BOOK REVIEW | THE LAST GIRL
TITLE: The Last Girl (A Dominion Trilogy, Book 1)
AUTHOR: Joe Hart
PUBLISHER: Thomas & Mercer
RELEASE DATE: March 1, 2016
GENRE: Mystery & Thrillers, General Fiction (Adult)
A mysterious worldwide epidemic reduces the birthrate of female infants from 50 percent to less than 1 percent. Medical science and governments around the world scramble in an effort to solve the problem, but twenty-five years later there is no cure, and an entire generation grows up with a population of fewer than a thousand women.
Zoey and some of the surviving young women are housed in a scientific research compound dedicated to determining the cause. For two decades, she’s been isolated from her family, treated as a test subject, and locked away—told only that the virus has wiped out the rest of the world’s population.
Captivity is the only life Zoey has ever known, and escaping her heavily armed captors is no easy task, but she’s determined to leave before she is subjected to the next round of tests…a program that no other woman has ever returned from. Even if she’s successful, Zoey has no idea what she’ll encounter in the strange new world beyond the facility’s walls. Winning her freedom will take brutality she never imagined she possessed, as well as all her strength and cunning—but Zoey is ready for war. (Description from NetGalley.com)
Are there times when you feel like you’re in a prison? When you feel like you have no control of what’s going to happen to you? Zoey (who has no clue what her last name is) has been a prisoner of a facility known as the ARC the majority of her life. She’s only allowed to eat certain foods, read certain books, and has to abide by the rules or be punished. All this because she’s one of the few young girls left in the world. They take these young girls from their families and take away their freedom.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Last Girl. The first part of the book brings you into the ARC and what Zoey’s daily life is like. She’s escorted everywhere and has to stick to a schedule that includes wearing certain outfits, communal eating, and doing laundry. Her life essentially is not her own.
The second part of the book details her escape from the ARC and her first few days of freedom in the world, but unfortunately doesn’t have time to enjoy it while they are searching for her and while she’s injured. Zoey encounters many many obstacles during her escape from hunger to running into men who want nothing more then to violate and sell her.
When I first started reading this book, I was siding more with the people running the ARC because these are the last few women on earth that might be able to produce a female birth. They are protected, fed, and have a space of their own, but as I continued to read I started to understand Zoey’s struggle. I can’t imagine not being able to decide what I get to do each day, what I get to eat, what I get to read, and who I can spend my time with. It’s not living which is part of what fueled Zoey to fight back.
When Zoey escapes from the ARC is when I really got into the book. The author made me feel Zoey’s pain when she was running away trying to stay alive. I felt like my heart was beating with her’s with each man she killed for her freedom. It was like I was there experiencing it for myself. I thought about what would be going through my head seeing the wilderness for the first time while on the brink of death. Seeing the world for what it was rather then what was told to her. I’d be frightened just like she was. I’d be confused just like she was. I’d be angry.
The lead character, Zoey, is another aspect of the book that I loved. At first you think she’s just a small fragile girl that just continues to go through the motions, but she’s actually this very strong woman fighting for what she wants out of life and fighting for those she cares about. There are many times when a weak person might die, but she didn’t. She fought and fought hard.
Overall, I would highly recommend The Last Girl. It’s full of intense scenes that keep your heart pumping and it’s impossible to put down. It’s like you’re experiencing everything first hand. It’s a great thriller with a strong female lead that keeps you rooting for her until the end. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joe Hart was born and raised in northern Minnesota, where he still resides today. He’s been writing horror and thriller fiction since he was nine years old. He is the author of five novels and numerous short stories, including the books The River Is Dark, Lineage, and The Waiting. When he’s not writing, Joe enjoys reading, working out, watching movies with his family, and spending time outdoors. (Bio found on www.joehartbooks.com).
Thank you to Joe Hart and Thomas & Mercer for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.