Monday, December 9, 2013

REVIEW: The Last Overseer

The Last Overseer
By: Anton Troia

Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian 
Year published: 2013
Pages: 584

Date read: 12/7/13
Recommended by: r2r

Summary:  In 2033, a sudden change in the Earth’s axial tilt compromised the magnetosphere forever; and the result was devastating. With only a compromised magnetosphere for protection, people were no longer protected from the hyperactive sun. Temperatures soared, ice caps melted, and natural disasters were as common as rain. To make matters worse, solar flares bombarded every facet of the globe, and in just two years, over two-thirds of the planet’s population perished due to radiation-induced cancer. Those who managed to survive did so with horrible physical mutations and mental degradation.

Alarmed by the crisis on Earth, several owners of an extra-terrestrial mining company decided to step out from the shadows and disclose their existence to whatever remained of Earth's disbanded governments. With their arrival came bold claims, announcing themselves as being the Overseers of planet Earth for a very long time. At first, no one appreciated such a surreptitious delegation, especially after the Overseers announced that they would only take Earth's most prominent citizens with them on their ships, leaving many less fortunate survivors to rot on an irradiated Earth. However, the hard feelings subsided rather quickly after Earth's new benefactors introduced advanced molecular medicine to the public--medicine that would cure radiation sickness for good and become the key to humanity's preservation on Earth.

Ten years later, humanity's population began to rebound and all seemed well. Until one day, several citizens began rejecting the Overseer's mandatory medical care, including a keen observer by the name of Charlie Beasley, who along with his new girlfriend Elena, claimed that the Overseers' mandatory inoculations did a lot more than just cure people of radiation sickness--and that a much more sinister agenda was at play.

My thoughts

When I read the description of this book on Amazon, I sat there with mouth open, jaw on floor.  This is the kind of book that's right up my ally, the kind of stuff I love and won't want to put down.

I began the book and was amazed - up til about 20% I just wanted to hug the author. This is what science fiction is SUPPOSED to be.  From about the 20% point until 41% (exactly - I marked it on my Kindle haha), I wanted to hurt him, was ready to throw my Kindle, went on long tangents to my mom and even wanted to call him up a couple of times at 3:30 in the morning to yell at him. 

That 19% seemed like it drug on for thousands of pages and, in my opinion, was SO boring.  It was like trudging through molasses in wellies that are five times too big for you.  (After having a conversation with the author where I was completely honest about my opinion of the book and then going back to re-read the first 41%, I have come to the conclusion that it might be because it was a lot of "back information," which was very necessary, and well-written, but I wanted action.  A quote from Anton in our conversation: "I am aware of the filler, there is some, but I designed the book to be a relaxing read, and so if you're the type that likes a story with gusto, then know this - slow dramatic buildup will usually comes with a reward.)

Once we get to 41% it goes big time amazing and STAYS amazing until the very end.  It flows so well that you sit down and say you're only going to read one chapter and then end up reading five or more.  It has action and unexpected moments and those moments that you question and then totally understand later ... an overseer that you know is bad but not quite to what extent, and when you're introduced to Baal you hear angels singing (especially after he explains everything - and the way he explains things :O and the explanation :O) because he's so maniacal and super-villain that it's just ... beautiful. 

There are some characters that I really like: Brennan, Charlie, Clarkson, Elena (who is Brennan's daughter - I actually quoted some parts of the book on a blog post about her, right before she heads to Earth - I totally relate to her - I mean, there are parts of the book where I just want to slap her, but then there are times I think someone should slap me so...) - Baal and Jasso are pricks, but well-written pricks.  In fact, I don't think I've liked a bad guy as much as I liked Baal in a long time.

The storyline/story idea is wicked cool.

I will warn you that there are some editing issues and I pointed this out to the author. 

I can't wait to read the sequel (and now that the author has given me a bit of information on that, I am even more excited.)

Definitely worth reading.

(Note: I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an HONEST review.)

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