Therapy groups support people traumatised by a common issue, such as cancer, sexual abuse, or PTSD suffered in war. This therapy group is for people who were the last survivors of their world.
Each of them was rescued from a parallel universe where humanity was wiped out. They’ve survived nuclear war, zombies, machine uprisings, mass suicide and more. They’ve been given sanctuary on the homeworld of the Interversal Union, and placed with a therapist who works with survivors of doomed worlds.
No one has lost as much as they have. No one has suffered as they have.
Their only hope is each other.
I’m a fan of dystopia mainly, but I guess you could say as a result of that, I’m also a fan of post-apocalyptic stories and not just in books. One of my favourite games is Fallout, one of my favourite movies is 12 Monkeys, and one of my favourite books is The Road, all of which have a post-apocalyptic theme.
All of those stories, like many other post-apocalyptic ones, look at survival after the fact and that survival usually involves other people of that society being present. Where it’s the case of the last man standing, so to speak, it’s usually their struggle with being alone and adapting to their situation. I found it interesting to read a concept based on that last man standing to not only survive, but be taken away from their isolation, and yet still have to struggle with being alone and adapting to their situation.
The Last Man on Earth Club is one parts Rehab Genre Fiction, one parts apocalypse concepts that tantalise the imagination, and a whole lot more inbetween. As you would expect when it comes to a story that deals with a therapy group, there are a lot of issues that are covered, and far more than I was expecting. Of course there’s grief and coping with loss, but there’s also issues of sexuality, identity, acceptance, religion and belief, interpretations of justice, and politics around genocide.
The story touches on all the above issues, their nuances, and more, but what I really like about The Last Man on Earth Club is that whilst it draws attentions to all of these topics, it is about the people in this group, their progress and growth, and how they react from grief. All the other elements are extras to show the kaleidoscope of human emotions and processes of grief. Yet at the same time, when we are following the story of the group, we are also following the story of the group’s therapist who is the one narrating.
There are several different characters, but unlike other books I’ve read where it can get messy and confusing, there is no confusion and characters are easy to follow. Part of this can be attributed to the chapters being presented for each character with their individual sessions and then bringing the group together for group sessions in another chapter, but it can also be attributed to the characters being very clearly defined.
The characters all show an array of responses and personalities, such is the way of human behaviour, and I quite enjoyed their interactions. I found myself warming up to quite a few of them, including the angrier ones, and when it comes to the ones I didn’t warm up to straight away, I found myself feeling something for them by the end. These characters all go through some sort of transformation throughout the story, but also don’t lose what set them apart from each other in the beginning, which is great because the story is a very character driven one.
I found myself drawn along, chapter by chapter, wanting to find out a combination of elements to the story; what would happen with the characters, what occurred on their planet, who was responsible for the devastation on their worlds, and what was the cultures and histories of all these different races. For a post-apocalyptic fan who wants something different or perhaps a break, but also doesn’t want to stray too far from the genre, The Last Man on Earth Club is definitely a book to consider.
- Genre: Post-Apocalyptic/Rehab Fiction
- Rating Out of Five: 4*
- From: Author Paul R. Hardy
- Format: Ebook provided, with thanks, by the author Paul R. Hardy
- Find At: Smashwords / Amazon US / Amazon UK
Thanks to Paul, a lucky reader has the chance to win an eBook copy of The Last Man on Earth Club!
- Who: International! This giveaway is open to international readers, but don’t worry if you don’t have an eReader because you can also read this online.
- When: The giveaway ends 10am, 13th of July (AEST) when the winner will be announced. The winner will receive a coupon code to use on Smashwords, from there they can choose the appropriate format. A Smashwords account is necessary, but takes no time at all to get.
- How: For a chance to win a copy, it’s as simple as filling out the form! Every entrant gets an extra entry if they like BA’s fan page. Previous fans receive an extra entry by default.
This giveaway is now closed! The winner will be announced soon!