The Last
"Nuclear apocalypse meets murder mystery, with an amazing cast of characters. It's Stephen King meets Agatha Christie, in this fantastic and highly original novel” -Luca Vesta, author of Dead Gone“The questions Jameson poses—who will be with you at the end of the world, and what kind of person will you be?—are as haunting as the plot itself. This is a chilling and extraordinary book.” -Emily St. John Mandel, bestselling author of Station ElevenFor 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.

The Last Details

TitleThe Last
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 9th, 2019
PublisherAtria Books
ISBN-139781501198823
Rating
GenreMystery, Thriller, Fiction, Mystery Thriller, Crime, Science Fiction, Dystopia

The Last Review

  • Maureen
    January 1, 1970
    Jon Keller has travelled from his home in the US, and is staying in an isolated hotel set amongst the lush green forests of Switzerland whilst attending a work conference. His morning begins as normal in the hotel’s dining room, until news starts to filter in from around the world of nuclear attacks on major cities, indeed the whole of Scotland appears to have been obliterated! As expected, people start to panic, with many abandoning the hotel and heading for the nearest airport and railway stat Jon Keller has travelled from his home in the US, and is staying in an isolated hotel set amongst the lush green forests of Switzerland whilst attending a work conference. His morning begins as normal in the hotel’s dining room, until news starts to filter in from around the world of nuclear attacks on major cities, indeed the whole of Scotland appears to have been obliterated! As expected, people start to panic, with many abandoning the hotel and heading for the nearest airport and railway stations - however, travel, and life in general will never be the same again for those who survive these attacks, and the quest to reach airports or other forms of transportation is futile!Initially the first thing to be lost is communication, notably the internet, so after initial news reports, there is no information for quite some time.The story follows Jon’s attempts to describe what happens to the twenty hotel guests who decided to stay. Switzerland appears to have escaped direct attacks, but unless they leave the hotel, they’ll never know to what extent they’re safe (or not) He documents the daily events in the wake of the nuclear apocalypse, together with his investigation into the murder of a young girl who was discovered in the hotel’s water tanks.This was an intriguing scenario, and the author’s idea to isolate the hotel’s survivors from the chaos and devastation elsewhere, served her well up to a point, as it created some tension within the claustrophobic confines of the hotel and forest. There’s something quite unnerving about a large hotel being relatively empty, spooky to say the least, and there had already been talk of the hotel being haunted, but for me there was some relief when eventually, using one of the few cars left at the hotel, some of them decide to venture to the nearest town in search of food. I personally, was longing to know whether there were any more survivors and if so how this would affect the dynamics of their situation. Jon was a somewhat unreliable narrator, and not particularly likeable either. I did really enjoy the story in parts, but felt frustrated by the ending, and also by the fact that we were never informed of how the nuclear attacks came about- who were the perpetrators and why? It was, however, an accurate portrayal of how people would behave in a situation like this, and was also a chilling reminder of how easily this terrifying event could become a reality!* Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin books UK - Viking for my Arc in exchange for an honest unbiased review *
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  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    This was a really unsettling read, especially because it felt so plausible based on current events. That said, it was also a gripping, fast paced dystopian thriller with a side dish of murder mystery. I don't want to say too much about this one yet, but I'm really excited to see what other people think of The Last as they read/review it. While the plots are different, it gave me similar vibes to The Last One, another post-apocalyptic/dystopian that I adored. I think fans of that book will love t This was a really unsettling read, especially because it felt so plausible based on current events. That said, it was also a gripping, fast paced dystopian thriller with a side dish of murder mystery. I don't want to say too much about this one yet, but I'm really excited to see what other people think of The Last as they read/review it. While the plots are different, it gave me similar vibes to The Last One, another post-apocalyptic/dystopian that I adored. I think fans of that book will love this as well. More to come as I think on it! *I received a review copy via the publisher.
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  • Melisa
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve stepped outside of my genre comfort zone with The Last, and I’m so glad that I took the chance - it paid off!This is a dark, deeply disturbing tale of one man’s account of what he deems to be the end of the world due to nuclear war. One that is extremely unsettling and anxiety inducing due to the fact that it is completely possible. This one actually took me longer than normal to read, I had to keep putting it down because I kept saying “what if...”.Jon is an American historian who finds hi I’ve stepped outside of my genre comfort zone with The Last, and I’m so glad that I took the chance - it paid off!This is a dark, deeply disturbing tale of one man’s account of what he deems to be the end of the world due to nuclear war. One that is extremely unsettling and anxiety inducing due to the fact that it is completely possible. This one actually took me longer than normal to read, I had to keep putting it down because I kept saying “what if...”.Jon is an American historian who finds himself at a secluded Swiss hotel for a writing conference when nuclear war breaks out. This is his story, told from his point of view, as he tries to record everything that happens for documentation purposes. From complete blackout of the internet and news, to attempting to find food in order to survive - you will find yourself questioning what you would do if you were in the same shoes. It is a story of survival, mystery, and trying to find hope in the bleakness of atrocity. This is super cinematic in its storytelling - I could absolutely see it being picked up as a film or series. Netflix - get on board here, please!🤗A big thank you to my girl Chelsea for the invitation to read this book, and to Atria for my advance copy! This book will be available in April 2019!3.5 stars
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  • Kylie D
    January 1, 1970
    A realistic type of dystopian novel, chilling, intriguing, and altogether believable. Set in a Swiss forest in an isolated hotel, Jon, a historian attending a conference, is caught up when the world goes BOOM! Nuclear war has broken out, most of the world's major cities are lost, communication is scratchy and transport non-existent. Jon takes it on himself to record what has happened, from his point of view, and we are reading his journal.The fear, the hardships, a sense of grieving are all well A realistic type of dystopian novel, chilling, intriguing, and altogether believable. Set in a Swiss forest in an isolated hotel, Jon, a historian attending a conference, is caught up when the world goes BOOM! Nuclear war has broken out, most of the world's major cities are lost, communication is scratchy and transport non-existent. Jon takes it on himself to record what has happened, from his point of view, and we are reading his journal.The fear, the hardships, a sense of grieving are all well recorded. Not knowing whether his loved ones have survived, never mind if he will see them again, really starts to hit home for Jon. And with winter coming on, food scarce, plus the real possibility of radiation poisoning, the survivors start getting cabin fever and turning on themselves and each other. And in the background at all times is the thought of the murdered girl found in the water tank, and which of them put her there...I did really enjoy this book, the isolation and fear come over well. Not knowing what is happening in the world, if you are all alone with a small pocket of people, or if others are around, would be terrifying. The dog eat dog world as we know it is magnified and intense. Yet the promise of small treats, like listening to a song, or eating chocolate, is an uplifting and joyous occasion. It brings the world we take for granted into a clear perspective. Recommended.
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  • carol.
