My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Thank you to NetGalley, The Last Girl’s author, Joe Hart, and the publisher, Thomas & Mercer, for an advanced reader copy of the book. I greatly appreciated it and it was a very quick read for me.
The Last Girl opens with the premise that a deadly virus has swept across the planet in the not so distant future. The virus has rendered women incapable of conceiving girls, leaving only a few women on the North American continent. The U.S. government sequesters these women and keeps them in a highly secure fortress that feels more like a prison than a sanctuary.
The book is written from the perspective of a women named Zoey who is imprisoned in this fortress. She doesn’t remember her parents are because she was forcibly removed from her home as a small child by the government in the name of national security. On the eve of being “released” back into society at the age of 21 years old, Zoey starts to question her existence and the government’s reasons for detaining her. She also begins to wonder if the government’s promise of returning her back to her family is a farce meant to prolong her captivity or, even worse, conceal an even more nefarious governmental plan. Her questioning leads to an explosive series of events that will keep readers turning the pages of this book.
In terms of dystopian fiction, this was a solid piece of work. I wouldn’t say it is remarkably unique or original, but it’s an interesting story and features some compelling characters. Zoey felt like a living, breathing human being, but a few of the characters came off as one-dimensional. I wanted to know more about the backstories of those who were maintaining the prison and keeping it fortified. Why would they continue to support it beyond the threat of violence?
Parts of the book reminded me of The Road, V for Vendetta, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Maze Runner series, the Divergent series, and The Hunger Games triology. I’d recommend it to readers who love sci-fi and dystopian literature – they will not be disappointed.