The Last Human by Zack Jordan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I received a free advance copy from NetGalley for review.
So this is sci-fi set in the far future where humans caused a bunch of trouble for all the other known alien worlds, and after being driven to the brink of extinction they are still the most hated and feared species in the galaxy.
I can’t fault that story logic.
Sarya is the last known human living under a false identity with the protection of her adoptive mother, Shenya the Widow. (It’s kind of like having the queen from Aliens as a parent.) They live on a space station that is part of the vast Network which connects every alien and AI as well as organizing the structure of every facet of everyday life as well as providing the faster than light travel that connects them all.
When a stranger approaches Sarya with the knowledge that she is actually Human she soon finds herself on the run as she discovers just how big and terrifying the Network really is.
This is one of more unique and well thought set-ups for a future space civilization I’ve read, and it’s filled with interesting concepts. Most intriguing to me was how there are various levels of intelligence for Network users so manipulating lesser rated beings is a key point. I also admired how the story embraces the scale of it all because space is so freaking big that the Network can be enormous beyond all human comprehension and yet still be a tiny part of the galaxy.
However, that also turned out to be a stumbling block for me because at one point the story shifts away from trying to get us to really empathize with Sarya and instead tries to blow the reader’s mind. Which it does pretty well, but I think some of the emotions of the story got lost will all the effort to impress with the vastness of it all.
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