The Last One

In her debut as a novelist Alexandra Oliva has created a gripping post-apocalypse story that underscores one’s survival instincts in a rather startling manner.

The story begins when the novel’s heroine, a woman dubbed “Zoo” because she loves animals, joins the cast of a reality show taping a wilderness adventure. The idea is that the dozen volunteers will have their endurance tested as they confront various natural challenges.

While this “project” is set in motion, a pandemic strikes and the controlled reality situation switches over to one that is more than just a scenario for television entertainment.

You’ll have an up close and personal ringside seat as Zoo attempts to deal with a fearsome alteration in events as she is now earnestly fighting for survival in a world that has been altered beyond anything she once knew.

Taking a shot at the rash of reality TV that has flooded the airways, this clever story operates on a number of levels and will provoke some interesting discussions about news media, modern society and popular television culture. You’ll find this a memorable read that will linger long after the novel is finished.

Book Blurb for The Last One

Survival is the name of the game as the line blurs between reality TV and reality itself in Alexandra Oliva’s fast-paced novel of suspense.

She wanted an adventure. She never imagined it would go this far.

It begins with a reality TV show. Twelve contestants are sent into the woods to face challenges that will test the limits of their endurance. While they are out there, something terrible happens—but how widespread is the destruction, and has it occurred naturally or is it man-made? Cut off from society, the contestants know nothing of it. When one of them—a young woman the show’s producers call Zoo—stumbles across the devastation, she can imagine only that it is part of the game.

Alone and disoriented, Zoo is heavy with doubt regarding the life—and husband—she left behind, but she refuses to quit. Staggering countless miles across unfamiliar territory, Zoo must summon all her survival skills—and learn new ones as she goes.

But as her emotional and physical reserves dwindle, she grasps that the real world might have been altered in terrifying ways—and her ability to parse the charade will be either her triumph or her undoing.

Sophisticated and provocative, The Last One is a novel that forces us to confront the role that media plays in our perception of what is real: how readily we cast our judgments, how easily we are manipulated.

Night Owl Reviews Jul, 2016 4.50