    January 1, 1970
    I was all set to close the book (cough) on 2018; I had finished up the Peter Grant series in a very satisfactory way, was finishing up a couple other books, and was hoping to actually complete reviews for the books read, all in the same year--I know, I know. Foolish. Then I saw Robert's review and the words 'apocalypse' and 'mystery' instantly jumped out. You could not have tempted me more with dark chocolate sea salt caramels. And wouldn't you know it? Last was just as satisfying, a great mix o I was all set to close the book (cough) on 2018; I had finished up the Peter Grant series in a very satisfactory way, was finishing up a couple other books, and was hoping to actually complete reviews for the books read, all in the same year--I know, I know. Foolish. Then I saw Robert's review and the words 'apocalypse' and 'mystery' instantly jumped out. You could not have tempted me more with dark chocolate sea salt caramels. And wouldn't you know it? Last was just as satisfying, a great mix of emotions and flavors.It starts off quickly; no building of suspense, wondering when the end of the world will happen, letting our hapless characters wander around as we all get our bearings. It has happened; Jon, the narrator, begins the story three days after the news breaks. An American tucked away in Switzerland for a conference, and he and his colleagues have been routed to a somewhat isolated hotel. I hesitate to say much more; suffice to say that it unfolds quickly and seems very plausible. It combines the best of the apocalypse: a quick disaster, a prolonged sense of aftermath, the opportunity to explore self, meaning, and society, all done with solid writing."A lot of people confuse movement with progress,' Dylan said. 'I knew it was a bad idea but what were we gonna do, barricade them in? They weren't ready to face any kind of truth.' I leaned against the wall of the stairwell as Dylan got out his set of keys. The air in here was too thick, full of dust and last breaths. It stank. I hated the stairwell but of course the elevators weren't working anymore; hadn't worked for two months, not since that first day."I can think of a handful of books that this would compare to, and it's no surprise that the publisher draws analogies to The Last Policeman and Station Eleven. I think that for many, however, this will be an improvement on both of those. Less bucolic and with a stronger narrative than Station Eleven, there is a definite atmosphere of fearfulness and psychological stress. Will these survivors break down? Like an inverse horror movie with the demons from within, how will they cope? Similar to The Last Policeman, the narrator is struggling with his own reactions and trauma response; though aware he is doing so, he's not exactly doing so with great success. But he reflects and engages, and it provides interesting food for thought."I figure I should keep writing things down. The clouds are a strange color, but I'm not sure if that's just me being in shock. They could be normal clouds."I will agree with Robert, one of the reviews that lead me to this book; the ending did feel rushed. Of course, for me, endings often feel rushed with suspense novels, as I'm speed-reading, trying to discover the resolution and relieve the tension. I'll go so far as to say it's a little Tana-French-ish in that the story is more about the psychological journey of the characters and less about the mystery. It is an intriguing ending, but yes; it does try to do too much too quickly, given the pacing of the middle.Last but random note: one of the few end-of-the-world novels that integrates more than then an average white American in it.Still, it was a fabulous way to end my 2018 reads. Definitely left me with a book-hangover. Many thanks to NetGalley and Atria Books for the advance reader copy. The quotes, of course, are subject to change in the final writing, but I do think that Jameson's style is one of the aspects that sets this above your average mystery or end of the world, and should be appreciated.Four and a half cloudy stars
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  • Susanne Strong
    January 1, 1970
    3.75 Stars* (rounded up)Let’s talk about HEART PALPITATIONS! The ones that feel like they are going to BURST right out of your chest (almost like the Alien from that movie with Ripley).. upon starting “The Last” by Hanna Jameson – and seeing the words “Nuclear Bomb” and “Nuclear Apocalypse”… well, my heart started beating so hard, I felt like it was going to explode. Those are not words I want to see in my lifetime. Thankfully this novel is fictional. That said, what started out as a dystopian 3.75 Stars* (rounded up)Let’s talk about HEART PALPITATIONS! The ones that feel like they are going to BURST right out of your chest (almost like the Alien from that movie with Ripley).. upon starting “The Last” by Hanna Jameson – and seeing the words “Nuclear Bomb” and “Nuclear Apocalypse”… well, my heart started beating so hard, I felt like it was going to explode. Those are not words I want to see in my lifetime. Thankfully this novel is fictional. That said, what started out as a dystopian novel about an apocalypse, quickly became something else entirely. A mystery about a murdered young girl whose body is found in a tank. Surprise, surprise! Jon is an American at a Conference at the L’Hotel Sixieme in Switzerland when DC and the rest of the world is attacked. Jon loses the ability to contact his wife Nadia and their two children, Marion and Ruth. His days are spent chronicling what happens.. then they find her. The little girl and he begins hunting for answers. Can he trust those he’s with? And let’s not forget that he’s in the middle of an Apocalypse!! Oh yeah, that!“The Last” begs so many questions. How does one survive an apocalypse? Is this the end? What would you do? Run? Kill or be killed? This was a buddy read with Kaceey and we went back and forth asking a lot of questions (note, for the record killing never came up.. it was more like, escaping the hotel to look for a bookstore or library… note: searching for the murdered girl never came up either, lol!). This was an intriguing end of the world scenario with some tabasco sauce thrown in that had us questioning and wondering. The writing was top knotch! I look forward to seeing watch Hanna Jameson comes up with next. Thank you to NetGalley, David Brown at Atria Books and to Hanna Jameson for a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.Published on Goodreads on 3.24.19.Will be published on Amazon and Twitter on 4.9.19.
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  • karen
    January 1, 1970
    NOW AVAILABLE!!i was offered an e-ARC of this book and encouraged to go in blind. i read the synopsis, obviously, to make sure it was within my (admittedly very broad) reading tastes, and from that, i gathered that it was a locked-room mystery with a twist: a young girl’s body is found on the premises of a swiss hotel that is still standing in the aftermath of a nuclear war that has destroyed most of the world, leaving twenty people struggling to make sense of this altered global landscape and n NOW AVAILABLE!!i was offered an e-ARC of this book and encouraged to go in blind. i read the synopsis, obviously, to make sure it was within my (admittedly very broad) reading tastes, and from that, i gathered that it was a locked-room mystery with a twist: a young girl’s body is found on the premises of a swiss hotel that is still standing in the aftermath of a nuclear war that has destroyed most of the world, leaving twenty people struggling to make sense of this altered global landscape and now also a murrrrderrrrrr. the blurbs name-dropped Stephen King, Agatha Christie, The Girl With All the Gifts, Annihilation, calling it “nightmarish,” a”dystopian psychological thriller,” “haunting;” a combination that made me think this was going to be Clue + The Shining + The Road, and that’s a big old ball of YES PLEASE!! for karen.do those blurbs accurately convey the tone and content of this book? weeeeellllll… again, i was encouraged to go in blind, and i don’t want to make decisions for anyone else, but mother nature gave us spoiler tags, so imma use them. not to talk about any *actual* plot spoilers, but to share more broadly what this book feels like to read; which expectations were met by the readalikes and which were not. so, it will be tonal spoilers only. to click or not to click? think of it this way: say you saw the trailer for The Cabin in the Woods and thought - ooh - a horror movie! and then you watched The Cabin in the Woods and realized it was just pretending to be a horror movie. did you feel:A) misled and crankyB) delightedC) what's The Cabin in the Woods?if A, view spoiler. if B, do not view spoiler. if C, put down that book, ya nerd!so.(view spoiler)[1) this book is not scary. not even a little bit. i’m not sure why it tries to set up a spooky vibe early on, and why the blurbs perpetuate this fallacy with their Stephen King & co. shenanigans. it does take place in a hotel, like The Shining (or like Security, for that matter), and the stress of isolation and the END OF THE WORLD does make some people behave erratically or act out of desperation, but it's not ghost twinsies and shriveled bathtub ladies, it's ordinary human panic. because the end of the world is scary, especially when you're far from home: you’re stuck in a hotel with a bunch of strangers who don't even share a common language, you don't know who can be trusted, you can’t contact your loved ones so you fear the worst, you have no idea what fresh hells are still to come...layering on a supernatural stressor on top of that would have been some excellent intense icing, and the seeds of mayyyyybe haaaauuunnted were certainly planted:"What interested you about the history of the hotel?”