If dystonia fiction is your like, then this gripping and beautifully written debut novel is for you. The story opens with Orpen escaping a menace known as The Shrake. She is pushing her sister Maeve in a wheelbarrow with their dog as they head out across the ravaged landscape in search of others alive and a city called Phoenix.
Orpen has had an idyllic childhood with her Mum and Maeve on their island off the west coast of Ireland. But Ireland has been devoured by a ravening menace known as the skrake, and though Slanbeg is safe for now, the women must always be ready to run, or to fight.
It’s quite scary and chilling but not in a hiding under the sofa way. I’m not the biggest fan of dystopian fiction but I love what Sarah’s Tramp Press publish. I also adore every book published by Tinder Press and Mary-Ann Harrington. This combination had me clambering for a copy of Last One Left Alive to read and how glad am I.
The writing is superb, the storytelling engaging, the language beautiful and as I said gripping. I immediately engaged with Orpen as she battles elements and traumas that she never thought she’d encounter. As with any good read the story grabs you from the first page and very quickly you are immersed in the story and Orpen’s predicament. At time I felt that Sarah was depicting Ireland or even the world right now through Orpen. She is fighting battles, raging against what is happening to her and her family and at time unable to control the situation.
A highly accomplished debut that’s hugely enjoyable to read.