The Last One

by Alexandra Oliva

Action / Adventure / Spy / Espionage Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel eBooks of the Month Modern and Classic Literary Fiction Thriller and Suspense

LoveReading View on The Last One

One of our Books of the Year 2016.

The Post-Apocalyptic setting is so popular today that it is becoming annoying, so it is great to get a book like this one; not only well written but offering a new angle on the old story. Lone survivors must cope with harsh conditions, that’s always a given, but the protagonist of this story is already lost and surviving alone as part of a reality-TV wilderness show. Her first-person narrative alternates with scenes from the show’s early days of filming, when it was just a game. What results is not just a journey through the wilds but a personal struggle with inner darkness and the nature of reality. No zombies, thank goodness, just an honest and plausible thriller obviously written by someone with a brain as hints, threads and twists weave together in a compelling and disturbing tale. Excellent stuff.

July 2016 Debut of the Month and eBook of the Month.

Sarah Broadhurst

The Last One Synopsis

******* A dazzling and unsettling novel of psychological suspense. Survival is the name of the game as one woman's mind and body are pushed to the limit. TWELVE CONTESTANTS When Zoo agrees to take part in a new reality TV show, In the Dark, she knows that she will be tested to the limits of her endurance. Beating eleven competitors in a series of survival tasks deep in the forest, living on camera at the extremes of her comfort zone, will be the ultimate challenge before she returns home to start a family. A GAME WITH NO END As the contestants are overcome by hunger, injury and psychological breakdown, the mind games, tricks and hazards to which Zoo is subjected grow dark beyond belief. This isn't what she signed up for: the deserted towns and gruesome props, the empty loneliness. Is this a game with no end? And what is happening away from the cameras' gaze? Discovering the truth will be just the beginning...AN ALTERED REALITY Translated into over twenty languages, The Last One is a gripping, provocative tale of survival - of the fittest, of the best loved, of the relationships that sustain us. It's a searingly modern thriller and a timeless story of a woman's journey home.

The Last One Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Celia Cohen - 'A clever, superbly written psychological thriller which will haunt you long after you have finished reading it.'
  • Helen Claire - 'The Hunger Games meets Running Man!! This had me reading at the bus stop, on the bus, at lunchtime and way past my bedtime. All I wanted to do was read – Could not put it down.'
  • Alfred Nobile - 'A harrowing and intense read that grips and keeps you turning the pages.'
  • Cathy Small - 'Imagine The Hunger Games vs The Predator and you will get a feel for this book but you will find yourself drawn to Zoo to see how strong she is and can she carry on.'
  • Sheila Johnson - 'the book was a pleasure to read and would make a good escapist holiday read.'
  • Les Wood - 'An Interesting Concept...I enjoyed the writing but am not convinced by the story as a whole. I would have liked more about the individuals involved'
  • Val Rowe - 'I have never read anything quite like this before, but I am so glad that I did as it has made quite an impact on me.'
  • Melanie Rose - 'Survival - real or staged? Anyone into reality shows would enjoy this but it just wasn't my cup of tea.'
  • Sharon McKinlay - 'Very intense book.'
  • Sally Doel - 'this is a brilliant dark and psychological story that will appeal to everyone.'
  • Jocelyn Garvey - 'Once you are into this book it grips as the show is meant to but we know more than they do!'
  • Dawn Lynch - 'I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, it kept me gripped from beginning to end.'
  • Teresa O'Halloran - 'A very clever debut from an author to watch.'
  • Margaret Madden - 'TV reality show that pushed its contestants to the limit. A cross between Black Mirror and Survivor, this is a thrilling debut that will have you doubting what you are reading.'

The Last One Press Reviews

'A high-concept, high-octane affair ... The conceit is undoubtedly clever and well executed, but what makes The Last One such a page-turner is Zoo herself: practical, tough-minded and appealing' Guardian

'Clever in its concept and gripping in its delivery. This propulsive book is for everyone who ever thought reality television signalled the end of the world. Haunting, moving, and remarkable' -- Karen Joy Fowler, Booker-shortlisted author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

'The Last One seamlessly melds two of our contemporary obsessions -- the threat of global catastrophe; the staged drama of reality TV -- into a fiercely imagined tale of the human psyche under stress. An uncompromising, thought-provoking debut' -- Justin Cronin, author of international bestseller The Passage

'Taut, tense and at times almost unbearably real, The Last One is both a compelling read, and a terrifyingly believable evocation of survival against the odds' -- Ruth Ware, author of international bestseller In a Dark, Dark Wood

'Alexandra Oliva's apocalyptic thriller The Last One poses another deeply relevant question: How is reality created and perpetuated by the media? Oliva brilliantly scrutinizes the recorded (and heavily revised) narratives we believe, and the last 100 pages will have the reader constantly guessing just what Zoo is capable of doing to find her way back home.' Washington Post

'Page-turning and deeply unsettling.' -- Rosamund Lupton, author of international bestseller Sister

'Tense and gorgeous and so damn clever. I loved every second.' -- Lauren Beukes, author of international bestseller The Shining Girls

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781405923187
Publication date: 29/12/2016
Publisher: Michael Joseph Ltd an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780718182502
Publication date: 14/07/2016
Publisher: Michael Joseph Ltd an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780718182502
Publication date: 14th July 2016
Author: Alexandra Oliva
Publisher: Michael Joseph Ltd an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Hardback
Genres: Action Adventure / Spy, Reader Reviewed Books, eBook Favourites, Literary Fiction, Reading Groups, Thriller / Suspense,
Categories:

About Alexandra Oliva

Alexandra Oliva grew up in a small town deep in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. She earned a BA in History from Yale University in 2005 and an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School University in 2011. She now lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and their brindled mutt, Codex. The Last One is her first novel. Author photo © Lynn Paul

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