Last Ones Left Alive turns zombie fiction into a heartfelt character piece that highlights the power of family and perseverance at the end of times.
The zombies, or skrakes in this instance, are as gory and gross as you’d imagine. They’re just a small part of the story, representing an obstacle as our protagonist sets out to fulfill what she believes to be her destiny. It’s heartbreaking at times, thrilling at others, and ultimately a moving look at the final sparks of the human race.A couple of small spoilers below!
A NO NONSENSE PROTAGONIST
Galen is a multi-faceted character, mixing a deep love for her family with an animalistic will to survive. We see her trudging through the countryside, fighting against physical threats and the mental blocks she needs to overcome before she can move on with her life. Recent tragedies have hardened her outlook on the world and in the beginning, she struggles quite a bit. The book switches between present and past, juxtaposing her happy childhood with the difficulties of her adult life. It makes for an interesting tale about the hard realities of growing up and leaving the ideals of childhood behind.
THE POWER OF FAMILY
At its heart, Last Ones Left Alive is a family drama that highlights the unlikeliness of a small family surviving alone on an island off the coast of Ireland. We see Orpen growing from child to teen to young woman, desperately wanting to join the world that’s outside of her grasp. Her mother and Maeve teach her to become a fighter, arming her with the skills she needs to survive in this post-zombie apocalypse world. This focus highlights how important and rare family can be. At the end, when all hope is lost, having a support system that cares for you more than anything else can save you.
STICKING UP FOR MANKIND
This is a growth piece for Orpen as she’s forced to accept the needs of other people beyond her mother and Maeve. At first, she’s openly hostile toward strangers who try to help her and, in her refusal to accept facts, she nearly gets everyone killed. She eventually morphs from a fighter trying to save herself into a true banshee who fights for mankind at large. It’s an inspiring journey.
A BADASS GROUP OF WOMEN WARRIORS
I’m obsessed with this ultra-trained, elite group of women warriors who roam the countryside killing any and all skrakes who cross their paths. The world has become a pretty terrible place and they’ve risen up to take the land back for themselves.
Last Ones Left Alive
By Sarah Davis-Goff
Published by Flatiron Books
NOTE: I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.