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The Last Orphans Paperback – November 11, 2014
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I was lucky enough to get to read an arc of this book and I loved it! This for me was very reminiscent of writings by the awesome Stephen King and I suggest any fans of his grab a copy as soon as it is available. Although this is technically a YA read because of the age of the characters involved this is NOT what I would consider typical of the genre and for that reason alone it piqued my interest.
The characters are vivid (as are the situations they have to deal with) and this author certainly doesn't pull any punches. Be warned though, as with MANY Clean Teen Publishing books it leaves you desperate for book 2. I got to the end and things were just starting to click in to place for me and THAT WAS IT! Grrrrrrrrr. V""V
Have you ever tried to think of the most horrible end-of-the-world scenario possible and then wondered if it would showcase the best or worst of those involved? Then this story is for you! Not only does it give you the backdrop of a horrendous event that would seem to usher in the end of the world, but the heroes that you see emerge are from those that you would least expect. It’s as if they needed this event as a catalyst to make them see that they are more then what they have always been. The potential that lay dormant until now not only emerges out of desperation but also from the revelation that it is finally time that they transformed into who they were born to be.
Shane’s day started the day off by attending his grandmother’s funeral. Except for this terribly painful event, it would seem to be just another day in his young life. What starts out as a horrible way to start anyone’s day ends up a million times worse than Shane could have ever imagined. In order to keep from losing his mind to the numbing darkness that threatens to overtake him and lull him into its false sense of peace, he reaches out to those he finds in need of help. He is able to focus on helping them and in turn keeps his sanity intact for as long as possible. What has become of his world is truly the unthinkable. The obstacles that he and his small group of friends and strangers have to overcome are mind-numbing and yet it drives them on to pursue a small sliver of hope that always seems to be just out of reach. When the unthinkable happens, and all they have time to do is react, will they step up and fight for what they know to be right, or will they run away and slip into self-preservation mode?
I was completely blown away by these characters. Watching them dig deep and find an inner strength and determination they never knew they had was absolutely incredible! There is nothing overtly special about any of the characters, but if you watch closely, each of them spreads their hidden wings and with unspoken words takes over the various roles needed to keep their band of rag-tag heroes walking straight with their heads held high. Their innate sense of integrity and justice is the only thing that keeps them alive and feeds their desire to survive and help each other despite their circumstances. They are utterly amazing and their huge amount of character growth in such a short span of time is phenomenal. I can’t wait to read more about them in the next book in this series!
N. W. Harris is new to me, but this author’s storytelling is pure magic. To watch him weave a heart-breaking storyline with such finess and depth, really touched my heart. He handled devastating situations with care and yet didn’t dwell on them and lose his overall focus. While this journey isn’t for everyone, it is a beautiful story that is sure to inspire hope that even in the darkest times, we can choose to do what is good and right, and nurture respect for each person that is a part of our life knowing that what we see on the outside is not always a true reflection of what is on the inside just waiting to burst into life.
About the Author
Born at the end of the Vietnam war and raised on a horse farm near small town north Georgia, his imagination evolved under the swaying pines surrounding his family's log home. On summer days that were too hot, winter days that were too cold, and every night into the wee morning hours, he read books. He lives in sunny southern California with his beautiful wife and two perfect children.
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We find sixteen-year-old Shane Tucker fresh from his grandmother's wake driving back home with his belligerent, abusive, and drunk father. He almost makes a stand for himself, but is abandoned on country road on a sweltering Georgia day. His Aunt, also heading his way pulls up and gives him a lift. And this, fellow readers, is where everything turns upside down.
In short order, by different means and methods, adults are annihilated off the face of the Earth. With more questions than answers, it is up to teens to step up, find information, and coral younger children in hopes of survival.
A rag-tag group; jocks, nerds, army brats, and cheerleaders must find safety; others are all too happy to take over, by force, the void left by the adult world. Time does not favor the kids, as what killed all the adults will soon target teens, then pre-teens, all the way down to infants. All of humanity is at risk.
This is a fun read with quality editing. It is a fun launch for a series with some strong characters and continuous action. There is loss for sure so although it is a "Clean Teen" read, it has enough mayhem to reach a broader audience. The `power' killing off older folks is invisible, doesn't smell, and only attacks when the time is right.
4 Stars for YA, 3 Stars for the rest (not critical rating) as this is a quick, easy read.
Read November 2014; Copy provided by Author.
good(but unrealistic) story line
The only issue I had was when they find out why all the adults have died. That gave me pause and threatened to be enough to put me completely off the story. Fortunately, they didn't revisit that particular again and I was able to ignore it. I can not wait to read the next, since this one ends on a cliff hanger.