“Well, you know this hotel has a pattern of suicides and unexplained deaths. Even a couple of murders in the eighties and nineties. The most recent owners are pretty shady, hard to pin down. The place has been sold and resold a lot due to bad press. Also because a famous serial killer stayed once. My work, well…what I was planning to spend my time in the hotel doing was. mostly write biographies of the people who died here.” and I sometimes feel that there might be more people in the hotel than we know about. It is such a huge place. It plays on my mind. And it’s a very noisy building, a lot of bangs and bumps in the night.i’m not saying i begrudge the attempt - ambiguity is always welcome here; for a while i was enjoying the shiverylicious The Silent Land/House of Leaves vibes from this, and the sheer number of times characters voiced the "maybe we're all already dead" idea was like a siren's song, but when nothing spooky ever actually developed, it was clutter without consequence. 2) this book is not a mystery. not really. there is a dead body, there are suspicious people, there are secrets and red herrings and misdirection. the protagonist investigates, in his own way, who killed the girl, but this is not the novel’s primary concern, and the thread is dropped for a large chunk around the book's midsection.so what is this book? thematically, it is more like Station Eleven than anything mentioned above. its focus is largely upon establishing connections and retaining humanity, or not, in the wake of a cataclysmic event. it is very much about people. not people-as-murder-suspects, but what people feel and how they interact; it's about regret, forgiveness, kindness, society, law, responsibility, making peace with the past, overcoming the barriers of language and culture, political ideologies, what we owe each other as members of the same species, etc, but also what happens when desperation incites violence.for me, the horror/mystery detours didn’t contribute anything except confusion once the book settled into its more sociological track. a book with this line:The only meaning we might have left as a species - indeed the only thing left that might matter, that might keep us motivated to get up in the morning - is in the small acts of human kindness we show each other, and in my compulsion to be helpful, useful, to keep things moving forward, I’ve mostly forgotten to be kind.ain’t never going to be a horror novel.there's violence, yes - many different kinds of it, but anything remotely supernatural-feeling is redirected. if anything, it's humanist horror, as one character claims: An absence of meaning: that would be the scariest of all things. it also quotes Graham Greene, muses on individual freedoms and community responsibilities and argues whether suicide is an option. for many it is, but not for our guide through this situation: The thought had occurred to me once or twice: would killing myself really be that bad, considering? Did I want to see where we - and humanity as a whole - ended up? Did I want to see how much worse things got before they - if they - ever got better? But the idea always repelled me. As long as I could continue to be useful, I’d stay. I wouldn’t voluntarily throw my life away. I’d never think badly of those who decided it was too much, because it was. It is too much. But I could have been in San Francisco when those bombs fell, I could have been in Mississippi with my parents, and I was in neither. I had ended up in one of the few places that escaped total devastation, and the idea of creating more by giving in to despair seemed ungrateful somehow. the thing is, the end of the world doesn’t need additional bells and whistles to keep a reader’s interest. the aftermath is enough. the mystery plot resolves in a fine-but-too-coincidental and certainly not "fair play" manner, but the spooky atmosphere was not needed, sez me (hide spoiler)]so, that's what the book is and is not. did i like it? i did. mostly. it meanders a bit, as i've mentioned to those of you who went to spoilertown, but for the most part, it achieves its goals of what-iffing the apocalypse and showing how miscommunication, paranoia and sectional alliances can be pretty darn destructive. and nukes. also destructive. the only other thing i struggled with is a completely personal gripe that i'm mentioning strictly as a self-reminder should i ever need to catalog my own aversions. the world we live in is fucked. and it’s an especially embarrassing time to be an american. but i have a personal squicky discomfort when contemporary political elements creep into my escapist entertainment. there’s something off-putting to me about reading this book, whose end-of-world scenario was clearly brought about by our great orange shame, where a character who voted for him is berated by others as complicit to this end-of-world scenario and it basically turns into any day on twitter - vitriolic, divisive, unproductive, issue-laden. it’s completely me and my problem - i had the same reaction to American Horror Story: Cult, and even The Good Fight, although it was used in a much more organic n' humorous way there. i think my problem is when what's already bad is made worse for entertainment; an alarmist spear poking me in the place i'm turning to as an escape. we know it's bad. trust me, we are all fully alarmed. the news already feels like a horror movie, i don’t want my horror to feel like the news. but that's just me being feeling overwhelmed by how everything is falling apart. quick - raccoons!three and a half stars, rounded up.come to my blog!
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  • Debra
    January 1, 1970
    "History is only the sum of its people and, as far as I know, we could be the last ones."Historian Jon Keller was attending a conference at a hotel, L’Hotel Sixieme, in Switzerland when nuclear bombs/weapons hit various cities around the world. Jon thought he had time to respond to his wife's text message, he was mulling over what to say and regrets how things were left between them. Now he fears that his wife and daughters may be dead and what is worse is that he may never know. While some left "History is only the sum of its people and, as far as I know, we could be the last ones."Historian Jon Keller was attending a conference at a hotel, L’Hotel Sixieme, in Switzerland when nuclear bombs/weapons hit various cities around the world. Jon thought he had time to respond to his wife's text message, he was mulling over what to say and regrets how things were left between them. Now he fears that his wife and daughters may be dead and what is worse is that he may never know. While some left the hotel immediately upon hearing the news of the attacks, Jon remained with approximately twenty other survivors. They are cut off from the outside world and with no internet or electricity, they have no news about survivors, what areas are safe, the amount of damage done, etc. Are they the only survivors, or are there others? Is it safe to leave the hotel or is it safer to stay? How long must they stay? Will anyone come looking for them? Who dropped the bombs? How long can the survive at the hotel? When will their supplies run out?When the body of a young girl is found, Jon decides to investigate fearing there may be a murderer at the hotel. Jon also takes it upon himself, to document what is happening at the hotel and to give descriptions and background of the people who remain there - he is a historian after all. Through Jon's writings, readers get a glimpse into life at the hotel after the bombs hit. He tells of suicides, survival, arguments, and how some take positions of leadership.This is a rather slow-moving book with not a lot of action. This is more of a character study of how people live and survive after the world appears to end. The hotel occupants do not know if anyone else survived, what happened to those you choose to leave the hotel, or if their loved ones are alive. They are existing with very little too do to fill up their days. Survival is key. Through Jon's documentation of the hotel guests, the reader gets to know the hotel occupants to a small degree. There is a lot for readers to ponder in this book. What decisions would the reader make? Would the reader choose to stay at the hotel or leave to try and go home (or at least find others)? Would the reader assume a position of leadership? Would the reader be able to make decisions between life and death? etc. This is definitely a thought-provoking book. The book also does have some political talk and debate with characters blaming others for "voting for him" and therefore "being responsible" for the bombings. For me, this was a little frustrating as we never know more about the political situation. Who dropped the bombs? Why? Who is the "him" the characters voted for, etc.For me this book was good not great. I didn't mind the pace so much that there were some frustrating parts/subplots that really didn't go anywhere. There were times I thought the book was going to get creepy, but it didn't. This book is uniquely told through Jon's documentation, so the reader doesn't really get to see the other characters emotional reactions to things. We are told things but don't really get to see their fear, anxiety, doubt, anger, etc... unless Jon chooses to write about them. This made the book feel a little flat for me. This book is thought provoking and I believe that is its strength. We live in a time when countries have nuclear weapons, so it is easy to place oneself in this situations and wonder "what if this were me?". Fans of dystopian novels will most likely enjoy this one.Thank you to Atria books and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    Woo, this book! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ So, the less you know going in, the better! There’s a reason it has a brief synopsis, and my review will be to the point, too!The Last is a dystopian psychological thriller on every level. An American professor is left stranded in Switzerland as a nuclear war erupts. The professor is not alone. There are twenty other “survivors.” As if surviving nuclear war isn’t enough, this crew has a murderer in their midsts as the body of a girl has been discovered in a water tank at Woo, this book! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ So, the less you know going in, the better! There’s a reason it has a brief synopsis, and my review will be to the point, too!The Last is a dystopian psychological thriller on every level. An American professor is left stranded in Switzerland as a nuclear war erupts. The professor is not alone. There are twenty other “survivors.” As if surviving nuclear war isn’t enough, this crew has a murderer in their midsts as the body of a girl has been discovered in a water tank at the hotel. All the survivors start to suspect each other, and they become obsessed with solving the crime. A thrilling, chilling, thought-provoking novel (could this nuclear war really happen?), The Last leaves you wondering what’s the truth and where are the lies. It’s dark, disturbing, and completely absorbing. Kudos to Hanna Jameson for this brilliantly original and unsettling book! I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own. Thanks to my friend, Melisa, and Atria Books for this special opportunity. My reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com
