Saturday, July 16, 2016

THE LAST ONE by Alexandra Oliva Audio Edition

     Brilliantly written and imaginatively conceived one can only heap praise on Alexandra Oliva’s first novel.   Compelling, astute, timely The Last One is a stellar entry in the field of apocalyptic tales.

    Zoo as she is called because she works at a wildlife sanctuary and rehabilitation center wants to have one last adventure before starting a family.  A devotee of TV she decides to become one of twelve contestants on a reality show called In The Dark and set in the wilderness of Pennsylvania.  As explained by the show’s host there is no finish line, the only way out is to quit.  Well, quitting isn’t in Zoo’s vocabulary and before long she’s a standout among the contestants.  Others say she has “moxie.”

    However, before long we see Zoo alone believing she is on a long solo challenge.  She thinks the show has gotten rid of whole towns and scattered make believe corpses about.  Zoo heads east toward her home, determined to be the last one standing and winner of the million dollar prize.  She is unaware that a mysterious pathogen has begun destroying the population as the lines between reality and reality show become blurred.

    As Zoo struggles to stay alive and strong enough to find her way to home and husband we are privy to her thoughts about society and herself.  Listeners will find themselves examining the place of the media in our lives - does it affect our judgment?  Is what we see real or unreal?

    Mike Chamberlain is an actor and voice-over artist who along with Nicol Zanzarella deliver outstanding performances as they bring us this story of a human psyche under enormous stress. 

    The Last One provokes thoughts as few other stories do.

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