Wednesday 21 July 2021

The Last Generation by Miles Bavin, Young Adult Science Fiction Review (Sent for review)

The Last Generation by Miles Bavin is a young adult science fiction novel which Book Guild Publishing sent me for review.  Suitable for confident readers aged around 12 or over, The Last Generation is a book which is as much about friendship and loss as it is about a future where the Earth is dying, and the only chance may be escape... 

The Last Generation by Miles Bavin Young Fiction Book cover features a teenage girl in side profile

Our main character is teenager Ellie, a pupil at Oakham Elementary, a boarding school somewhere in England. Ellie is deaf, and impressively that's almost irrelevant to the story. She just happens to be deaf, and she is an excellent lip-reader. She is also possibly an orphan, as are many of the pupils at the school.

The Earth is dying, and when children reach 'Level 12' they take exams to see if they can be on the 'Flight To Freedom' escape shuttles. We are never told exactly what is happening to the Earth, but there are several intriguing clues throughout the book. At one point there is a school trip to The Peak District, for which they need to take an Aquabus and have vaccinations. It's a quiet dystopia.

The young people in the story have been through some massive events, many have been orphaned and they're very jaded and resigned, and just living their lives with what is left. They are unconcerned when deaths are reported, and don't seem to care at all when another school is permanently flooded and everyone suddenly turns up at Oakham. 

The Last Generation by Miles Bavin blurb young adult sci fi

The storyline is full of action, and you get a really good feel for the characters in the story. The boarding school itself is actually background to a mystery and a story about friendship, and the beginnings of adulthood. 

Ellie has a good friend Jake, and although they aren't dependent on each other, their familiarity gives them a close bond. When Dana arrives from the flooded St Jude's School, she interrupts the balance, but joins them in trying to work out just what is really going on? Will the Flight To Freedom programme be scrapped, and what are the motives behind it anyway? Who is the new teacher with a Legion tattoo? Why does he have a group of kids working on a huge 'metalwork' project? What are they making? Why was Dana's sister not in the line up to board the Flight To Freedom as expected? Did she escape Earth, or not?

The Last Generation has a really interesting storyline, which is very different to most sci-fi which deals with future dystopia. There's a lot going on, and a good level of anticipation and action, but you never lose sight of the humanity. You feel for the characters, you understand their frustrations, and their lack of control over just about everything. 

I was a little disappointed with the ending of this book, mainly because it only amounts to about 5 pages. It needed longer. It misses some explanation before the crescendo, which is instead just blobbed in at the end in a "by the way" sort of fashion. It would be better explained before the climax of the story I think, and the gravity of what is about to happen better pointed out. I was left wondering how everyone was just calm and okay with what was happening. 

Young adult dystopia The Last Generation text example

You leave The Last Generation with about a million questions, and few answers, although clearly this part of Ellie's story has ended. I'd definitely like to see what happens next, and find out more about the Legion and it's leader, the mysterious and scarily powerful Le Dich - why was there a war, who was it between, and how did it end? I'd also like to get a better idea of just exactly what did happen to the Earth... 

The Last Generation is written by Miles Bavin and published by The Book Guild Publishing. Paperback, 188 pages. Available to buy now priced £8.99rrp from all good bookshops, including online at Amazon (*affiliate link below).

We were sent our copy of The Last Generation by Miles Bavin for review. *Amazon links are affiliate, which means I earn a few pence as a thank you for my time if you order through my link, but you don't pay any extra.


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