The story follows the Sutherland family, Andy, a Peak Oil bore currently working in Iraq, Jenny, stuck in Manchester and their children, Leona and Jacob, at University and boarding school respectively What happens to them and the disintegration of life around them is interesting enough and, in the main, well presented The fact that Andy may be the unwitting architect of the downfall, having written a report summing up the bottlenecks that can be used to cut off the world s oil, and an assassin sent to silence Leona, who accidentally saw some people who turn out to be members of a shadowy organisation called the Twelve As it turns out they commissioned the report as a template for saving the world on their terms.
The Twelve, and their foot soldiers the 160, are a credible force behind the New World Order conspiracies, right up to the final scenes where the pudding is well and truly over egged, setting their roots in the 14th Century The story is gritty and not everybody gets out alive The three older members of the Sutherland family are possibly over endowed with heroic traits, but for the story to end up where it was, they pretty much have to be Andy, in particular, gets the Bruce Willis treatment The assassin is an unnecessary embellishment who s sole reason for existing is a few paragraphs of exposition late in the book And upping the body count, which I mind less because what else is an assassin for The pace is pretty good, it seldom drags at all, although some may find chopping between the three main storylines confusing There were some things that jarred, disturbed air made one or two appearances too many, mostly from near misses by firearms but at least once from a coat.
Well, this was I don t know So I am going to give stars and take stars as I write the reviewSomething After reading dozens books dealing with apocalyptic and post apocalpytic scenarios I don t know what to think about this one The premises is simple Due to the sabotage then shortage of the oil refinaries, the world is plunge to a dark age Not the first writer to pursuit this scenario but it s not that common 3 Stars for that The whys we learn as we skip the pages but it s only in the last thirty pages that we know why really this is happening And I always enjoy a conspiracy theory 2 Stars but then the writer tries to link that conspiracy group to the old days of the Revolution of America and such Alright Now you ve gone to far Minus 1 Star.
The Assassin Ash 1 Star , Andy Minus 3 Stars , Rest of the family couldn t care less Why Because each character is almost a hero The Girl lenora who in the beginning only thought about his cute new conquest to a hero of the old greek ages Andy who is in Iraq and is coming to his family I truly hated this character I really wanted to anyone to kill it Thank the gods that Scarrow had the decency to kill him or else these book would receive 1 star total I enjoy seeing the world falling to chaos but it was too soon, too quick I always thought that people are just animals and only have laws because otherwise we would do as we please and be worse than barbarians We are children of the dark controlled by laws and costumes Nice one Alex Scarrow 1 Star for that I have the second book and I want to know where the author is going with this because the ending is after the all incident and people are just starting to recovery and to live a new dark age And what happenened to the Twelve and the One Hundred and Sixty Their plan worked But can they rise like a phoenix from the ashes of civilization This book made me really think and also kept me awake worrying about stockpiling tinned food It s an excellent thriller that keeps you turning the pages long into the night Nice short chapters and fast paced writing an excellent choice for those who are wondering what might happen when the oil runs out I believe the author is working on a sequel so I look forward to that.
This apocalyptic novel has a fascinating premise One day the supply from the planet s oil fields and the oil pipelines shuts down and as a result the world collapses into chaos In true H.
G Wells fashion, the book says The World while concentrating on Britain and London and a bit of Iraq The roads are closed to conserve fuel, because there are no flights there is no imported food which soon leads to riots in supermarkets and then on the streets, and man regresses and gives in to all his worse instincts Scarrow handles this decline brilliantly, gradually building the terror of this new chaotic world order and really making it bite Obviously it s a premise that draws on than a grain of fact, we are far too reliant on fossil fuel and should anything happen to our supply the future would be even bleaker than this books paints Although people in Britain may be surprised to learn that in a post apocalyptic world, it will still be possible to hide in a branch of Woolworths.
Where I had a problem was in the book s decision to have a sinister cabal be behind it all It s a kind of a default conspiracy theory setting, that there s always someone behind everything that happens But does there always have to be a Mr Big with an ill thought out plan Isn t it possible for man to just stumble into this chaos by himself In fact, doesn t that make the whole premise even scarier This situation does not need malevolent intent bringing it about, it could just as easily come through a few accidents and miscalculations by stupid bloody mankind.
This book has a few other problems there s a hitman it doesn t really know what to do with for most of the novel s length and would an eighteen year old girl really have a detailed memory of a couple of men in suits she glimpsed for mere moments a decade before But in the main this is an exciting and properly thought provoking thriller.
I couldn t put this down And when I wasn t reading it, I was worrying about what was happening and if the various characters would be ok In other words, total suspension of disbelief as I spent a few days tied to the story.
Scarrow writes with an immediacy that had me gripping the book in a tight hot hold, hardly daring to breath I had this book for a long time and was put off by the 1 star reviews but once I started I was hooked I liked the main characters, I liked the way Scarrow wasn t afraid to kill off some good characters before they had much chance to develop I found that realistic and sometimes in dumb ways.
