Written by Micheal Adams
Published in Australia February 26th 2014
416 Pages of awesome
Thank you to Allen and Unwin
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After facing the heartbreaking truth in Shadow Valley, Danby is determined to have her revenge on Jack.With Jack dead, her little brother Evan and hundreds of other Minions will be free of his control. With Jack dead, she and her friend Nathan will be able to revive thousands more from the millions of catatonic Goners. But what if she's wrong - about everything?After Danby confronts Jack on a dying stretch of highway, all of her beliefs are turned inside out. Not only are his feelings for her real, he's working against the clock to save lives and rebuild society. To Danby's horror, it's Nathan who appears to threaten the new order.With her emotions raging and blood on her hands, Danby has to take a side in a deadly battle that'll decide the future of the world. And as allies become enemies and foes turn into friends, she'll have to embrace methods so dark that the price of survival may be her very soul.
Danby remains in Shadow Valley, preparing for the fight of her life. It's now been seven long days since the world ended with the phenomenon known The Snap, where your inner most thoughts are being broadcast into the minds of all those around you. Danby now realises that Jack isn't the savior he pretends to be. He's amassing an army of Minions, awakening their minds, but controlling their bodies and only those diagnosed with Situs Inversus are immune. But it isn't as simple as killing Jack, or Danby may risk the lives of everyone under Jack's control, including Danby's brother Evan. With Nathan missing and wounded, it's Danby's responsibility to end Jack's reign... But what if she's wrong?
The only option Danby has, is to use Jack's genuine feelings towards her to earn his trust. She needs to appear to be working with Jack, not against him. But Jack pleads his innocence, having nothing to do with the trail of deceased victims on the return journey from Shadow Valley, and claims while Danby was gone, he's been reviving survivors and putting them to use. Jack wants to build a safe society and has set up a camp of refugees, all but twelve controlled by Jack. There are twelve other Specials like Danby who are working for Jack, unaware that he controls the majority of the camp inhabitants. It seems the only way to tell who isn't under Jack's control is to see who's armed. Those in control of themselves aren't offered firearms, Jack clearly not trusting those not under his mind control. But perhaps what Jack is trying to accomplish isn't as sinister as Danby believes, and she finds herself falling for the boy who has the compacity to change the world.
But Danby refuses to let her guard down, and when it seems a showdown between two foes is on the horizon, she realises she's been used as a pawn. She and Evan are on the run for their lives, with an army and arsenal gunning her down. The Specials are now a wanted race, their differences are enough to warrant their executions. It's now kill or be killed, but can Danby move from average teen to cold blooded murderer?
The Last Shot was phenomenal, and most of you would know that I rarely find myself giddy over a book, or a series for that matter. This is the immaculate example of brilliant Australian post apocalyptic, which leads me to draw the comparison with John Marsden's Tomorrow series. But unlike John Marsden, Michael Adams has built on the success of The Last Girl and has produced a brilliant second installment. Danby is the reluctant hero, she isn't a fighter, and up until a week ago, she was simply another teen living with her father, flighty stepmother and half brother Evan. It's incredible what can change in only seven days.
Jack is the ultimate anti villain. He's seemingly warm and sensitive, but simmering just under the surface, he's ruthless and cold. He's the sexy, deranged godly figure that holds humanity in his hands. His influential power drives him to the point of being a madman. Although Jack has the potential to destroy, his feelings for Danby seem genuine. I found myself completely invested in Jack's character, so much more so than Nathan. I can understand how Danby is feeling so torn, I switch between loving his character and loathing him.
The Last Girl was incredible, but this one will blow your socks clean off your feet. Most readers will draw the same comparison to the John Marsden series, but realistically, the two couldn't be more different. The Last Girl series is far superior, and the author has created the ultimate Australian post apocalyptic that will appeal to a far greater audience than simple young adult fans. It's authors such as Michael Adams that have bred new life into Aussie young adult, fresh storylines, brilliantly crafted characters and an epic cliffhanger that completely wiped the smile off my face. This man can write a heart stopping ending like nobody's business.
Well played Mr Adams. Well played.