All adults are wiped out after a terrible virus, leaving only six of children stranded on a Scottish island to fend for themselves. The Last of Us is compared to The Lord of The Flies and there are clear common themes between them. It’s quite a strong comparison to make, and I wondered if it could live up to such a classic but the book doesn’t disappoint. It’s not just children stranded on an island, but an exploration of group dynamics, grief, and the struggle to survive.
The narrator of the book, Rona, adds a wisdom to the story. She is looking back at what happened and telling her mum all about it. Knowing she is on the other side of it all makes you wonder where she really is. Did she survive? Did all of them? What are the terrible things she says she has done? It adds atmosphere as she talks of mistakes made, regrets she has, and lessons learned the hard way. She tells the story of how it happened; when the adults were struggling to save as many people from the virus as possible. This is in stark contrast to the bleak world of surviving day by day, hoping to be rescued, whilst they struggling with the grief of losing their families.
I found the book quite slow to get going, but soon understood some of the detail that seemed too much at the beginning was what really made the story later on. Rob Ewing has really thought through this deeply depressing world of being stranded on an island as a child and what it would take to get by. The details of the outbreak itself haunted me for a few days as I considered how I would cope, what it must feel like to see death all around you, and to keep that determination whilst trying to escape what seems inevitable.
The Last of Us is published on the 21st of April. You can buy the book here Amazon.co.uk.
I received a copy of this book as a member of the Lovereading.co.uk review panel and from NetGalley.
See more reader reviews here Lovereading.co.uk Reader Review Panel.
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