Tuesday, 10 July 2018

THE LAST FEAST by Zeb Haradon

5 out of 5 stars

On Amazon UK
On Amazon.com
On Goodreads

How I discovered this book: I'd reviewed the author's last book,The Usurper King, for Rosie Amber's Book Review Team, and thought it was great.  The author approached me to see if I would like an ARC of his new release.

Genre: Sci Fi novella

I loved this book and kept rationing the last thirty per cent because I didn't want to reach the end.  It's a long novella, maybe almost a short novel.   

Jim is the last man left in the universe, staying alive in a small pod that orbits a black hole.  Rewind to how he got there: he has been alive for a thousand years, since around our time, achieved by the anti-ageing technlogy available in both the near and distant future.  He and his crew of six are travelling to an interstellar colony.  From the blurb: En route, the ship gets momentarily caught in the powerful gravity of a black hole and is flung trillions and trillions of years into the future. The passengers find themselves in a time of maximum entropy, where all life is extinct, all the stars have burned out, and there is nothing left in the universe except a black hole and a complete vacuum extending in all directions.

On board, those remaining divide into two factions: those who think it is worth sending out distress signals, and those who understand that there is nobody left to receive them.

I love Zeb Haradon's writing style.  I know next to nothing about how space stuff works (indeed, that very phrase is an indication of this), but he describes it in such a way that it is a) not even remotely boring, b) understandable and c) totally believable.  The book is inventive, gripping, clever, funny, heartbreaking, horrific, and a total page-turner.  For those who mind about such things, there is a certain amount of grisly stuff, but this is not unreasonable since he is having to convert his own waste products into calories, and the last people alive are contemplating eating the body of a former crew member in order to stay alive.  Just a warning for the particularly squeamish.

As well as his current situation, Jim talks, now and again, about his life before: his wife and son, and hints about what happened to the world in the millennium after our time.  I would love to read more about this, if you ever fancy writing it, Mr Haradon....

It's great, highly recommended, and I look forward to seeing what he comes up with next.


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