The Last, by Hanna Jameson (Review)

The end of the world is a fairly comforting concept, because – in theory – we wouldn’t have to survive it. Maybe what’s been fucking us up, more than anything, hasn’t been finding a way to cope with the world ending but finding a way to cope with the fact that it didn’t.

Rating: 5 stars

This isn’t usually my kind of book, but I’m making an effort to get out of my comfort zone when it comes to books lately, and it is seriously paying off with six 5* books in as many months. I don’t usually read this kind of book, with apocalypse stories not really appealing to me. After how much I enjoyed this book, honestly I’m willing to rethink the whole genre.

The Last is written from the perspective of a historian who is keeping a record of his experiences in the Hotel Sixieme after a nuclear apocalypse shuts society down completely. What this creates is an intriguing thriller based around a murder, but much more than that it’s an amazing study on the collapse of society and the way that human nature might respond to pressures and stressors. I don’t usually read books without a happy ending guaranteed, but this book was set after the worst things imaginable had already happened, so I knew there was no perfect ending coming. Still, I hoped, and that’s kind of the message of this book, that no matter what happens we must keep hope.

Jon Keller is a flawed narrator, but at least he acknowledges that he’s flawed, and admits to as many faults as he can bring himself to face. This makes him fairly charming, in his own way, and each of the other characters is equally interesting, with their own histories and flaws that come out in Jon’s stories- people have less to hide when everything’s already gone wrong.

The ending of this book surprised me too, but I found it satisfying, despite the lack of a ‘happy ending’. It was a new beginning, and I liked that.

Note: This review was copied verbatim from my Goodreads account dated June 12th 2019.

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