OK, so it s a page turner Is it realistic No, probably not But it had me constantly wondering how my family and I would survive in a world out of control as described here I lay awake at night picturing scenarios.
Oh, and I m off to change to a power supplier that uses 100% renewable energy sources such as wind power We are way too dependent on oil OK, so the idea of some unknown powerful group orchestrating the whole thing is kind of silly, but hey, that s just a back story and not really the point of it all It s just a device to pin the story on, and I m ok with that But the real fact of the world s total dependence on oil supplies that could be stopped within days or weeks is true and scary.
Or maybe I ve been reading WAY too many apocalyptic novels lately and it s starting to make me paranoid I ll just quickly read the sequel I MUST find out what happens in the next one Then I ll definitely calm down with a few tai chi sessions and get back to my 19th century novels.
This is a bloody good read in that it ticks all the thriller boxes In particular it rattles on at pace, introduces twists and keeps you guessing to the end On the downside the production of the book seems rather rushed maybe to beat real life with some untidy writing but it s all perfectly readable.
My focus is on whether it s believable, especially in the light of my own researches into peak oil and collapse For that is the what if here and my answer is a qualified yes, despite a touch of over dramatisation The violence card gets overplayed and too early One of the characters mentions Lord of the Flies and it s an apt yardstick Golding s classic racks up the menace until it spills over into violence effective than starting at high pitch.
One slight plot hole concerns Jenny s journey, which doesn t make much geographic sense Having the M1 erroneously running past Birmingham probably shows some confusion in the author s mind good trainspotting by me though At the denouement I rather sided with the baddies this poor old planet does needs a damn good cull of the human race motivation for my own apocalyptic book really It s schadenfreude on a grand scale in revenge for mankind s arrogance Much better to get it out on the page than in real life, eh Discuss.
It s no work of literature but it is a than passable thriller on a fascinating topic what would happen if the world s oil production was suddenly halted Good things include the focus on the family split across the country and across the world as its members attempt to reunite against a background of a collapsing society not so convincing is the conspiracy group responsible for the collapse in the first place and their shadowy hit man, Ash I enjoyed this undemanding, but thought provoking read.
When it comes to post apocalyptic novels, the ones I find I enjoy the most are the ones that are very real scenarios Not that zombies or alien invasions aren t realistic scenarios yep, I had to say that , but natural disasters or man made disasters such as the storyline of Last Light are the ones that scare me the most.
I first read Last Light in 2009 or 2010, but I ve always wanted to go back and revisit it again, because as well as being entertaining, it s a book that carries a message the dependency of the human race on oil is huge, and it s complicated It s not something I give thought to often, but imagine if the oil supplies were suddenly cut off would the world band together or would it descend into chaos Last Light focuses on one family, the Sutherlands, in the immediate aftermath of the destruction of the worlds oil extraction and distribution process Andy Sutherland is something of an alarmist, but the reasons behind his paranoia are actually justified he knows just how precarious the world is in it s dependency and has no doubts on just how catastrophic the loss of oil would be.
Last Light is told through multiple perspectives, and this is where it lost me a little Whilst the storyline of Andy in Iraq is vital to the story, it wasn t the part that I was particularly invested in I liked the focus on the collapse of the British economy and infrastructure far , and particularly the perspectives of Andy s wife, Jenny and daughter Leona as they witnessed the spiralling events first hand.
The characters all feel very real the Sutherlands are normal, everyday people with normal, everyday problems and perspectives and that makes them incredibly likable and I was also able to sympathise with them as they tried to find each other whilst surviving some scary situations.
There are also mystery elements in Last Light that opens the appeal up to readers than just the apocalypse lovers, and although it wasn t the type of storyline that I normally enjoy, it was an essential part of the story that I found very intriguing.
What Alex Scarrow does very well in Last Light is paint a picture of how a nation, and a world, could collapse so suddenly into chaos, and there are moments of real tension and terror as humans turn on each other for a bottle of water or a mouldy slice of bread It s not always clear how events are going to turn out, and that makes Last Light an incredibly readable and scary book.
The story hurries along nicely, and it s not badly written, but there are a few things that just didn t ring true Both women in the family are of course threatened with rape, and one scene in particular seemed unnecessary and gratuitous The last few chapters see Alex Scarrow pull out his tinfoil hat, and the plot devolves into serious Illuminati territory I was laughing, and that was before I even got to his concluding author s note, in which he talks about reading about Peak Oil on various forums, and mentions that this is the book I ve been wanting no, needing to write since 9 11 It really isn t.
Laughably, a central plot point hinges on the daughter remembering some other shadowy figures she saw after walking into the wrong hotel room in New York when she was a pre pubescent Really I struggled with this, not only because of the limitations of human memory, but also because this is a shadowy Illuminati style cabal who have been secretly pulling the world s strings for yearsand they forgot to lock their hotel room door Most hotel rooms autolock anyway Gah.
One final, strange note I see from Goodreads that the little boy in this novel who is perpetually thrust into danger, and nearly killed was named for Alex Scarrow s own son I don t know what to make of that.
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