Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Last Girl (The Dominion Trilogy Book 1) by Joe Hart

A mysterious worldwide epidemic reduces the birthrate of female infants from 50 percent to less than 1 percent. Medical science and governments around the world scramble in an effort to solve the problem, but twenty-five years later there is no cure, and an entire generation grows up with a population of fewer than a thousand women.

Zoey and some of the surviving young women are housed in a scientific research compound dedicated to determining the cause. For two decades, she’s been isolated from her family, treated as a test subject, and locked away—told only that the virus has wiped out the rest of the world’s population.

Captivity is the only life Zoey has ever known, and escaping her heavily armed captors is no easy task, but she’s determined to leave before she is subjected to the next round of tests…a program that no other woman has ever returned from. Even if she’s successful, Zoey has no idea what she’ll encounter in the strange new world beyond the facility’s walls. Winning her freedom will take brutality she never imagined she possessed, as well as all her strength and cunning—but Zoey is ready for war.

REVIEW: How much is a life worth?

This question is the first that enters Zoey’s mind each morning, and it is the last she thinks before falling off to sleep every night. Can a price be put on such a thing? And if it could be, would one ever be able to pay for it?

Opening with the oft repeated quote attributed to Henry David Thoreau, “The savage in man is never quite eradicated,” this hard-boiled dystopian thriller set in the near future with a dynamic cast of characters headed by a female is quite fittingly dedicated by the author to his wife, mother, daughter and sister, whom he labelled “the strongest women I know.” Though I’m not that familiar with author Joe Hart, all I know is that he has an impeccable record as an author with seven novels to his credit, most of them bestsellers. He has also written a novella – Leave the Living, four short stories and a collection of short stories entitled Midnight Paths: A Collection of Dark Horror.

The first book in the planned Dominion Trilogy, The Last Girl by Joe Hart, reads like a doomsday prophecy with the world facing the scourge of drought of women. In less than a quarter of a century, the world’s women population has dwindled down to a thousand, and with no baby girls and women, there seems to be no hope, and the world is ravaged by uncertainty. The National Obstetric Alliance (NOA) was set up to determine the cause but it has failed to come up with a satisfying answer. Known as “The Dearth,” the world witnessed a noticeable drop in female births in 2016. It grew to an alarming rate in 2017.  By 2018, despite an unprecedented scientific undertaking by NOA, it recorded less than one in one hundred million. It resulted in chaos, uprisings and rebellions leading to a full-scale civil war which lasted for five years.

Under the guise of protecting and sheltering the surviving women, the NOA has been running a program, conducting experiments, at a facility known as Advance Research Compound. The surviving women are holed up - Terra, Zoey, Grace, Halie, Rita, Sherell, Penny, Lily, Meeka and many more expectantly waiting for their turn to be “inducted” as they believe that the program isn’t something to be afraid of but something to embrace as it is for the greater good. They believe that they live for the chance to rebuild the world, each waiting for their turn to be inducted into the program, after which fulfilling their long-cherished dream of living in the safe zone with parents. But Zoey knew better, and she decided to act before more of her friends are “inducted.” Author Joe Hart cooked up a chillingly terrifying scenario, leaving me breathless. Mesmerizing and unsettling, , The Last Girl by Joe Hart is a thrill-a-page read which fans of science fiction, mystery, suspense and futuristic novels will enjoy.

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