Review: The Last Shot by Michael Adams

20645231.jpgThe Last Shot by Michael Adams
Published by: Allen & Unwin
Publication Date: March 1st, 2014
Series: The Last Trilogy, #1
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Format: Paperback
Pages: 407
Rating: 5
Date Read: 30/04/2014
Links: Goodreads | Kobo | Booktopia | Book Depository | Amazon | Book 1

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.

The Last Shot is the sequel to The Last Girl, a brilliant début set in a post-apocalyptic Sydney. The Last Shot takes up immediately after the last book, and follows Danby as she makes her way back to Jack, determined to kill him to avenge her mother.

Set in and around Sydney, Australia, The Last Girl explained how the world ended in a snap and Danby decided to take her little brother, Ethan, and go to her mother’s mountain retreat in the nearby Blue Mountains. Along the way she meets Nathan and Jack. Both have plans on how to rebuild the world out of the devastation. Nathan’s ideas she agrees with but is not sure how it will work in reality. But Jack’s version terrifies her.

The Last Shot opens with Danby at her mother’s retreat in the Blue Mountains. She thinks that Jack has betrayed her, but her brother’s life is under Jack’s control to ensure her good behaviour. Danby has no idea where Nathan is but needs to find him, save her brother, and then do something about Jack, not necessarily in that order. For the first couple of chapters Danby spends time thinking through her alternatives, plotting and planning until she decides the answer is to kill Jack. But even that is not straight forward as is she is not sure that he is really as evil, and he does appear to really like her.

Jack is the centre of a huge collective mind with hundreds of minions that do his bidding without even knowing that they are being controlled. But Jack doesn’t believe he is bad, he genuinely believes he is doing the right thing and if he has to slaughter innocent people to achieve his goals then that is what he must do.

A week ago Danby was a typical teenager, now she and her friends have to be a cold-blooded killers – or be killed.

The pace starts of slow, as Danby decides on which course to take, the pace picks up and then after the showdown the pace just doesn’t stop until the very last page.

Jack is the ultimate anti villain. He’s seemingly warm and sensitive, but simmering just under the surface, he’s ruthless and cold. 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. 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 was so much better. I really liked this book. The ending literally made this book for me, and I didn’t see that coming at all. This whole book was very unexpected for me, I couldn’t predict what was going to happen, or what I wanted to happen. Things just changed so quickly that it was hard to keep up.

Danby has really grown up in this book. When we first see her in The Last Girl, she was new to this kind of thing, and didn’t really know what she was doing. In this second book, the realization from the ending of The Last Girl, has her on a new path and a new goal. She goes from hating Jack, with a passion, then back to loving him again and falling for his tricks, then back to hating him again. She is a bit all over the place for me in this book and it’s kind of frustrating.

Jack is a really good character. Even though he is the villain, he is a really good villain. I haven’t seen one like him in a long time that can completely sway peoples emotions like he does. He’s a character that we love to hate, and this series wouldn’t be the same without him.

The book is so vivid that there is not one single point that I couldn’t visualize what was happening. It kept me going, and made me want to continue reading, even though the beginning was a bit slow.

It is so unpredictable, and so refreshing that it completely mixes you up and pulls you through the book. My only faults in this second book, was how slow it was in the beginning and Danby’s sudden changes in character.

I enjoyed this Sequel so much better than the first. The start of the first book was difficult to get through, with many jilted sentences and skipping of events that makes it difficult to follow, which we don’t have to deal with in The Last Shot.

One of my favourite aspects of the novel is the confusion Danby feels about Jack. She wants to kill him, but proximity to him leads her to second-guess herself and she becomes very conflicted about her decisions. Her character development is astounding, but I think it’s also realistic given all the things she’s seen and done.

Danby carries this story with her determination to save her brother Ethan and her desire to avenge mother. However, she’s not perfect – she has plenty of selfish thoughts and isn’t always proud of her thoughts and actions.

I was very disappointed to leave Nathan behind in the last book – I’d come to love him a little – and I was thrilled that he and Danby are eventually reunited in this one. He’s also changed since we last saw him, a by-product of the harsh new reality of the world, but all my favourite things about him are still present.

Danby’s gripping story continues in The Last Shot, and fans of The Last Girl shouldn’t miss the sequel. I think the story-telling is amazing, the characters awesome, and the plot is great.

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