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  • Paromjit
    January 1, 1970
    Hanna Jameson's dystopian, apocalyptic mystery novel embodies our worst fears and nightmares with the current US political situation. It begins with the shocking details of nuclear war with weapons exploding in cities around the world, including Washington, Munich, London and Scotland. This is a story of the impact and terrifying repercussions that follow for the survivors and a locked room murder mystery set in a remote and isolated hotel in Switzerland. American historian, Jon Keller, is in a Hanna Jameson's dystopian, apocalyptic mystery novel embodies our worst fears and nightmares with the current US political situation. It begins with the shocking details of nuclear war with weapons exploding in cities around the world, including Washington, Munich, London and Scotland. This is a story of the impact and terrifying repercussions that follow for the survivors and a locked room murder mystery set in a remote and isolated hotel in Switzerland. American historian, Jon Keller, is in a troubled marriage with Nadia that is heading towards separation, and has two daughters. Jon has travelled to Switzerland for a convention when the news breaks about the disturbing global events taking place, with many people leaving for the airport and rail stations. However, their journeys are pointless as transport links comes to a standstill and there is a communications blackout, with no internet access. Amidst the panic, fear, paranoia, madness and mayhem, 20 strangers are left in the big hotel, a diverse mix of guests and staff, including the man with leadership qualities, Dylan, the hotel manager, Aussie barman, Nathan, a medical doctor, and an American history student that Jon finds himself getting close to. Water problems lead to the discovery of the body of a young woman in the water tank. Plagued by guilt for ignoring Nadia's last message, Jon finds salvation in investing his energies in investigating the murder despite others showing little interest. They feel there are greater concerns that face them with the collapse of the world as they know it. Jon documents what is happening, recording his experiences and events in his journal. Tensions, conflict and suspicions of each other rise to unbearable levels between the survivors as supplies run low. The survivors are also keen to ensure that their secrets do not emerge.This is an astonishingly thought provoking novel that provides opportunities to reflect on what might be a real possibility in our contemporary world. Jameson's depiction of a strife ridden group of survivors feels desperately authentic, particularly as we are presented with aspects of the worst of humanity. In this bleak and unsettling read, the author provides a philosophical and human exploration of life and death, with ethical and moral dilemmas in a post-apocalyptic scenario. With sincere hopes that the outlined nightmare in this novel never come to pass, I found the focus on a group of survivors fascinating and horrifying as they turn on each other, whilst the murder mystery elements are suspenseful and gripping. A book guaranteed to make you think. Many thanks to Penguin UK for an ARC.
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  • Kaceey
    January 1, 1970
    “It’s the end of the world as we know it...” R.E.M.Well this book captured me from the start, as nuclear bombs begin dropping around the globe. Jon, an American, is far away from his family and home. He was on a conference in a secluded hotel in Switzerland when the world comes to an apocalyptic halt. Do you stay and wait for someone to locate and rescue you? Or do you take matters into your own hands and venture into the wasteland trying to make your way to civilization?It’s all a matter of sim “It’s the end of the world as we know it...” R.E.M.Well this book captured me from the start, as nuclear bombs begin dropping around the globe. Jon, an American, is far away from his family and home. He was on a conference in a secluded hotel in Switzerland when the world comes to an apocalyptic halt. Do you stay and wait for someone to locate and rescue you? Or do you take matters into your own hands and venture into the wasteland trying to make your way to civilization?It’s all a matter of simple survival! But where is the greatest threat coming from? Within the hotel itself, or what’s left of the world outside?When Jon discovers the dead body of a young girl at the hotel, he’s driven to attempt solving the crime. Of course, starting with the most basic of questions…who could have murdered her? And why? He’s determined to find justice for this innocent child.This is a book that is equal parts post-apocalyptic and murder mystery. At times I found that frustrating as the focus continually shifted.Hanna Jameson writes a gripping and frightening tale of what could easily be the end of humankind. I wish the focus would have stayed more on the survival aspect rather than on the murder itself. Otherwise, I would be handing out five glowing stars. Funny enough, I know there are other readers who wished for the exact opposite! (Vive La Difference, right?)A buddy read with Susanne!🙈Thank you to NetGalley, David Brown at Atria Books and Hanna Jameson for an ARC to read and review.
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  • Holly B
    January 1, 1970
    This was a quite frightening premise. Nuclear attack in Washington, then London, and continuing. Just the fact that it is actually possible was enough to bring chills over me. Twenty survivors are hold up in a large hotel in Switzerland when all communication is lost. The story is told through one of the twenty, Jon. He is an American who was traveling. He felt the need to document his experience for future generations. The format of the story told through his daily journal entries worked well.T This was a quite frightening premise. Nuclear attack in Washington, then London, and continuing. Just the fact that it is actually possible was enough to bring chills over me. Twenty survivors are hold up in a large hotel in Switzerland when all communication is lost. The story is told through one of the twenty, Jon. He is an American who was traveling. He felt the need to document his experience for future generations. The format of the story told through his daily journal entries worked well.There is also a murder that occurs at the hotel and now the search for the murderer among them begins.... I really wanted to enjoy this one, but I really didn't feel like I was the right reader. Recommend to those who like creepier, but realistic dystopian world type scenarios.Thanks to the publisher and Melisa for this early copy. Comes out in April 2019
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  • Dan Schwent
    January 1, 1970
    Jon Keller is in Switzerland, half a world away from his family, when Washington DC and a lot of other cities get nuked. Now, stranded in a hotel with dozens of strangers, cut off from the internet, wondering if his family is still alive, Jon and others find a girl's body in one of the hotel's water tanks...My man Easy E was bragging about how great this book was on Twitter months ago and I added it to my Netgalley wish list. Eventually, I was invited to read it and I read it on a single dreary Jon Keller is in Switzerland, half a world away from his family, when Washington DC and a lot of other cities get nuked. Now, stranded in a hotel with dozens of strangers, cut off from the internet, wondering if his family is still alive, Jon and others find a girl's body in one of the hotel's water tanks...My man Easy E was bragging about how great this book was on Twitter months ago and I added it to my Netgalley wish list. Eventually, I was invited to read it and I read it on a single dreary Sunday. It was gripping, to say the least.In a way, The Last reminds me of The Last Policeman. While the world is crumbling, one man has a mystery to solve, a mystery not a lot of other people seem to care about. In other ways, it reminds me of The Stand, a story of people surviving in the ruins of civilization. In all ways, it was one hell of a book.I was surprised at how enthralled I was with the book. Hanna Jameson does a great job at building suspense and sewing some misdirection. Her characters were surprisingly rich. It would have been easy to go with stock characters in a story like this but Jon, Tomi, Dylan, and the rest were a complex bunch. Even Peter had his hidden dimensions. The book had a paranoid feel at times, like anyone at the hotel could have been the killer, and that anyone could be hiding in the vast but nearly vacant hotel. I don't really want to reveal anything else. The Last combines my favorite things about post-apocalyptic fiction and mystery fiction. I can't recommend it enough. Five out of five stars.
