The Last One

Alexandra Oliva. Ballantine, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-1-101-96508-5
The TV show Survivor meets Cormac McCarthy’s The Road in Oliva’s stellar debut. One of the 12 contestants on In the Dark, a reality show set in the remote Pennsylvania wilderness and billed as a “reality experience of unprecedented scale,” is Zoo, so called by the show’s producers because she works at a wildlife sanctuary and rehabilitation center. Zoo decided to go on In the Dark as one last big adventure before settling down to start a family with her husband. The host explains that the game is a race with no finish line; the only way out is to quit. Trouble arrives in the form of an unidentified pathogen that begins to kill off a substantial portion of the world’s population. Alone on an extended solo challenge, Zoo has no idea that the lines between reality and reality show have been blurred into nonexistence. Fueled by brilliantly intimate and insightful writing as well as an endearing and fully realized female lead, this apocalyptic novel draws its power from Zoo’s realizations about society and herself as she struggles to survive long enough to somehow make it back to her home and, hopefully, her husband. Agent: Lucy Carson, Friedrich Agency. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/09/2016
Release date: 07/12/2016
Genre: Fiction
Compact Disc - 978-0-14-752264-1
Ebook - 978-1-101-96509-2
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