Rather than visit other planets the people of earth opted to instead visit parallel dimensions of their own planet, Earth. There are so many vastly different, interesting takes on what could have been that it's impossible to get bored. On concept alone, I was hooked on this book since I first read the synopsis. Post-apocalyptic fiction is increasingly popular now and somehow Paul Hardy managed to combine several end of the world scenarios into one stellar story.
One thing to be aware of... this book is not short. By any stretch of the imagination. The survivors have a long journey to take and you're right there with them and their Doctor every step of the way. Reading 170,000 words is no small feat, especially via ebook but The Last Man on Earth Club is well worth it.
While a big part of the story is in understanding the universe that Hardy has created, seeing each survivors world and getting glimpses into the hub world, the more important part is the rehabilitation factor. After going through something traumatic, everyone involved has a lot they need to deal with and a lot of growth to be made before they can once again function as real people. At first I found the obstinate and antagonistic natures of some of the survivors to be irritating and maybe a little over done but considering what these people have been through and the personal journeys they take in this book I can admit, that they have to start somewhere and well, it works.
Thankfully, this book doesn't survive on concept alone. It is well written and clearly laid out. When there are so many drastically different characters and back stories to keep up with, things can get a little confusing. For the most part, that isn't a problem in this book. I did find some of the dialogue to be a little unconvincing, but it didn't detract from the story. If you like strong, character driven stories (and of course, sci-fi) then I highly recommend this read.
There is something for every kind of sci-fi fan here, from zombies to nuclear holocausts. The survivors in this therapy group have seen it all. There is a lot of darkness in their pasts and that seeps through in most of the book. Having seen some very dark things, the main cast of characters are very dark people who can't seem to get along with each other and are always plagued by internal conflict. This one won't leave you with the warm and fuzzies, but it will leave you thinking, and for me that's the mark of great science fiction.
Review by: Kellie of Sift Book Reviews
Sift Book Reviews received a free copy for review from the author. This has, in no way, affected the reviewer's opinion.