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  • Ova - Excuse My Reading
    January 1, 1970
    Did you like the Walking Dead? I can describe this book a Walking Dead without Zombies!This was such a different read.The world comes to an end after the 'stupid' politicians turn each other's countries to nuclear playgrounds. Attacks on everywhere, cuts the communication, transport and destroys the order of the world as we know it. In a massive hotel building in Europe, far far away from every form of civilisation is the American lecturer Jon, stuck with some 20 strangers. The story is told via Did you like the Walking Dead? I can describe this book a Walking Dead without Zombies!This was such a different read.The world comes to an end after the 'stupid' politicians turn each other's countries to nuclear playgrounds. Attacks on everywhere, cuts the communication, transport and destroys the order of the world as we know it. In a massive hotel building in Europe, far far away from every form of civilisation is the American lecturer Jon, stuck with some 20 strangers. The story is told via Jon's diary, he writes to keep the journal of what happened in hopes of her wife Nadia might read it one day. Obvious and inevitable socialisation with other 'strangers' he is trapped with, will be a curse and gift for Jon at the same time. Not long after the end of world they discover a young girl's body in a water tank. She doesn't look like she's been attacked or anything but it's clear she's been murdered. Jon starts to investigate. Who is this girl? Who killed him and why? This is a fab social dystopia with a mystery element. Full review closer to publication date :)Thanks to Penguin for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • j e w e l s
    January 1, 1970
    THREE STARSTHE LAST is a mixture of genres: nuclear apocalypse, mystery, psychological suspense.Jon is staying at a hotel in Switzerland for a conference when everyone's phones start pinging with notifications. There is a nuclear attack underway in many parts of the world and let me assure you--the beginning part of the story is absolutely chilling. It is easy to imagine this frightening scenario. My gosh, every time my phone alerts me to the latest crazy presidential tweet, I think, "Well, this THREE STARSTHE LAST is a mixture of genres: nuclear apocalypse, mystery, psychological suspense.Jon is staying at a hotel in Switzerland for a conference when everyone's phones start pinging with notifications. There is a nuclear attack underway in many parts of the world and let me assure you--the beginning part of the story is absolutely chilling. It is easy to imagine this frightening scenario. My gosh, every time my phone alerts me to the latest crazy presidential tweet, I think, "Well, this is it. Prepare for nuclear destruction."What follows is Jon's attempts to stay sane while living in the isolated hotel with just a few other survivors. He keeps a diary each day and this is for the reader as well. He stumbles onto a murder mystery to solve within the hotel and this is what keeps him going every day.I really enjoyed the premise of the story, but ultimately it fell flat for me. In these mixed genres, I usually want the novel to go a different direction and I get bored when it doesn't. Haaa, that makes no sense--I'm sorry! For instance, I was really into the end of the world stuff, but the author doesn't spend much time exploring that because there is this "locked room" murder mystery to solve now. Too many aspects that don't quite come all the way together.My absolute favorite post-apocalyptic book is Station Eleven and I'm always comparing others to it. Oh, well..Thanks so much to Chelsea of THE SUSPENSE IS THRILLING ME for my early copy of The Last. All opinions are my own.
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    Jon Keller is an American historian that is attending a conference at a Switzerland hotel. While having breakfast one morning someone shouts out that nuclear bombs have started detonating through out many big U.S. cities. Panic ensues as people frantically try to gather any and all information possible. Soon it becomes apparent that many countries around the world have been destroyed. Some choose to leave the hotel but Jon and several other people decide the hotel is the best and safest place fo Jon Keller is an American historian that is attending a conference at a Switzerland hotel. While having breakfast one morning someone shouts out that nuclear bombs have started detonating through out many big U.S. cities. Panic ensues as people frantically try to gather any and all information possible. Soon it becomes apparent that many countries around the world have been destroyed. Some choose to leave the hotel but Jon and several other people decide the hotel is the best and safest place for them right now. When checking on the water supply they find a dead little girl. Jon decides to investigate this little girls murder and to bring her some sort of justice. The story is told through Jon's diary. As a historian he feels it is important to document their daily life. Initially this was very interesting but my interest did wane the longer I read. I didn't care about anyone in this book. Not even the murdered little girl because you never actually know her. I had no investment in wanting to solve her murder. Thankfully his investigation is weak at best. I'm not even sure why the author threw in the murder on top of the end of the world scenario. It really added nothing to this story. Also mentions of ghosts and possibly "other people" hiding out in this enormous hotel which will have you (ME!) thinking hmmm, perhaps a tinge of horror but, no, these story lines really served no purpose. My biggest issue with this book is how politically charged it is. A lot of democrat vs. republican bickering and debating which pretty much ruined this one for me but that's just me. YOU may love it! 3 stars! Thank you to NetGalley, Atria Books, and Hanna Jameson for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsThe end of the world has happened. Somebody got trigger happy with the nuclear bombs and wiped out most of the world. Well the big cities anyways. This story revolves around a group that survives. They are all at a Swiss Hotel for conferences, weird stuff, etc.After everyone does the panic thing about not having phones and internet, some resemblance of calm happens. We see everything through the eyes of Jon, he is some smarty farty type. (I kinda lost what he actually does..don't worry 3.5 starsThe end of the world has happened. Somebody got trigger happy with the nuclear bombs and wiped out most of the world. Well the big cities anyways. This story revolves around a group that survives. They are all at a Swiss Hotel for conferences, weird stuff, etc.After everyone does the panic thing about not having phones and internet, some resemblance of calm happens. We see everything through the eyes of Jon, he is some smarty farty type. (I kinda lost what he actually does..don't worry someone will correct me in the comment section.)He wants everyday life to return and he kinda whines about not knowing anyone and not being able to trust anyone. He probably shouldn't because when they are checking some water towers on the top of the hotel they find the body of a young girl. Then Jon kinda obsesses about solving her murder.The good in this book? It's actually really good. I liked the way the story evolves into humanity sorta getting kicked out the window. I loved the writing. There were some spooky moments that had me up late last night because I was determined to see how it wrapped up. I haven't done that in a minute.I think it was Stephen King who said that the sum of all human fear is just a door left slightly ajar.Heck yes.Now the bad. The stupid politics. I've been bashed before for saying I don't want political crap in my reading time. I don't. This at the beginning was well done and then it turned into a political rant of sorts. Not a fan. (Once again watch the comments I'm sure I'll get corrected.)And the stupid ending. I'm sorry if you write a really good book that book should have a decent ending. Don't just throw in the towel because you feel you have to hurry up and wrap things up. I'm over that crap. Booksource: Netgalley in exchange for review
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  • Berit☀️✨
    January 1, 1970
    A terrifying tale that was haunting, chilling, and far too real! Who Will be with you when the world comes to an end? And what kind of person will you be? This book was riveting and unique. A post apocalyptic psychological thriller, Who would’ve thought? Hanna Jameson that’s who! And can I just say I am so happy about this, this was such a compelling thought-provoking journey and I am so grateful to have taken it. This is a book that will completely ensnare both your mind and your heart. This A terrifying tale that was haunting, chilling, and far too real! Who Will be with you when the world comes to an end? And what kind of person will you be? This book was riveting and unique. A post apocalyptic psychological thriller, Who would’ve thought? Hanna Jameson that’s who! And can I just say I am so happy about this, this was such a compelling thought-provoking journey and I am so grateful to have taken it. This is a book that will completely ensnare both your mind and your heart. This book hit a little too close to home, it was simultaneously humbling and terrifying.John is a historian/professor who is at a convention in Switzerland at an isolated hotel. The hotel guests start receiving updates on their phones of nuclear bombings, whole cities being annihilated, panic ensues. Most of the guests flee even though there is news that no planes are flying. When the dust settles there are only 20 people remaining in the hotel one of them being John. Everyone shifts to survival mode it is every man/woman for themselves, yet they all need one another to really survive. Shortly after the beginning of the end a body of a young girl is discovered, is the murderer still amongst them? Not going to say much more than this, but I do think the murder mystery played a significant backseat to the psychology of surviving the end of the world.The story was told through John’s journal entries as he documented the days after the nuclear distruction. What I found so compelling about this was the social structure that formed in this time of severe crisis. Really made me think what would I do in this situation? What part would I play if I were in this hotel? The setting of the hotel itself was extremely eerie, the thought of being in a huge hotel with only 20 people was tremendously unsettling. The relationships and bonds that formed during this time, the lines that were drawn, the alliances formed, we’re all very intriguing. I really just love everything about this book, I loved how the story was revealed, how we got to know the key players right along with John. There was the perfect amount of mystery that added some major tension to the book. This is a book I would absolutely recommend to all thriller lovers. It was refreshing, unique,Disturbing, haunting, and seriously absorbing.*** many thanks to Atria and my girl Melisa for my copy of this book ***
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    Well, at 60% I'm throwing in the towel. This book has bored me to near death! There's too little happening, and most of it takes.place in the hotel, and it's all from one person's perspective. I need action! I think just the fact that nothing ever changed is what killed it for me. I'm just one of those crazy people who wouldn't be able to stay in a hotel with strangers, and I would need to know what's going on in my hemisphere. I thought about cheating and peeking at the last few chapters, but d Well, at 60% I'm throwing in the towel. This book has bored me to near death! There's too little happening, and most of it takes.place in the hotel, and it's all from one person's perspective. I need action! I think just the fact that nothing ever changed is what killed it for me. I'm just one of those crazy people who wouldn't be able to stay in a hotel with strangers, and I would need to know what's going on in my hemisphere. I thought about cheating and peeking at the last few chapters, but discovered that I have had quite enough! My thanks to Netgalley and Atria for the chance to read and review this e-book. In all honesty, it's a well written story and I think most people would enjoy it. Not me....but others!
