been spreading both knowledge and death as each lineage pursues their mission while hiding in plain sight among us. The title of the series is Take them to the stars, but in that first novel the full meaning is revealed as Take them to the stars before we come and kill them all.

The newly released continuation, Until the Last of Me, displays the hallmark signs of Middle Book Syndrome: the plot gets a bit repetitive in the early chapters, feels a bit directionless toward the middle, and is suddenly hijacked at the end by the need to put all the pieces in position for the upcoming final confrontation. Instead of the intricate web of goals that the characters had in the first book, here the daughters and the sons of the Kibsu are each obsessed with a single puzzle quest that makes the story feel smaller this time. The Kibsu women try to learn more about their past by researching the cryptic message engraved on a hunting bow that belonged to one of their earliest mothers, while the Kibsu men follow obscure archaeological clues to the location of a buried machine that might end their exile on Earth.

In a way, this narrowing of the focus was necessary. The timeline of the series has now reached the space age, the time when humans became finally capable of exploring the solar system without any more alien help. The author is aware of this shift in priorities, and lets it influence the character's inner monologue: now that humans can build their own rockets and calculate their own travels, what's the point of the Kibsu? So it makes sense for the narrative to now start swerving away from the cool equations and toward finally resolving the core mystery about these people's arrival on Earth and their original intentions.

However, this sequel does not have a gentle start. The author perhaps wished to "hit the ground running;" the problem is that this kind of story requires training wheels. Your familiarity with the previous novel and its revelations is very much taken for granted. In the chapters that follow the Kibsu women, you're expected to already understand why this single mother is keeping a low profile yet plotting interplanetary trajectories while her daughter is a natural-born hand-to-hand fighter; in the chapters about the Kibsu men, you're thrown head-first into an abusive family situation where creepy identical brothers struggle with monumental daddy issues.

Now that the story has revealed more about these aliens, one can attempt to infer thematic intentions. The first novel was, for the most part, a spy/survival/heist thriller. But this entry contains deeper psychological twists about the hunters and the hunted, and about the toil their legacy has left on them. For the first time in a hundred generations, both sides seem willing to put an end to their murderous game. For the first time, there will be a set of Kibsu descendants without the knowledge of their ancient mission, without the burden of guiding the humans to space.

I keep thinking back to a sentence near the ending, a brief line that hides volumes: "Despite the uncertainties about the sun, what everyone agreed on was that it was doomed to die and everyone with it, which, in Annie's mind, made understanding how it worked a moral imperative."

That is the foundation of this entire series. Doing science is not just an expensive pastime. It's not a prestige thing you do to impress people at parties. Doing science, especially in the painstaking, unglamorous way portrayed in these novels, is how you take care of civilization. In the individual journeys of the handful of unrecognized scientists that make up half of the Kibsu lineage, the author has condensed in speculative form the very real collective responsibility to learn and to grow. And in the obsessive persecution perpetrated by the other half of the Kibsu, one can discern the multiple historical forces that have been hostile to our development.

When the story picks up, the rules of the game will have changed. Humankind has made its giant leap into space. The mission of a hundred Kibsu daughters has been fulfilled. But the repercussions of the sons' mission will complicate everything in the next book.


The Math

Baseline Assessment: 8/10.

Bonuses: +1 for meticulously crafted puzzles. They are the guiding throughline the whole book relies on, and they get the job done.

Penalties: −2 for the same reason as the earlier book: the characters change countries and assumed identities far too easily and too often to be believable without at least some explanation. Several times in the story, the protagonists on both sides of the chase give up their entire lives and start anew, but we don't learn what they do for a living or how they afford their frequent intercontinental hopping. They get away with murder, leave everything behind, and somehow start from scratch at a new address. This is the main point of pressure on the reader's suspension of disbelief, and by this point it's leaking water. It's like the author forgot that the pleasure of watching a spy thriller is not only in seeing how the ruse is executed, but also how it's planned.

Nerd Coefficient: 7/10.
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Book Review: Until The Last of Me by Sylvain Neuvel 

My Rating: 3.5/5 

Release Date: March 29th 2022

Thank you to Tordotcom Publishing and NetGalley for an early of this book to review!

My Thoughts: This is a second book in the “Take Them To The Stars” series, I don’t know if it’s continuing on past book 2 but I am assuming yes because of the way the last book ended. I enjoyed this one more than the first book, and I think that was because I listened to the audiobook for the first one. In my opinion the audiobook was way too dramatized to the point where it was comical, and it took away from the story. I read the second book physically since I didn’t have access to the audiobook and I enjoyed the story way more. 

