Review: Last Exit by Max Gladstone

Author: Max Gladstone
Publisher: Tor Books
Released: March 8, 2022
Received: NetGalley

3 1/2 kitties

Last Exit is the latest novel to come from the mind of Max Gladstone, a science fiction and fantasy author I’ve been reading for years. Naturally, that meant I had to scoop it up! Though, if I’m being honest, that cover would have drawn me in regardless.

A decade ago, Zelda and her group of friends learned that they had a unique ability, which they called knacks. These knacks let them travel to alternate realities. There’s a catch, of course. There’s a rot threatening each reality they visit, and it is up to her crew to battle it wherever they go.

But again, that was a decade ago. When their battle was lost, they all parted ways. Unable to bear the pain and guilt of it all. Except, Zelda doesn’t want the group to remain in the past, so she will do what she does best. She hopes.

“Monsters never died, they only slept a while.”

I want to preface this review by saying that I distinctly remember loving Max Gladstone’s writing – though it feels like it has been a while since I read anything by him. So naturally, I was quite excited when Last Exit made its way to my desk.

At a glance, Last Exit is a lot to take in. That actually proves true even once you begin to delve deeper, but moving on. The character names all feel weighted, having references that no fan can miss. As for the story, readers are thrown into the deep end. All the characters already know their abilities and are only now coming back around to using them. It’s a twist that makes readers feel like they have to work to catch up.

I didn’t mind any of that, as it certainly worked to keep me interested and invested. Though in truth, I wouldn’t have minded getting to know the characters a little bit better before everything kicked off.

What I loved the most about Last Exit because of how unique it feels. It’s a fantasy world-hopper tale, but it has shockingly dark twists. Throw in a wide array of characters (and a solid amount of representation, too), and as I said before, there’s a lot to take in a while reading – and that’s grand.

Thanks to Tor Books and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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