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  • Andrew Smith
    January 1, 1970
    Jon Keller learns that the nuclear apocalypse has arrived over breakfast at a remote Swiss hotel. Looking at her mobile phone, a fellow guest gasps the news that Washington DC has just been bombed. Very quickly it becomes apparent that other major cities around the world have suffered a similar fate. Panic erupts as people rush to leave the hotel but Jon and a few others stay, as much through an inability to make a decision as by rational choice. A university professor who lives in San Francisco Jon Keller learns that the nuclear apocalypse has arrived over breakfast at a remote Swiss hotel. Looking at her mobile phone, a fellow guest gasps the news that Washington DC has just been bombed. Very quickly it becomes apparent that other major cities around the world have suffered a similar fate. Panic erupts as people rush to leave the hotel but Jon and a few others stay, as much through an inability to make a decision as by rational choice. A university professor who lives in San Francisco, Jon is unable to ascertain whether his wife and two children are safe as very quickly telephone and internet access to the outside world is lost. From this point events are captured through a series of journal entries maintained by Jon. He’s not sure anybody will ever read his record of events but he’s keen to undertake this task, just in case. Around twenty guests have remained at the hotel and nationalities and language barriers quickly create cliques within the group. And the bubbling tension is quickly exacerbated by the discovery of a body in one of the hotel’s water tanks. Is it possible that one of the remaining guests is a murderer?I do like these dystopian novels: when done well, they delve into the human psyche at every level. What has informed their fight or flight decision (if, indeed, it was a conscious choice)? Will it turn out to be the right one, or does it even matter? Will they all choose stay at the hotel or will some elect to make a run for it, even though it seems unlikely that any airports are still functioning and it's not clear whether danger now lurks outside their current confine? These and many more question will be answered. The tension constantly increases as events play out. I have to say that I got to the point that I could hardly put this book down – I’d wake up in the morning and make a barely conscious grab for it, anxious to know what was going to happen next. The character development is brilliantly done too and I found my emotional link to a number of players changing as their varying personality traits were exposed. At times the tension was excruciating and at no point did I have a sense that actions of the survivors were anything but true. And for a change, I really like how this book ended. I'll say no more.A superbly entertaining and thought provoking story - I loved it! My sincere thanks to Penguin Books (UK) and NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • NZLisaM
    January 1, 1970
    An Apocalyptic Murder Mystery!American Historian, Jon Keller, is attending a Conference at the remote L’Hotel Sixteme in Switzerland when the end of the world hits. WASHINGTON gone.LONDON gone.NEW YORK gone.BERLIN gone.SCOTTLAND gone.Decimated in nuclear attacks around the globe.Then the INTERNET dies.Jon, and the 20 staff and guests who make the decision to remain at L’Hotel Sixteme, are cut-off with no idea of what’s happening outside their walls. Has Switzerland been hit? Is there anybody els An Apocalyptic Murder Mystery!American Historian, Jon Keller, is attending a Conference at the remote L’Hotel Sixteme in Switzerland when the end of the world hits. WASHINGTON gone.LONDON gone.NEW YORK gone.BERLIN gone.SCOTTLAND gone.Decimated in nuclear attacks around the globe.Then the INTERNET dies.Jon, and the 20 staff and guests who make the decision to remain at L’Hotel Sixteme, are cut-off with no idea of what’s happening outside their walls. Has Switzerland been hit? Is there anybody else out there? Is help coming? Jon has no idea if his wife, and two daughters, living in San Francisco are still alive?Then, as if their situation isn’t dire enough, on Day Fifty, the body of a young girl is discovered floating in the sealed rooftop water tank. An autopsy by the hotel’s only doctor reveals no water in her lungs, and the estimated time of death is approximately two months ago. Is someone in the hotel a murderer? In the pursuit of justice, Jon decides to investigate, penning a historical account, written in real time, of what he discovers, so that anyone who reads it in the future will know what went on.It rare to find a book that combines ‘survivors of a nuclear attack’ and a ‘locked room Agatha Christie style murder mystery’, and I have to say I’ve never read anything quite like this before. A small isolated group of people’s growing fear, grief, uncertainty and paranoia over being trapped together, clinging to life and hope that they WILL survive, all the while praying that there are others out there working just as hard to stay alive, and that humanity stands a chance of building a future together, made this a scary and eye-opening read. Coupled with this, the possibility that one among them may be a child killer chilled me to the bone. Some parts brought The Shining to mind – grand expansive hotel in the middle of nowhere, with a dark past, and possibly haunted. Kept me on my toes constantly wondering whether the building was a sanctity or a threat – part of me wanted them to flee, part of me wanted them to stay. I would’ve preferred a more action-based plot. The scenes that were I found fast-paced and exciting, but there just wasn’t enough of them for my liking, meaning the middle of the book dragged, with not a lot happening. I already knew this going in having read other reviews, but just in case you don’t, I will say that you are never given any answers as to why the nuclear war happened in the first place, who was responsible, and no details regarding the US President and government. Somewhat frustrating, but I accept that it wasn’t relevant to the storyline. I was a little annoyed that the mystery took somewhat of a backseat, instead tended to focus on, sharing, and preserving, stories about character’s lives, although I will admit that the resolution to the mystery was immensely satisfying and surprising. Same goes for the last 100 pages, and I was very happy with how everything wrapped up, and I now understand why the plot was so character-driven. An utterly original little story, that threw me for a loop. Recommend giving it a read.
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  • megs_bookrack
    January 1, 1970
    YES!ARC received!!! A 'locked room' mystery set in a dystopian world....ummmm, was this book written specifically for me? This sounds ahhmazing!