There is a lot of dialogue, that’s really the only part of the writing I didn’t enjoy. I really liked the blend of sci-fi, history, and thriller though and I honestly can’t wait to see where the story goes after this book! It’s definitely a quick read, and I think sci-fi lovers will really enjoy it. If you aren’t a fan of historical fiction, just know there are historical elements in here. The story itself is really unique and interesting. An ancient race manipulating history? Yes plz! 

This book is being published tomorrow so go get you a copy!
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In preparation for reading this book, and because it’s been so long, I reread the first book via audio. It’s a phenomenal audiobook, I enjoyed the first book even more upon my second read. I was dying to know how the author was going to finish this series.

I think the second book is even more character-driven compared to the first book which was somewhat plot-driven. I feel like in this book the Kibsu isn’t as involved in ‘taking people to the stars’ vs the last book. In the sequel, they are more so observers of space exploration. 

I enjoyed the relationship Mia and Lola had, the hardships they had to face, and the enormous pressure their family legacy has them under. I liked that we explored more of the Kibsu’s history and the individual members. 

The perspective of the Tracker brothers and their upbringing, their journey of tracking the Kibsu through history, and how these two families are connected was certainly interesting and added much more depth to the story and answered some lingering questions I had from the first novel. 


With all that said, I felt like the ending was weak and left a lot to be desired. 
Who, or what were the Kibsu & trackers? Are they aliens? Are they of the same species? How or why did they come to earth? Could they possibly be time-travelers? Or maybe from another parallel inter-dimensional universe? What was the betrayal between the two? What was the lost knowledge that the Kibsu held? Do the Trackers know more about the Kibsu (and themselves) than the Kibsu know? Are the Kibsu trying to take humanity to the stars, or themselves? Are the Kibsu trying to get back home? Are they trying to take humanity to the stars to save them from the climate crisis or an impending attack from intergalactic species? Did the orb send a signal from earth to the ‘aliens’ and now an attack is going to take place? How long until humanity is meeting its doomsday? What is going to happen to Lola’s daughter? Will the tracker find her? What is going to happen to the tracker? 

I have so many questions, as you can obviously see. I typically don’t like books with such open endings. In fact, this book is so open-ended I think a third book should’ve been written, or the second should’ve been longer. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this series, and the second book was still incredible despite all my lingering questions. 
I highly recommend it if you love strong female characters, the space race, science, and a plotline that keeps you wondering long after you’re done reading.

4.5 stars 

***ARC Provided by MacMillian-Tor/Forge via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I was provided an ARC via Netgalley, all opinions are my own.

I really enjoyed this second installment to the series.  This focuses mainly on astronomy and Mia's attempt to find what the Kibsu lost.  In the fist book Mia and her mother were involved in the space program and war efforts in WWII.  In this book Mia is traumatized by the loss of her mother and is doing everything she can to protect her own daughter, Lola from the Trackers.  Mia does what she can to nudge the space program in the right direction, but she and Lola stay out of the limelight and instead are trying to find the knowledge their ancestors lost.  Much like the first book the blend of history and science is done extremely well!  We learn quite a bit about the planets as Voyager 1 & 2 roam the cosmos and we learn about archeology as Mia and Lola search for a long lost artefact and decipher a forgotten language.

We also get insight from the Tracker side, Samael is one of the trackers, whose family has been hunting the Kibsu for generations.  He is not like his father or brothers.  He has compassion and plans out his actions.  I believe this is a trilogy and I'm looking forward to see how the rest of his story plays out if there is another book.  Overall I enjoyed this and I'm looing forward to reading more from the author.  I really enjoy how much time and effort he puts into researching his books and the amount of information he gives readers in a digestible way.

As with the last book I highly recommend reading the "Further Reading" section as it again gives insight into the research the author did to write the book.  It gives context to the scientific and historical context of the book and what he chose to change and why or what events he kept and why.  I love learning about the things that inspired an author during the creation of a book.  You can tell alot of time went into the research to write this book.  There are some really interesting facts in this section, I found it worth the read!  It also sounds like there may be a third book in the series.  

My only real issue was this was sometimes hard to follow.  This switches perspectives somewhat abruptly, and in the ARC the chapters don't indicate who is telling the story.  It isn't not always obvious for several paragraphs to figure out who the I is in the chapter.  Sometimes it is talking about Mia and Lola, while other chapters are about Samael and his brothers.  It isn't always obvious who the chapter is about.  There are chapter headings about when the chapter takes place.  This books comes out soon so perhaps in the final version there will be a label of who the chapter is about.   The Entr'actes are all about historical figures so those are easy to understand who they are about.  

Neuvel has a very unique writing style that will appeal to every reader's taste.  I actually like it, but again it will be a personal preference.  The writing switches from standard paragraph format to a dialogue format that almost looks like text messaging.  If you like books told in epistolary format or mixed media, you likely won't mind.  If you don't like a more mixed media format, it is something to consider.
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