Author: Sarah Davis-Goff
Publisher: Tinder Press
Released: January 24th, 2019
Received: Goodreads Giveaways
Warnings: Death, illness, animal death
Last Ones Left Alive is Sarah Davis-Goff’s debut novel, and it’s an intense read from cover to cover. It’s a dystopian novel, set in a world where a disease has run through and taken out most of humanity.
And that is where the story begins. Orpen grew up hardly knowing any other humans. She knew of exactly two: her mother and Maeve. Though she does have a sweet dog as a companion, which does help stay off the loneliness.
Orpen was safe on her isolated little island. Lonely, but safe. But that all changed once her mother died and the only other person she knew, Maeve, fell ill. And this is not an illness you ever want to see your loved ones fall to.
“Despite myself, despite everything. The world ended a long time ago, but it is still beautiful.”
Warnings: Last Ones Left Behind, unsurprisingly, covers a lot of really heavy subjects. There are death and illness, as well as implied non-consensual breeding. And there is also animal death. (Spoiler warning) This includes a certain animal companion introduced early on in the novel. This tore me up pretty bad, which is why I’m giving all animal lovers the heads up here.
Last Ones Left Behind was a beautifully written novel full of emotional impact and classical dystopian elements. Orpen’s journey is a heartbreaking one, being easily one of the loneliest dystopian tales I’ve read in a good long while.
There were parts I really loved about this novel and parts that I personally found to be too deeply unsettling for my liking. But then again, I always tend to emotionally back away from any novel containing some serious animal death. So this really might just be my bias showing through here.
I loved the way that Last Ones Left Behind was written. It was elegant and had such a forlorn feeling to it. It was unavoidable, becoming the dominant tone of the novel. It made for a very somber read, naturally. But it was a fascinating read nonetheless.
This was Sarah Davis-Goff’s debut novel (to my knowledge, and according to Goodreads). And I think that she has some serious potential, making her worth keeping an eye on. Her dystopian novel hit notes I haven’t seen in quite some time. And there’s no doubt that she was able to elicit emotion in her novel.