Friday, 25 March 2016


Title: Last Girl
Series: The Dominion Trilogy
Author: Joe Hart
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Release Date: 1st March 2016

BLURB from Goodreads
A mysterious worldwide epidemic reduces the birthrate of female infants from 50 percent to less than 1 percent. Medical science and governments around the world scramble in an effort to solve the problem, but twenty-five years later there is no cure, and an entire generation grows up with a population of fewer than a thousand women.
Zoey and some of the surviving young women are housed in a scientific research compound dedicated to determining the cause. For two decades, she’s been isolated from her family, treated as a test subject, and locked away—told only that the virus has wiped out the rest of the world’s population.
Captivity is the only life Zoey has ever known, and escaping her heavily armed captors is no easy task, but she’s determined to leave before she is subjected to the next round of tests…a program that no other woman has ever returned from. Even if she’s successful, Zoey has no idea what she’ll encounter in the strange new world beyond the facility’s walls. Winning her freedom will take brutality she never imagined she possessed, as well as all her strength and cunning—but Zoey is ready for war.
This one sounds like a mix/mash up of a dystopian genre & post apocalyptic genre, which are both genres I love. In this book, women are a rarity, making them a high value commodity. I really like the blurb of this one.
I downloaded an e-copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. The cover shows a rather desolate looking landscape with a lone female walking towards the horizon. 
Would the cover make me pick this book up from a book store shelf? Yes, I would pick this one up from the shelf, to read the blurb and then it would be going straight to the checkout to be purchased! 
This book begins with an explanation of "Before", in 2017 there has been a "drought of females born". This situation worsens so much that in 2018, any female who has given birth to a female baby in the last five years is asked to join a voluntary program. However soon this program is made mandatory. In fact females are actively searched for and taken from their families to Advance Research Compound. Naturally this forces many to attempt to hide their daughters, sisters etc. The lack of females being born is blamed on a virus  called T1F3 as researchers say this virus is responsible for causing changes in pregnant women allowing them to only successfully carry and give birth to males. This time in history of ever decreasing female births is given the name of "The Dearth"
There are seven girls in the section of the Advance Research Compound, which is under the rules and guidance of the National Obstetric Alliance (NOA). These seven girls live in the lower section of the Advance Research Compound, they attend "lessons" with an older woman called Miss Gwen, almost everyone else in the facility is male. Each of the seven girls has a cleric assigned to escort her and "keep her in line". Most of the cleric's have their sons living with them at the facility too, yet none of them have a "wife". 
Terra, is the eldest of the seven girls, she is coming up to her 21st birthday which means she will move on to the next level of the Advance Research Compound program, where she will obtain the dream that keeps all the girls going and be reunited with her parents and go on to live a great life and have children. Zoey is the main character in the book and she is best friends with Terra. In fact Terra has helped to shield both Zoey and another girl Lily from the bullying from Rita, Sherell and Penny. Naturally Zoey doesn't want to lose her friend but Terra tries to make things seem better saying that Zoey doesn't have so long to wait until it her turn. The girls live an isolated life, escorted everywhere when they are out of their rooms, by their own personal cleric. Zoey's cleric is Simon, and he has a son called Lee who has a soft spot for her. In fact when against the rules someone leaves books for Zoey to read her first thought is that Lee has sneaked them in for her, but he denies it and we learn later who left her the books.
Zoey has a sharp mind and doesn't just accept what she is told like the majority of the other girls do. So when a chance presents itself when she has secretly been in a conspiracy with Lee, planning to escape, she goes ahead and grabs it. 
Zoey is then on the run, with literally just the clothes on her back, she meets a group of survivors which include two older women, the first Zoey has ever seen other than Miss Gwen. One of these survivor's is Merrill, he has a daughter called Meeka who he believes is alive and living in the very same facility that Zoey just escaped from. Merrill puts a scheme for rescuing his daughter and the other girls in the facility and Zoey agrees. It had always been her aim and within her plan that she wanted to rescue all the girls, even Rita, Sherell and Penny.
I could seriously go on and on about this book. It has a well developed description of "Before" and then the whole "Dearth". The book is a fantastic mixture of a post apocalyptic setting with many dystopian elements, which I have barely touched upon in my review. This book has definitely been well thought out from it's setting, the brilliant characters of all the girls, to the detailed information about the work the National Obstetric Alliance decrees should be carried out, as well as the Advanced Research Compound.
There is always something happening within the book, which keeps your attention and  interest. At times the action in this book has you teetering on the edge of your seat!
Did I enjoy the book? I really loved it from beginning to end and had a hard job writing this review, stopping myself rattling on and on about it! 
Would I recommend the book? Definitely yes!
Would I want to read another book in this series? Oh yes, I am certain I want to read The Final Trade (expected September 2016) and of course the final book in the Trilogy whenever that is released too.
Would I want to read more by this author? I've been on Goodread's checking out the other titles available by Joe Hart. I'd certainly want to read anything sci-fi/post apocalyptic/dystopian he writes!

What a brilliant read from beginning to end...can't wait for book 2! I highly recommend reading this one!

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