TITLE & AUTHOR: The Last of Us by Rob Ewing
PUBLISHER: The Borough Press
RELEASE DATE: 21 April 2016
I got this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
WHAT’S IT’S ABOUT
The island is quiet now.
On a remote Scottish island, five children are the only ones left. Since the Last Adult died, sensible Elizabeth has been the group leader, testing for a radio signal, playing teacher and keeping an eye on Alex, the littlest, whose insulin can only last so long.
There is ‘shopping’ to do in the houses they haven’t yet searched and wrong smells to avoid. For eight-year-old Rona each day brings fresh hope that someone will come back for them, tempered by the reality of their dwindling supplies.
With no adults to rebel against, squabbles threaten the fragile family they have formed. And when brothers Calum Ian and Duncan attempt to thwart Elizabeth’s leadership, it prompts a chain of events that will endanger Alex’s life and test them all in unimaginable ways.
Reminiscent of The Lord of the Flies and The Cement Garden, The Last of Us is a powerful and heart-breaking novel of aftershock, courage and survival.
I have become skilled.
WHAT I THOUGHT
I knew this book was going to be special as soon I read the blurb when browsing my auto-approved titles on NetGalley. I absolutely had to read it. My instinct proved right and The Last of Us is a brilliant, brilliant book. Not to be confused with the videogame of the same name (also excellent may I add). I loved the idea behind the novel, a group of kids struggling to survive on a remote island after a strange illness wiped out all the adults. The stage is set for some pretty intense moments. I really liked the way the kids, especially Elizabeth try to create some form of normality with chores and tasks and lists of things to remember including what’s safe and not safe to eat I also liked the hostility towards Elizabeth, the so-called leader because she wasn’t born on the island. There are some stomach-churning scenes thanks to the dead bodies all over the place and even my squeamish button (which is very hard to trigger) kicked in. The last time anything made me squeamish was the movie Hostel (the first one in the series) where a Chinese woman’s eye is almost pulled out and looks ready to pop onto her cheek (feeling squeamish just thinking about that). The children don’t agree about a lot of things which is very believable considering how young they are and the situation they are trapped in. This is played out very well on the page. I was impressed by the quality of the writing and how vivid and detailed it is. I could perfectly picture the island and the children in my mind. The Last of Us isn’t packed with thrills and adventure but it is my favourite type of dystopian novel – a world brilliantly realised and believable with a few heart tugging moments thrown in. I shed some tears with this one. I will think about The Last of Us for a long time and it may haunt my dark dreams – in a good way.