29 Aug 2019


Book Review / The Last by Hannah Jameson

For fans of high-concept thrillers such as Annihilation and The Girl with All the Gifts, this breathtaking dystopian psychological thriller follows an American academic stranded at a Swiss hotel as the world descends into nuclear war—along with twenty other survivors—who becomes obsessed with identifying a murderer in their midst after the body of a young girl is discovered in one of the hotel’s water tanks.

Jon thought he had all the time in the world to respond to his wife’s text message: I miss you so much. I feel bad about how we left it. Love you. But as he’s waiting in the lobby of the L’Hotel Sixieme in Switzerland after an academic conference, still mulling over how to respond to his wife, he receives a string of horrifying push notifications. Washington, DC has been hit with a nuclear bomb, then New York, then London, and finally Berlin. That’s all he knows before news outlets and social media goes black—and before the clouds on the horizon turn orange.

Now, two months later, there are twenty survivors holed up at the hotel, a place already tainted by its strange history of suicides and murders. Those who can’t bear to stay commit suicide or wander off into the woods. Jon and the others try to maintain some semblance of civilization. But when the water pressure disappears, and Jon and a crew of survivors investigate the hotel’s water tanks, they are shocked to discover the body of a young girl.

As supplies dwindle and tensions rise, Jon becomes obsessed with investigating the death of the little girl as a way to cling to his own humanity. Yet the real question remains: can he afford to lose his mind in this hotel, or should he take his chances in the outside world?

Published:     31st January 2019
Publisher:  Viking
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone: Stand-Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher


What an interesting read.  I have to admit that this is not normally the type of story that I would pick up.  I don't tend to gravitate towards the end of the world type stories but there was something about this one that seemed different to me.   Maybe it was the fact that this was mostly based in one location and focused on the people in this circumstance rather than what was happening out in the world.

The main character in this story is Jon who has arrived at the hotel in Switzerland for a break, after having marital problems and leaving his wife and children back home across the sea.  Not soon after he arrives disasters all around the world pop up and soon he and the other people left behind at the hotel realise that there's nowhere else to go but to stay where they are and try and wait it out.  Along  with this problem, you also have the mystery of a body found in a water tank on the roof of the hotel.  This was a very small part of the story but an interesting one that I would have loved to have more focus on.  For me, this book was more about the character stuck in the hotel, how they react to each other and how they cope with their new circumstances.

This was a very slow read.  For me, I did not feel a sense of urgency throughout the book.  It was a case that this disaster has happened in the outside world, they were stuck in the hotel and let's see how we can stay it out.   It is more a story of survival than anything scary or murdery.