For What It's Worth

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Review: The Last Night (The Burning Earth Book 1) by Nico Rosso

After a chain of earthquakes ravaged the globe, long-dormant viruses were released into the air, turning many humans into creatures with an appetite for human ashes. Erica and a group of survivors are barricaded in a half-destroyed hotel, and every day brings them closer to being devoured by the seemingly unstoppable ashers. Even though Erica is a fighter, she's tired of just surviving...

When a mysterious stranger rides into town, everything changes. Jake knows how to kill the ashers, and he's the only man brave enough to leave the safety of the hotel in search of a better life. Erica and Jake make a deadly fighting team, with even hotter sparks flying between them. But Jake has survived this long because he rides alone. He doesn't trust easily, especially in this harsh new reality. Can Erica convince Jake that living is more than just surviving to the next day? (Sci-fi/romance)

In The Last Night, author Nico Rosso presents a very stark and desolate post apocalyptic world filled with creatures - called Ashers - that are basically a type of zombie with a bit of a twist. They were once humans who lost their flesh, turned to stone and feed on ashes. They set everything ablaze in pursuit of their next meal which includes charred humans.

I was really impressed with the world building in this novella. Rosso gave a plausible theory for the apocalypse and the Ashers. Earth was rocked by a chain of earthquakes resulting in long dormant viruses being released, infecting humans and giving life to the Ashers. Given the time constraints in a novella I was pleasantly surprised at how easily I was pulled into the world and kept on edge wondering how everyone would survive.

The romance took me a little longer to warm up to. Erica has been living with a group of survivors in a crumbling hotel in Phoenix, AZ behind a make shift fence as they live day to day looking for supplies and fending off the Ashers. They really have no weapons that work against the creatures other than just bludgeoning them and hoping the fence stays up long enough to hold them off.

Most of the group longs for the "good old days" but Erica wants more. Even in this hopeless world she sees hope over the horizon. She watches the rain storms in the distance and knows that must mean water, food and possibly other people. She doesn't want to just survive, she wants to live. Just when it seems that Erica will never get that chance during a particular nasty attack, our hero Jake comes riding in on a motorcycle saving the day. He has a weapon that works against the enemy but he rides alone and he trades for his knowledge. He doesn't give it away for free.

At first Erica is aghast at this. Why wouldn't you help your fellow man/woman survive? Share your knowledge? To Jake he needs supplies and trading information is the way to get it. Their relationship is very antagonistic at first. Once he sees Erica fight though, Jake sees that she's a survivor like himself. He takes a chance and finally shares his information freely and falls hard for Erica.

I actually had no problem with them hooking up so quickly. Hey - life is tough during an apocalypse and if you can find someone to be with why not? What bothered me was his over the top instant adoration of Erica. It was pretty intense on both their parts. I'm not sure I bought into that level of intensity at first sight.

However, I felt Rosso redeemed that by having them back up a little later in the story and examine their pasts and discuss their future. Jake and Erica didn't always agree on what that meant and it was interesting to watch how that played out.

The ending is clear but leaves an opening for future adventures. I hope if the series continues it features Erica and Jake. they make a great team and it would be nice to see how their relationship plays out.

Rating: 3 out of 4 I had a few problems with Erica & Jake's relationship at first but I was won over in the end. I did in enjoy the stark, post apocalyptic world and the original take on zombies.

Nico Rosso: website | Twitter
Buy the book!  The Last Night
Publisher: Carina Press
Source: Provided by the author for my honest review.

1 comment:

  1. I think I would like this one. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.