Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Last Girl

The Last Girl (The Dominion Trilogy, #1) tags: dystopian, post apocalyptic, science fiction-ish

 Star emoticon

from goodreads
A mysterious worldwide epidemic reduces the birthrate of female infants from 50 percent to less than 1 percent. Medical science and governments around the world scramble in an effort to solve the problem, but twenty-five years later there is no cure, and an entire generation grows up with a population of fewer than a thousand women.
Zoey and some of the surviving young women are housed in a scientific research compound dedicated to determining the cause. For two decades, she’s been isolated from her family, treated as a test subject, and locked away—told only that the virus has wiped out the rest of the world’s population.
Captivity is the only life Zoey has ever known, and escaping her heavily armed captors is no easy task, but she’s determined to leave before she is subjected to the next round of tests…a program that no other woman has ever returned from. Even if she’s successful, Zoey has no idea what she’ll encounter in the strange new world beyond the facility’s walls. Winning her freedom will take brutality she never imagined she possessed, as well as all her strength and cunning—but Zoey is ready for war.
*Sigh* The first 2 books I read this year are utterly ridiculous and total waste of time. The Last Girl, a Kindle First for March 2016, however, is the better one of the two and worth writing about if only to warn readers what to expect and to avoid it.

The novel is described as a science fiction thriller but there isn't much science fiction going on in this first of 3 series. The next 2 books will probably be more sci-fi; however I wouldn't know because I won't be reading them if the writing style does not improve. Yes, his style is rather strange and not in a good way, specially the analogies
- Her lungs are two limp bags inside.
- Panic is a living creature in her chest, tearing at her heart and lungs. 
- Watching the sinuous way the light rolls through the trees. 
It reminds me of the flowery language in P. D. James's The Children of Men, the only science fiction novel she wrote and the only one I didn't like.


The book is about another strong young adult female. Haven't we read enough of them already? Zoey, the young female protagonist, is a slightly older Katniss Everdeen wannabe. I love The Hunger Games and Katniss but I can't like this Zoey character at all. It's the author's fault for writing an inconsistent character and story line. A little backstory of the antagonists would have been helpful to understand the situation Zoey is in.

The premise that no female children are being born is interesting enough for me, a sci-fi junkie. One of the things that bugged me is the way the girls are treated in the isolated and heavily guarded facility they are imprisoned in. The girls, abducted from their parents when they were as young as 3 or 4 years old for supposed "scientific tests", are treated worse than lab rats. They have no freedom of movement, are closely guarded during the day, kept in their tiny rooms at night, fed the most unpalatable food, and punished and tortured when they "misbehave" by locking them alone in a small unlit "box" for 24 hours. These abuses defeat the purpose of studying them if they are unhealthy physically and mentally. IMHO, they should be pampered and given the best nutrition. [They actually are not being studied. The girls, when they reach the optimum age for pregnancy, are vessels and impregnated with sperms from boys of their age (22), to study and find a "cure" to the phenomenon of female fetus becoming a male before it is born. That is the only sci-fi element in the whole novel, revealed very late in the book.]

Eye-rolled at this one: The girls are not allowed to read books and are receiving their basic education and indoctrination from a 40-something female teacher. Zoey one day witnesses this teacher having sex and searches in her mind the word for the act: procreation. Then a few chapters later when she is all of a sudden pumped up to escape from the facility, utters my pet-peeve - the f-word! Where did she learn the word? Sheesh!

These bothered me: 1) There are only a few girls left and one would think they'd be loyal and close to each other, but all they do in the facility is bully and fight each other. No backstory either why they are hostile to one another. 2) Zoey was almost raped - twice! Unnecessary and contrived rape scenarios made me decide to give this pretentious novel a 1-star.

Not recommended.

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