Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.
I'm just trying to light up the world as much as I can one SciFi/paranormal/fantasy/space opera/time travel book at a time.
Hello from way up on this sturdy fence that I find myself straddling. I'm stuck here, debating pros and cons, wondering which will prevail and persuade me to its side.
I'll start off by saying that The Last Human is a cute romp through Space. It has a very unique premise with sweeping ideas that are difficult to wrap my brain around at times. Ideas about Life, the unfathomable vastness of the Cosmos and we, cosmic Beings. This is more pronounced in the parts of the story that speak of how awe inspiring and terrifying the enormity of Nature is and how beautiful and oft times inescapable Chaos can be. It proposes an infinite number of varying inhabitants in this grand place we call Space plus its innumerable Stars, Galaxies, Universes and more (?!?). Is our knowledge about our Universe just a blip in an intelligent design too intricate for us to comprehend? Are we tiny cells in a body too great to fathom? Veering away from that theme there is also a supposition that Luck might simply be the result of higher intellectual Beings manipulating and guiding our lives to their whims. All of these concepts are proposed and batted around in The Last Human.
This premise sounds especially yummy for those like me who flock to Space Operas like a moth to flame BUT the plot was hard to get through in places causing me to sporadically lose focus and interest. It literally took me over a week to finish this read. For me, a read that takes 11 days is a read that has dragged on 9 days too long. There weren't any glaring issues with the pacing but still I stumbled and plodded along, especially at the 3/4 mark. So, why did I lose interest you might ask? Well, to be honest I'm not quite sure. Does that answer suck? Why yes, yes it does SO I'll inspect the Trifecta of Awesomeness ( Writing Quality + Character Building + World Development) and try to find the answer somewhere in there.
So, the writing was decent. The scope of the World Development was grandiose and mindboggling at times!! There was a staggering amount of speculated solar systems and species on (and off) the Network- a megalomaniac, sentient program that unifies millions of species allowing those connected to understand each other's speech, to have easy inter-species chatting with visible text that hangs in the air above with the sender's emotions attached as well, mind to mind direct conversations with some, and a plethora of other detailed information readily available for connected users.
Was it the Characters then that were bogging things down? It's doubtful. This book boasted a bunch of new, diverse species as well as sentient machines. How can that be boring? Well, it turned out to be bipolar like me, interesting yet boring... weird huh??
We have our MC, known by a few names by the end of the book but mostly referred to as Sarya the Daughter. She's a Human that was loyally raised by an armed and dangerous, spider-like apex predator called a Widow. Sarya unwittingly picks up a lot of attitude and a mannerism or two from dear old (scary killer) surrogate mom. Sarya's a picture perfect case of Nature vs Nurture! Which one will win out? You'll have to wait until book #2 to see. Sarya is constantly underestimated. She is a fighter and a true survivor with a kick ass attitude towards life. She is literally raging against the Powers That Be... going after THE Man, THE Network, overcoming her species' destructive behavior, lust for dominance and predilection for Chaos. She rolls with the punches and readily adapts to rapidly fluctuating situations BUT her plight, her destiny, her obsession became tiresome and I'm not sure why.
Some secondary characters were interesting too. They were fleshed... errr furred... errr chitinous exoskeletoned out (it's a thing) and even a few turned out to be quite lovable/loathable. Some grew on me like a mold and some chafed and niggled from the start but the characters were relateable/ hateable and dimensional and that's saying a lot.
All of this sounds promising right?!? I thought so too, that's why I requested this arc for review. Now, with the holidays upon us, I admit that I've been stressed out and overextended trying to get things ready so I can rock a large Thanksgiving weekend at my place SO it might be a stellar case of "It's not you, it's me" BUT I have no way of discerning that, only time (and many reviews) will determine if that is the case.
::: Deep breath:::
Sorry for the blatant runon but when a thought comes together in my head I must follow it wherever it goes... I'm old, either use it or lose it... BUT I digress!
I wanted to like this one... NAY, I wanted and was ready to love, adore and covet this one but alas, it wasn't meant to be (for me). For me it was hit and miss and the rating reflects that. Although it had all the right ingredients, it flowed like cold honey in places and that's hard to stomach. It was an interstellar romp through Space that instantaneously traversed solar systems and universes at FTL speed, ended up docking at MEH and never fully recovered. The ending was anticlimactic and confusing as to where things were headed. It saddens me to yuck someone's hard work, especially because I requested the honor of accepting it into my life (for free) and passing judgment on it (also for free) BUT in the end the book turned out to be just decent and unfortunately that's a huge letdown. I feel like I could have easily spent my limited time doing something more productive such as: getting the brine ready sooner so the turkey could marinade longer, spending quality alone time with my daughter who is growing up at the speed of light and not looking back no matter how much I plead with her to slow down and enjoy being young OR I could have blissfully slept in.
End runon rant #2
Anywho, I needed to accomplish all of those activities (yes, sleeping is an activity in my house) above at some point during the week but you (probably) know how it is with us bibliophiles... get a book... errr ereader in hand and the world melts away. This sounds awesome too right? Well, you'll have to read Last Human and see for yourself but if you do would you please write a review so I can see which side of the fence you land on?
This book might appeal to some avid, patient, lovers of Space Operas. Those that adore books featuring a cornucopia of diverse species, diabolical plans to take over all known universes BUT although that sounds like my Tribe, it wasn't a snug fit. I believe there's a place, a reading community, perfectly suited for this book and although that wasn't 100% me this time, it might be you AND if it is, I won't judge... I'm not really a judgey kind of person anyway unless you're a tempting tome... a juicy bit of literature passing my way.
Final 2 cents:
I most likely will not be moving on to book #2 but I'll leave it, respectfully, at "Let's Wait and See".
~ Enjoy (or don't)
*** I was given a copy of this book by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review ***