The Last Orphans
by N.W. Harris
Series: The Last Orphans #1
Publication date: October 9th 2014
by Clean Teen Publishing
Genre: Horror, Post-apocalypse
Source: Author in exchange for an honest review
One horrifying day will change the life of sixteen-year-old Shane Tucker and every other kid in the world.
In a span of mere hours, the entire adult population is decimated, leaving their children behind to fend for themselves and deal with the horrific aftermath of the freak occurrence. As one of the newly made elders in his small town, Shane finds himself taking on the role of caretaker for a large group of juvenile survivors. One who just happens to be Kelly Douglas—an out-of-his-league classmate—who, on any other day, would have never given Shane a second glance.
Together, they begin their quest to find out why all of the adults were slaughtered. What they find is even more horrifying than anything they could have expected—the annihilation of the adults was only the beginning. Shane and his friends are not the unlucky survivors left to inherit this new, messed-up planet. No, they are its next victims. There is an unknown power out there, and it won’t stop until every person in the world is dead.
A spine-tingling adventure that will have you gasping for breath all the way until the last page, The Last Orphans is the first book in an all-new apocalyptic series.
Sixteen-year-old Shane Tucker has had a rough life. When his mom died, he was left with a pathetic excuse for a father. I mean the lowest of the low. Right away I felt horrible for our main character. Shane’s grandmother was the one true ray of sunshine in his life — until the day she died. The story begins after her funeral. Shane is forced to deal with another verbal lashing from his father during the ride home. But they never made it home.
Shane’s father leaves him on the side of the road after effectively degrading him for feeling sorrow about his grandmothers passing. You think that sounds tough? What happens next is shocking and terrifying, and it only continues to get worse from there. During his trek to find solace at his now-empty grandmother’s house, he notices several strange occurrences. Animals being to behave in a panicked and agitated manner, which Shane can only assume is a warning of the impending storm. If only that were true. There’s a storm brewing alright, but not in the sense that you might imagine.
The Last Orphans is a unique tale that provides an excellent twist on an end-of-the-world scenario. It’s packed with action and gore – two of my favorite ingredients for a good post-apocalyptic story – as well as a tenacious plot that packs a wallop and keeps the reader begging for more.
Shane and the rest of the characters are beautifully written; full of depth and distinction. Mr. Harris makes it easy to feel a plethora of feelings for each one. His capacity for good world-building makes slipping into the setting effortless within the first few pages. At times I felt like the story was a bit over-the-top, which generally turns me off, but in this case it’s what kept me turning the pages.
If you want to read a careful, safely-written, typical post-apocalyptic story then this is not the book for you. But if you want to dive head first into the deepest end of this genre, you won’t want to miss out on this first book of what promises to be an amazing series.
I will definitely recommend The Last Orphans to all fans of horror, post-apocalyptic, and science fiction stories. I’m really looking forward to continuing this series. I’m also hoping to keep some of my fingernails intact during the process. This is a true nail-biter!
About the Author
Born at the end of the Vietnam war and raised on a horse farm near small town north Georgia, his imagination evolved under the swaying pines surrounding his family’s log home. On summer days that were too hot, winter days that were too cold, and every night into the wee morning hours, he read books.
In addition to writing, he has been a submarine sailor, nurse, and business owner. His studies have included biology, anthropology, and medicine at UCSB and SUNY Buffalo. He is an active member of SCBWI and lives in sunny southern California with his beautiful wife and two perfect children. He writes like he reads, constantly.
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