  • Char
    January 1, 1970
    THE LAST: A NOVEL by Hanna Jameson is an intriguing look at how people might deal with the end of the world. In this case, starting with a nuclear bomb and a cell phone notification!Jon Keller and and a group of plucky survivors find themselves stranded in a resort hotel in Switzerland when nuclear bombs are dropped on bigger cities around the world. He and everyone else there are stuck with no access to the outside world-the internet goes down and cell phones no longer work. With no ability to THE LAST: A NOVEL by Hanna Jameson is an intriguing look at how people might deal with the end of the world. In this case, starting with a nuclear bomb and a cell phone notification!Jon Keller and and a group of plucky survivors find themselves stranded in a resort hotel in Switzerland when nuclear bombs are dropped on bigger cities around the world. He and everyone else there are stuck with no access to the outside world-the internet goes down and cell phones no longer work. With no ability to communicate Jon has no idea how his family is faring back in the U.S. On top of all that, the group discovers the dead body of a young girl in the water tank atop the hotel. When was this girl killed and why was her body tossed into the water tank? Will Jon and the others survive, and if so-what will they have to do to do so? You'll have to read this to find out!I was impressed with the writing style as it was so relatable and it flowed easily throughout. Most of the main characters were fleshed out beautifully, however there were a few more that we never learned much about. I think that was a wise decision-because focusing any more on the lesser members of the group would have detracted too much from the story. As the characters came to know each other, we came to know them as well. Of course, conflicts between them arose-some more important than others. Political views become involved and depending on where YOU stand on the political spectrum you may or may not enjoy that turn of events. (But isn't it just like people to argue over politics when it's possible that "politics" no longer even exist? Humanity just has to have someone to blame, doesn't it?)Jon styles himself the journalist of the group and as such collects everyone's stories while he also becomes rather obsessed with the murdered girl. As such, he also becomes a detective of sorts, interrogating people and trying to get justice of any kind for the victim. There were interesting threads that cropped up during this story-some followed through, some not so much. There was also the constant fear of being attacked by other survivors as well as the very real fears of running out of food and water.My only issues with this tale were the leads that ended up going nowhere and the fact that the ending seemed to wind up too quickly. I would have liked to have learned more about the possible supernatural aspects, (as in did they exist or not?), and also, a little more about the denouement, which I can't get further into here without spoilers. These items are a bit picayune, but hey, that's how I felt.Hanna Jameson has a hit on her hands with THE LAST: A NOVEL. It was intriguing and mysterious, while at the same time entertaining and engaging. I hit a certain point during reading when I knew there was no longer any way to put this book down without knowing what happened. I HAD to know and I bet you will need to as well, if you give this book a chance. I highly recommend that you do!*Thank you to Atria and NetGalley for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*
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  • Whispering Stories
    January 1, 1970
    Book Reviewed by Cara on www.whisperingstories.comStaying at L’Hotel Sixieme in Switzerland, having attended a conference, Jon wakes up one morning to find he has survived the end of the world; major countries and cities throughout have been victim to nuclear attacks. Stranded in the hotel with fear of what might await him outside, Jon starts to document the present events in the hope this will one day be read if they are rescued. A few days after the attacks, Jon finds the body of a young girl Book Reviewed by Cara on www.whisperingstories.comStaying at L’Hotel Sixieme in Switzerland, having attended a conference, Jon wakes up one morning to find he has survived the end of the world; major countries and cities throughout have been victim to nuclear attacks. Stranded in the hotel with fear of what might await him outside, Jon starts to document the present events in the hope this will one day be read if they are rescued. A few days after the attacks, Jon finds the body of a young girl in one of the hotel’s water tanks and suspects there may be a killer within their group. We follow him as he investigates the death as well as try to outlast the nuclear devastation.The Last is a day by day account of the happenings in the hotel through the eyes of Jon, our stories main character. There are a mixture of other characters; some quiet; some feisty and some with something to hide.The way the story is written is clear and detailed and makes you feel like you are part of the journey. Seeing though the main characters eyes, I felt I could connect to him better as he reacted to situations like the majority of us would.As the book progresses we start to learn the background to each of the survivors in the hopes of finding the young girl’s killer. It is interesting to learn about each character and how different their lives were from each other before the devastation and how they reacted to such events.The hotel itself has a very similar history to that of the famous Cecil Hotel in America and due to this I sometimes found myself picturing this hotel instead which made it difficult for me to enjoy the location.I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the build up was great but I felt like the reveal was rushed. I did not find myself with any unanswered questions but when reading, I felt like a lot of information had been thrown at me in one go, just to round off the story. This does not mean I would not like to read more of the authors books, the overall story was interesting and entertaining but due to the reveal I give the story 3.5 out of 5.
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  • Darinda
    January 1, 1970
    Jon is staying at a hotel in Switzerland when nuclear war breaks out. The hotel is in a remote enough location that the employees and guests of the hotel are safe from the bombs, but cut off from society. Some people from the hotel decide to leave and find their way home, but Jon and 20 or so others remain at the hotel. After a couple of months in the hotel, the water pressure starts to disappear. While investigating the cause, the body of a young girl is found. Jon takes it upon himself to find Jon is staying at a hotel in Switzerland when nuclear war breaks out. The hotel is in a remote enough location that the employees and guests of the hotel are safe from the bombs, but cut off from society. Some people from the hotel decide to leave and find their way home, but Jon and 20 or so others remain at the hotel. After a couple of months in the hotel, the water pressure starts to disappear. While investigating the cause, the body of a young girl is found. Jon takes it upon himself to find out what happened to the girl, and he becomes obsessed with identifying the killer. Meanwhile, supplies decrease and tensions between the hotel residents increase.Jon is an American visiting Switzerland for an academic conference. The novel is told from his point of view using a diary/journal style. Jon and his wife have a troubled marriage, and he feels guilty for how he left things with her. Part of his behavior is a result of his guilt, and his need to make things right. We never know much about the attacks, just that various cities in the United States and Europe have been bombed. After the attacks, communication (i.e., internet access) is mostly lost. The hotel has resources, so they have basics like food, water, and shelter. It would have been nice to know a little more about the attacks, but that is not the primary focus of the story. The relationships between the survivors is the focus, and is very realistic. The hotel residents are varied in their nationalities, backgrounds, beliefs, and personalities. This seems accurate, and creates a lot of conflict. This novel is more of a character study, and not a lot of action takes place. Based on the book description, I was expecting more mystery than is delivered. Still, the characters and their interactions were believable and interesting.Fantastic setting. Interesting characters. Slow paced. Good for fans of apocalyptic stories with a little mystery.
