Last Ones Left Alive by Sarah Davis-Goff
“The minute you slow down, that’s the same minute they get you.”
As accurate as that sentence is when it comes to the Skrake, the same is true for how it feels to read Sarah Davis-Goff’s brilliant ‘Last ones left alive’ I made the mistake of reading a few pages of this novel while I was supposed to be working. Needless to say, I didn’t get any work done that day. Last Ones left Alive effortlessly grips you by the throat from the first page and rather like the Skrake creatures that roam the countryside, it refuses to let you go until you’ve devoured every single page. The journey starts with our protagonist Orpen, her dog Danger and her sister Maeve, who Orpen is carrying in a wheelbarrow as she’s been bitten by one on of the zombie-like creatures now inhabiting the island of Ireland. Orpen’s journey takes us from the creature free island of Slanbeg to ‘Phoenix city’ a place that Orpen is determined to reach in the search for a better existence. We follow Orpen as she takes us through the brutal landscape that is a post-apocalyptic Ireland. The story, revolving around the relationship she had with her mother, a highly trained member of a warrior caste of women called the banshee, and her sister Maeve. We follow her as she is taught survival and combat skills with relentless focus and gruelling daily routines on the beaches of Slanbeg island. As Orpen moves steadily through the desolate landscapes, wheeling her sister Maeve in the barrow, she is forced to come to terms with the loss of not only her mother but the slow deterioration of her sister who begins to turn, with freighting detail, into one of the monsters. It is a cruel, brutal vision of what it takes to survive when all is lost, and hope hangs on such a loosely dangling thread. The poignant memories of a family now gone, scattered throughout the novel, are painted with such nostalgic joy, most of them, serve to heighten the grey and desperate struggle that Orpen finds herself in. It’s a character study, both in the strength of the family unit, of feminine guile and of will power, coupled with an adventure that keeps your fingers gripped to the next page, eager to turn. I highly recommend picking up a copy and settling in for this one.
Colin Weldon lives in Dublin and writes science fiction novels. He has self-published four to date, three in a space opera trilogy called The Agathon and a stand-alone science fiction thriller called Hunting Nora Stone. The Agathon series has received a BRAG medallion for outstanding self-published. Colin has a BA in Journalism and an MA in Screenwriting which he completed in 2017. As an avid lover of all things sci-fi including movies, books and artwork this blog is dedicated to all the speculative fiction that gets his imagination going. He is currently working on a new series of space opera novels so can be found in the dark corners of Dublin's coffee shops in the early hours of the morning. Come say hi :) Website: www.colinweldon.com Goodreads Profile : https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14769995.Colin_Weldon Facebook : @colinweldonwriter Twitter: @Colinweldon Instagram : Colinweldon