September 13, 2016
The Last Girl, by Joe Hart
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.
I’m a fan of the dystopian genre. I’m a fan of stories in which society is collapsing. I love situational writing. The Last Girl has all three. I even appreciated the weird cult religion that kept the girls locked up, and mentally abused. The parallels found in our society have been the subject of many a newscast. The premise is promising, and I fully grasped the severity of the situation presented in the book.
The writing had an interesting tone to it, and I gave the author credit that this was done intentionally to illustrate the “lost in a world not her own” of the protagonist. The writing also moved along at a steady pace, each chapter leading to the conclusion of this first book. There was more than one twist I didn’t see, and I enjoyed the read overall. I’m glad I chose this for my February Kindle First book.
Now on to the one thing that really bothered me about this book: There’s no satisfying ending. The story reaches a logical conclusion, but there are too many threads left dangling. Now, I can appreciate that this is the first book in a series, but I just feel cheated by the ending. I won’t go into detail as to not spoil anything, but it left me unsatisfied.
The ending has made an otherwise four-star read into a three-star read. If all the books in the series were readily available, then I wouldn’t be so harsh, because I would like to continue reading the series. It looks as if I have to wait until September 2016 for book two. I just hope I don’t lose interest by then.
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.