The Last Human

Zack Jordan. Del Rey, $27 (448p) ISBN 978-0-451-49981-3
Jordan’s rollicking debut starts slowly but then quickly builds toward mind-boggling revelations about order, chaos, and the vastness of the universe. Sarya, the last of the human species, is a moody teenager with no idea why she exists when the rest of humanity was destroyed centuries ago, kept alive by her adoptive mother, Shenya the Widow, a fearsome arachnoid alien who has concealed Sarya’s true identity to protect her from the fear and hatred of a galaxy that remembers little about human beings. When a school field trip goes horribly wrong, Shenya sacrifices herself so that Sarya can escape a doomed space station. Sarya sets off in search of answers, seeking an entity called Observer, who claims to know her origin story. The pace lulls a bit as Sarya recovers Shenya’s memories over the course of her journey, but picks up again once she arrives at Blackstar, the hub of the galactic hive mind. Throughout, Jordan plays with the concept of choice, leaving both Sarya and the reader questioning whether the decisions she makes are truly her own or whether some other entity is pulling the strings. Jordan’s deeply considered treatment of various levels of extraterrestrial intelligence will put readers in mind of the work of Neal Asher and appeal to fans of big-idea science fiction. Agent: Charlie Olsen, InkWell Management. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 02/05/2020
Release date: 03/24/2020
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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