The Last Human by Zack Jordan (book review).

I always tend to worry when I learn more about the plot from the back cover than the content of a book. More so when you’re thrown in the deep end and expected to make sense of where the plot is going. With a title like, ‘The Last Human’, you would expect author Zack Jordan to be focused on her rather the mother-daughter relation of a couple spidery creatures called Shenya the Widow and Sarya the Daughter. 100 pages in and I’m wondering when the plot is going to arrive. The tail-tale signs of fast reading for any reviewer is too much dialogue and the pace is too fast.

The twist in the second tier of this book is Sarya the Daughter is actually human, although no indication of her bipedal status is given in the first tier. The second tier does reveal that she had been in a carapace posing as a spider creature.

A big problem with this story is that there is little to tell where the plot is leading. Yes, the aspect of making Sarya more human again is there but little beyond that. You’re practically screaming half-way through for some meaningful plot to be wrapped around the events to make sense of it all. In fact the last tier has Sarya on a human-built AI powered spacecraft that will implicitly obey her every word unless she countermands it. Although this has some wry moments, it doesn’t propel the story along for lack of plot.

Jordan does write good dialogue but I can’t help but feel Science Fiction isn’t his forte and not likely to appeal to SF fans who like plot-driven stories and something to challenge their thought processes.

GF Willmetts

March 2020

(pub: Del Rey/Random House. 428 page hardback. Price: $27.00 (US), $39.00 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-451-49981-3)

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