The Last Day
One half suffers an endless frozen night; the other, nothing but burning sun. Only in a slim twilit region between them can life survive. In an isolationist Britain, scientist Ellen Hopper receives a letter from a dying man. It contains a powerful and dangerous secret. One that those in power will kill to conceal.
Reviewed on 22nd March 2020
I’ve been listening to Andrew Hunter Murray on the No Such Thing As A Fish podcast for many years, and so when I heard that he’d published a novel I bought it immediately without pause for thought. It’s probably not what I’d usually buy, but I’m totally happy with my decision in this case.
It’s a post-apocalyptic novel set in a future Britain following an entirely fictional massive environmental disaster, which unlike our own isn’t caused by ourselves. The world is dystopian, and we’re slowly introduced to the horrors by our main character - a scientist who’s been away from Britain studying the seas for a few years.
The story is good, the narrative is good (better than some extremely high profile thrillers I’ve read, and in this case a first-time novelist), and the world building is incredible. I mean it paints a picture of a terrifyingly believable future world - one that I can easily see ours descending into following some sort of natural disaster… which when I read it felt like we were heading towards (although as I write this we’ve been surprised by a totally different one!).
I’m not entirely sure I’m happy with the resolution - it felt a bit like there was more conclusion that I wanted, but it is reminiscent of other classic dystopian tales. There might be room for a sequel, but I don’t think one is necessary - the story that I think the book wants to tell isn’t the plot, but is in the allegory for real life.