When I was approached to receive an advanced copy of a book in exchange for a review, I was hesitant. Granted, I have never written a formal book review, and doubt I can count those many book reports written throughout high school and grade school many many many years ago. In the spirit of getting outside of my comfort zone – which has been a big thing for me the past year – I accepted the assignment.
Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic Novels are among some of my favorite genres of books to read, especially if it is in line with Hunger Games, Divergent, Maze Runner, and the like, so I was interested in finding out if this story would turn out to be just as entertaining. This review is for the serialized* e-book: Oasis, The Last Human (Book 1) by Dima Zales, New York Times Bestselling Author.
*It is in the popular “serialized” novel format where the story starts in book 1 and the author then releases a series of new installments over time.
It is written in first-person from the main character’s point of view. The synopsis of the book:
“My name is Theo, and I’m a resident of Oasis, the last habitable area on Earth. It’s meant to be a paradise, a place where we are all content. Vulgarity, violence, insanity, and other ills are but a distant memory, and even death no longer plagues us.
I was once content too, but now I’m different. Now I hear a voice in my head, and she tells me things no imaginary friend should know. Her name is Phoe, and she is my delusion.
Or is she?”
They also warn potential readers: “Note: This book contains some strong language. We felt it was important for the censorship theme of the novel. If such words offend you, you might not enjoy this book.”
However, I didn’t receive that notice until after I started reading. Imagine my surprise when the very first line, just three words – all “forbidden words” as the character describes them – were all curse words. As such, though this book is categorized in the Teen/Young Adult section, parents of teens who are interested in reading this should be under advisement.
I’ll try not to go too much into detail about what actually happens in the book as not to spoil it from anyone. This will be more of an round-about abstract opinion on the book.
The story starts off with Theo talking to what he believes is his imaginary friend, Phoe (pronounced Fee). In this Oasis, the last habitable place on Earth, they are under a dome that acts as a barrier, shielding them from the wasteland of “goo”. The society that he lives in, it is separated into Youths, Adults, and Elderly – they are literally separated from each other and the only Adults that the Youths see are instructors and guards. Youths ages go up to 39 and Theo is right there at that age.
In addition, similar to The Giver (at least the movie, as I never read the book), this society is free from certain things like love, marriage, romance, and death, and they have words and emotions that are forbidden to them, where consequences of doing anything taboo results in them being sent to Quietude, which is like a higher level detention.
A couple of events happen that triggers him to ask Phoe to do something and then that also triggers more events to happen that leads to the world as he knew it being changed and smoke and mirrors start to fall away.
The beginning of the book is slow and I struggled to stick with it, but did anyway and it gradually got better and more interesting and weirder as it progressed.
In the end, I liked this book, and thought it was a good read, there were twists here and there and it kind of makes you think of reality or what we perceive as reality. Though, I didn’t think it as good as Hunger Games, or Divergent, it had its own uniqueness and I’d recommend it.
*Disclaimer: An advanced copy of this book was given to me complimentary in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. This evaluation and review is an accounting of my true opinions and experiences, and is written in the same manner as if I had bought it at full-price, been given as a gift, or received as a sample.
This book is available to Pre-Order via Amazon for $2.99 USD in e-book/Kindle/Kindle App format or $12.99 + free Prime shipping for Paperback. (price and availability current as of the time of writing this post)
More about the author, Dima Zales, and other books that he has written: link