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  • Juli
    January 1, 1970
    Jon had a fight with his wife and left for a conference in Switzerland, frustrated and angry. He thought he had all the time in the world to fix his relationship with his kids and his wife. But, widespread nuclear attacks destroy modern society and he's left stranded with a small group of survivors at a remote Swiss hotel. Not only do they have to worry about radiation, dwindling food and supplies, and other survivors....but they find a child's body floating in one of the hotel's water tanks. It Jon had a fight with his wife and left for a conference in Switzerland, frustrated and angry. He thought he had all the time in the world to fix his relationship with his kids and his wife. But, widespread nuclear attacks destroy modern society and he's left stranded with a small group of survivors at a remote Swiss hotel. Not only do they have to worry about radiation, dwindling food and supplies, and other survivors....but they find a child's body floating in one of the hotel's water tanks. It's the end of the world as they know it....20 people holed up in a deserted hotel.....possibly with a murderer. And Jon has no idea if his wife and kids are even still alive. Yikes!I enjoyed this story. The plot has a lot going on....a murder investigation, the fight to survive, personality conflicts. It definitely kept my attention from start to finish. The ending was a little bit strange....but after I thought about it, I think it is a fitting and realistic end. I like books that make me think about how I would react to similar circumstances. Jon and the other survivors had to make some rough life and death decisions. I'm not sure I would make the same ones, but I can understand their reactions to things like a rapist, going on supply runs and how to handle a murder investigation in the middle of extreme chaos. I'm not sure what I would do if I were away from my family when a society-ending event occurred. Would I try to get back home and hope they survived? Would I stay where I was and always wonder what happened to them? I hope I never have to face anything like Jon went through in this book. All in all, a great book. I've read a lot of end-of-the-world disaster stories, but this one was different and creative. It didn't just focus on the disaster and the struggle to survive, but also touched on how the situation would change everything -- relationships, acceptable behavior, morals, etc. The story really got me thinking about how a world-level cataclysmic event would change life as I know it completely. I love it when a book gets me thinking big thoughts. This one definitely did! Full stars from me! **I voluntarily read an advanced readers copy of this book from Atria Books via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**
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  • Kendall
    January 1, 1970
    Wow... this was a very unique thriller! This was a mix of dystopian, mystery, and some psychological suspense. This was a very frightening premise in the fact that there is a nuclear war going on. Twenty survivors are trapped in a large hotel in Switzerland as the nuclear attack is going on. The story is told from Jon's perspective who is one of the survivors from the hotel. I loved how the story was told from his journal entries!! Of course to add more hype to this story... there is a murder th Wow... this was a very unique thriller! This was a mix of dystopian, mystery, and some psychological suspense. This was a very frightening premise in the fact that there is a nuclear war going on. Twenty survivors are trapped in a large hotel in Switzerland as the nuclear attack is going on. The story is told from Jon's perspective who is one of the survivors from the hotel. I loved how the story was told from his journal entries!! Of course to add more hype to this story... there is a murder that takes place in the hotel. The story really takes off once the hunt for the killer begins. I was super excited to get my hands on this one... but had mixed reviews/feelings on this one. It fell a tad bit flat for me.. and was hoping for more action/mystery. I also was wanting more from the creepiness factor of the hotel... thought the story would take a turn there but was disappointed in wanting more. I could definitely see this as being an excellent series or movie! :) I'm glad I took a chance on reading this.. since its' not my usual genre. Huge thank you to Atria for providing the arc via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.3 stars! Publication date: 4/9/19Published to GR: 11/12/18
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  • Donna Backshall
    January 1, 1970
    If there were a nuclear event that affected the globe, and you found yourself stranded in a highly remote (and virtually unaffected) area in Switzerland, what would you do? This is the unnerving question we, as readers, face as we read The Last: A Novel.As much as we'd like to romanticize the situation, imagining gallant heroes swooping in to save the day, or creating some frenzied apocalyptic nightmare with zombies and terminators, the truth is that in reality not a lot would happen right away. If there were a nuclear event that affected the globe, and you found yourself stranded in a highly remote (and virtually unaffected) area in Switzerland, what would you do? This is the unnerving question we, as readers, face as we read The Last: A Novel.As much as we'd like to romanticize the situation, imagining gallant heroes swooping in to save the day, or creating some frenzied apocalyptic nightmare with zombies and terminators, the truth is that in reality not a lot would happen right away. The little that did would happen agonizingly slowly. You would have time to second guess every move you did or did not make, and you'd be rightfully fearful of the unknown, of which there is plenty to go around. What of modern society will change? What will remain? Will you approach this new reality with paranoia? Compassion? Strength? Raw instinct?Jon is an historian, and finds himself eager to chronicle the days after the bombs, if for no other reason than to have something to occupy his stunned mind. Stranded with a very few random people, no Internet, no information, dwindling supplies -- he needs something, anything to fill the void after the constant noise and fast pace of his former 21st century modern life vanished. Hanna Jameson's The Last: A Novel is presented as Jon's record of the days and months following the bombs, offering his view of the people, the situation, and their ideas of what's "out there" beyond the somewhat comforting walls of the hotel they occupy. What they expect, and what they find, often diverges greatly, and it's fascinating to see their expectations clashing with reality.Is this the great thriller of 2019? No, but it's not supposed to be. It's not all frenzy, insanity and filthy people fighting mutants to survive; it's thoughtful, tempered and real. And haunting. Oh, and definitely creepy. If you are looking for a book that will force you to consider what you'd actually do if the world as we know it ends, this is a strong one to choose.A special thanks to Atria Books US and NetGalley who honored me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Louise Wilson
    January 1, 1970
    A nuclear weapon detonates over Washington. London is hit, thousands are feared dead. Munich and Scotland are hit. World leaders call for calm. Historian, Jon Keller is on a trip to Switzerland when the world ends. As the light go out on civilisation, he he had a way of knowing whether his wife, Nadia and their two daughters were still alive. Jon is stranded in a hotel with loads of strangers. They find a little girls body in one of the hotels water tanks. Jon decides to investigate the little g A nuclear weapon detonates over Washington. London is hit, thousands are feared dead. Munich and Scotland are hit. World leaders call for calm. Historian, Jon Keller is on a trip to Switzerland when the world ends. As the light go out on civilisation, he he had a way of knowing whether his wife, Nadia and their two daughters were still alive. Jon is stranded in a hotel with loads of strangers. They find a little girls body in one of the hotels water tanks. Jon decides to investigate the little girls murder.The story is told through Jon's diary. Being a historian, he feels it's important documenting their daily life. We don't know a lot about the attacks, just that Europe and the USA have been bombed. The author has done a marvellous job of capturing what could happen in the event of a nuclear war. With the right pace and strong characters this book will appeal to lots of readers. I felt the ending was a little forced.I would like to thank NetGalley, Penguin Books (UK) and the author Hanna Jameson for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Erin Clemence
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review. Jon ignored the text message from his wife, thinking he had time to answer it. While in Switzerland at a conference, the world ends- nuclear war starts, and countries all over the globe are demolished. Somehow, the hotel where Jon is staying has been relatively unscathed. Along with twenty other survivors, Jon tries to make the best of the world left behind. When he discove Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review. Jon ignored the text message from his wife, thinking he had time to answer it. While in Switzerland at a conference, the world ends- nuclear war starts, and countries all over the globe are demolished. Somehow, the hotel where Jon is staying has been relatively unscathed. Along with twenty other survivors, Jon tries to make the best of the world left behind. When he discovers the body of a young girl in one of the water tanks, Jon tries to focus on solving the little girls’ murder, in hopes of maintaining his sanity and his humanity. Soon enough, Jon, is caught up in a battle over who to trust, and whether or not one of the survivors in his midst could indeed be the murderer of the young girl. Are any of them safe? Is the killer still out there? Will he ever be reunited with his wife and children? Hanna Jameson is a new author to me, although evidently her four previous works are readily available in Europe. Her first North American novel, “The Last”, is dystopian fiction, with a little bit of The Shining for that extra amount of creepiness. There are plenty of characters in this novel, and they are hard to keep track of at first. However, once familiarity is established, each brings its own level of importance to the novel. Not only is “The Last” haunting and creepy, but it leaves one questioning so many things. How would you react to the end of the world? What would be considered ‘normal’? Who do you trust when you know no one? Would you run? Would you stay? Jameson’s novel leaves you with all of these questions, and many more. The protagonist, Jon, narrates the story from beginning to end, mostly in order, although parts of the very beginning are scattered (because Jon’s memory of the day is scattered, or so he claims). The storyline is easy to follow, and with each chapter ending with a cliff hanger moment, the novel is an easy read that is simply un-put-downable. I would have liked to have known more about the event that triggered the end of the world. In “The Last”, we get some snippets (mostly, though, I felt like there was a political agenda. Those who voted for “him” and those who “didn’t”, debated throughout the novel about who was to blame) but the issue itself was not examined enough. A creepy, dystopian novel with a satisfying and intriguing ending, “The Last” brings something new and unexpected to the table. A creative novel by a new (to me) author, I will definitely seek out any future works Jameson brings to the North American market.
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