Book Review: The Last Survivors by T.W. Piperbrook & Bobby Adair

I’m diving right in to this book review. For me, it’s a three star read, but it was well-written. It just wasn’t my cup of coffee for the reasons I detail below. It had the potential to be a great read, but it just fell short for me in too many places. Click the book cover to get your copy if it is up your alley.

The Book Description: Three hundred years after the fall of society, the last fragments of civilization are clinging to life, living in the ruins of the ancient cities in nearly-medieval conditions. Technology has been reduced to legend, monsters roam the forests, and fear reigns supreme. But that is just the beginning… The wind-borne spores are spreading, disfiguring men and twisting their minds, turning them into creatures that threaten to destroy the townships. And among the political and the religious, dissension is spreading. Through it all, a mother must protect her son…

My Review: I had mixed feelings about this book the entire time I read it. It’s well-written with very few errors, which puts it a step above many books I’ve run into over the years browsing Amazon and other booksellers. However, it missed one very important thing for me–a connection with the characters. The chapters in this book come fast and furious, and as soon as I was just starting to get to know a character, the authors made the decision to switch gears to a new character.

The result? I had no real sympathies for any of the characters. Of them all, Ella / William were the ones I liked the best, but I still had no real connection with them. The short space they were given didn’t allow for them to really stretch out and grow–or be developed as thoroughly in their chapters as I really wanted.

The story had so much promise, and there were some really interesting things that happened, but I just couldn’t get into it nearly as much as I wanted. It’s a very brutal book, and characters die in higher frequency than in Game of Thrones, so by the halfway point, when the characters started converging and some points of view became more common, I no longer trusted the author to keep the characters alive. That formed even more distance. Bad stuff happens to everyone, and because it does… I went from being unable to forge a connection with the characters to being unwilling to, as I have the knowledge one or more will inevitably die.

Could this have been a great book for me? Sure–the premise is there. But, if you’re like me, and like sympathizing with one character throughout a book, this one probably won’t appeal to you very much. If you don’t care if characters are discarded, you’ll probably like this. Chapters are about as short as many of the character lives. Some of the characters are also so foreshadowed as they’ll die it makes it very difficult to want to get into their POV, too.

That said, the book was very well-written, it just wasn’t for me. Too brutal, the society a bit *too* primitive, and the lives of characters were just too cheap. Death is the most common currency, and not even the characters really care that much who dies at the end of the day, because they’re so used to death it doesn’t really touch them all that much.

I really liked the nature of the apoc in this one, though. It was interesting. It was two-fold, which gave the situation depth. I think I would have really liked this book a lot more if the chapters hadn’t been so short. It really took away from the development of these characters as people.

This review was also posted to Goodreads.

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