I often find that more modern-day dystopian where the world has just collapsed to be a bit tedious and sometimes boring - that was not the case, however, for this book.

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, The Last by Hanna Jameson. Thanks so much to Simon and Schuster Canada for sending me a copy of this book for an honest review as a part of the Thriller Chronicles promotion. As always, all opinions are my own.

This book follows the experiences of Jon, a professor who is attending a conference in Switzerland when the world ends. After receiving word that Washington, D.C. has been attacked by nuclear bombs, chaos ensues for Jon and those staying at the strange hotel on the outskirts of town. Many of the guests leave in a futile attempt to make it to an airport, a boat, anything that will get them home. A group of twenty or so survivors, Jon included, however, stay at the hotel. As the days pass, Jon keeps a record of the happenings of the end of days and quickly becomes invested in the presumed murder of a young girl who is found in one of the hotel's water tanks.

Firstly, this was a wholly original storyline that was part Bates Motel, part survivalist novel. As I previously mentioned, I've grown a little leery of the genre. However, Jameson had the amazing ability to create a story that is interesting and unique. The setting of the strange, creepy hotel adds haunting energy to the book and really makes you invested in finding out what happened with the murder, and if the characters will survive the book.

The book is written as a diary of sorts - although, on numerous occasions, Jon refers to it as more of a record or memoir. I really loved this writing style and thought it really added to the story itself. As a fellow historian, I greatly enjoyed the way Jameson portrayed Jon, at least in that regard. I felt like I was able to connect with him on his level of recording everything, even if there wasn't anyone left to study his account.

The two storylines - the murder mystery and the survival story - were quite well done. Neither seemed to compete with the other for my attention as a reader and I found myself engrossed in whichever storyline Jameson was choosing to focus on at any given moment. It was nice to have the murder as a set timeline component of the story - with the survival story, it's already the end of the world, there wasn't a high chance that things would swiftly turn around and the world would go back to normal. With that storyline, there wasn't a clear end in sight - they would just go on until everyone, or at least the narrator, died off.

Overall, I thought this was a really unique and interesting read and I would definitely recommend it if you are looking for a topical dystopian read.