Thank you, NetGalley and Rob Ewing for this advanced copy.
This book is not for the faint-hearted. This book is about Rona and four other children who are marooned on a Scottish island and are what seems to be the sole survivors of a global pandemic that killed all the adults and most of the children. It is their tale of how they survived and how they have had to grow up in order to take care of themselves. The fact that it is told by a child made me think that is was going to be an easy read. But I believe that because the protagonist is a child, it makes everything she observes and has to do so much more hard hitting.
I didn’t enjoy reading this book but at the same time, I couldn’t put it down. As soon as I finished it, I couldn’t stop thinking about it afterwards. It was an incredible journey to go on with these children who had to mature to deal with the world they have been left with. You can see all the way through the way they grapple with wanting to stay children and trying to let the older children be the adult because they are just not ready to be grown up. But then when they are pushed into making these grown up decisions their true strength is revealed and for children so young, it is awe-inspiring.
Because it is told by a child, I did find parts of it disjointed, the flashbacks to memories on the Island felt irrelevant and incomplete but I suppose we are only learning what Rona as a child could remember. Throughout this book the Scottish ‘Gaelic’ was a prominent feature. I found it a bit off-putting in certain parts but I really enjoyed learning about this islands way of life and the importance of Scottish identity.
I am looking forward to reading more from Rob Ewing because he has dealt with some intense themes in this book impressively considering he has chosen a child as his protagonist. This book is intense and very detailed and you actually can visualise the island and what the children have to deal with. It was a fascinating read and very captivating.
The Last of Us by Rob Ewing is released on 21st April 2016.