The Last Shot by Michael Adams

cover image

Allen & Unwin, 2014. ISBN 9781743316733.
The second book of a trilogy, The Last Shot is a fast paced, gripping read. Set in Sydney and the surrounding countryside in the not too distant future, it picks up the story hot on the heels of The Last Girl. A reader could get away without reading the first book in the series, but would lose a lot of the background . . . and why would you not read it - The Last Girl is a fabulous read as well. The Last Shot continues the dystopian future of a world that has disintegrated when overloaded brains saturated with social media and being plugged in to everyone else's petty everyday trivia suddenly have an evolutionary jump that means everyone is directly wired into everyone else's thoughts, unable to shut anything out. Most people become catatonic, but some escape the vortex of thoughts dragging all into overload.
The events in The Last Shot occur in the second week after 'the snap' that is the premise of the story. Many people by now are dead or dying. There is already a small-scale nasty new world order to contend with, so as well as being a survival story, there is an enemy to evade as well. The many intricacies the author covers in the book would make great discussion material. This novel is not for the squeamish though - it is realistically told, and many characters die.
Adam's trilogy (The Last Place will be published in 2015) is definitely a set for the school library. These books are on a par with John Marsden's Tomorrow When the War Began series and should appeal to many readers. Teachers considering this as a class novel would need to choose the first book, probably for Yr 10, and then make sure there are several copies of The Last Shot in the library!
Ann Veitch