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The Last Iota

(The Big Sheep #2)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  230 ratings  ·  46 reviews
The year is 2039, and Los Angeles is poised between order and chaos. After the Collapse of 2028, a vast section of LA, now known as the Disincorporated Zone, was disowned by the civil authorities and became a de facto third world country within the borders of the city.

Navigating the boundaries between DZ and LA proper is a tricky task, and there's no one better suited than
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published May 9th 2017 by Thomas Dunne Books
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Average rating 3.73  · 
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Mogsy (MMOGC)
4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

The Last Iota is definitely one of those awesome and rare instances where a sequel surpasses its predecessor. All the elements that made The Big Sheep such a rollicking good read are back, and this time the mystery is even bigger, better, and more impressive than before. The humor has been cranked up a notch as well, thanks to the often witty, sardonic back-and-forth exchanges between the two main characters. Just to giv
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, 2018-shelf, humor
I seem to be reading a lot of humor books capturing the essence of economics lately. It's almost as if economics is funny.


The Last Iota certainly takes electronic currencies on a wild spin. It throws us in a wild cyberpunk future mixing clones, lawless zones in the heart of LA with high-tech military action and gives us a sociopathic genius as the other MC, the main one being a tactically brilliant hands-on guy who we follow and love to see clash with his partner.

So wait. Is t
Apr 01, 2017 marked it as to-read
PW Starred: Kroese gifts readers with his gripping second mystery set in 2039 Los Angeles (after 2016’s The Big Sheep), another sophisticated blend of science fiction and crime. A decade after a national economic trauma known simply as the Collapse, a large segment of the city, the Disincorporated Zone, remains beyond the reach of law and order. PI Blake Fowler’s ex-girlfriend Gwen Thorson went into hiding there after her colleagues on a planning task force disappeared or were murdered. Gwen has ...more
Logan Horsford
May 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Smart, sexy. Actually uses some of the tech we have no. Interesting characters.

Some of the stuff I figured out ahead of time which is better than a Sherlock Holmes novel where you have no chance. That made this one more fun. Descartes!

I'd call it a 'cyberpunk mystery'.

I enjoyed it.

May 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A worthy sequel, and a wild ride

Whether or not you have had a chance to read The Big Sheep, the continuing adventures of the erratic supergenius Erasmus Keane and his long-suffering assistant Blake Fowler are a wild and entertaining ride.

Equal parts whip-smart social commentary and good old fashioned noir detective novel, The Last Iota will make you laugh out loud, ponder the puzzles of the case... and think.

Set in a wholly believable future and populated with characters you would enjoy knowing
Monika Cacev
Sep 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-and-own
The Last Iota is the second book in a series by Robert Kroese that started with The Big Sheep. I was a huge fan of the The Big Sheep; it was a fun, cyberpunk thriller in the vein of a science fiction Sherlock Holmes. This sequel is similar, but I will say that I liked it slightly less than The Big Sheep; it's still a good, fun, fast-paced book, but some of the character turns made it slightly less enjoyable.

I will try to not spoil anything from the plot of this book, but I can't avoid spoilers
Robert Kroese's "The Last Iota" is the second novel in his "Big Sheep" series. It picks up about three weeks after the end of "The Big Sheep" novel. First, there are a few discrepancies between the two books:

- For some reason, the villain from the first book got about 10 years younger in this book. She was "in her late 60s" in the first book, while she's 57 years old in this one. There doesn't seem to be any reason for that except for the apparent age of another character (and that character did
Vinay Badri
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
One of those rare books when the 2nd book in a series never gives the feeling of a middle book or a middling one either. There is significant plot progression, a lot of questions from the previous book answered and there is an almost logical ending with a hook to hint at further sequels. It helps that the book is almost episodic as well, bringing a lot of threads to a satisfying halt

The Last Iota picks up shortly post the events of the previous book with our lead pair, Erasmus & Fowler, the futu
Dang. This was another book I mainlined. I shouldn't make vast sweeping statements based on just two books, but at this moment I think Robert Kroese is one of my favorite SF writing. (Does my library have any of his other stuff? No it does not. Sigh.)

I was not in love with part of the ending, but all in all, I loved it. Near future tech + recovered from an apocalypse + economic concepts + good characters + banter = yes please! (The world building and style of this book and The Big Sheep really
Erasmus Keane and his partner Blake Fowler (Keane supplying the eccentric genius, Fowler the muscle and narration) are hired by a woman who tried to kill them in their last book (which I'd advice reading first--I didn't and found myself confused at times by the relationships) in a Los Angeles which is just pulling itself out of the recent Collapse, which almost destroyed the world's monetary system. Fowler is still trying to find his girlfriend Gwen, who disappeared three years previously. He's ...more
Jeff Miller
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As a sequel to The Big Sheep I was expecting roughly more of the same, which would have been just fine with me. Really though I enjoyed this one even more. The intricacy of the plot was solid and had a patina of plausibility that made it better. Lots of interesting ideas going on. The Sherlock/Watson vibe in a Raymond Chandler plot works pretty well. While you expect a certain amount of humor in a Kroese book, this one plays it straight more than The Big Sheep where often he was leading you down ...more
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
My review for the first book, The Big Sheep, applies to this sequel as well. The difference is that I was in a less tolerant mood when I read this one. There was one point where Fowler pointed out that something was “pure conjecture”, and I cried aloud “Everything you two have done so far has been based on pure conjecture!!”
Every bit of action in this book is predicated on a conversation whereby the characters offer various hypothesis, pick one and then proceed to act as if it’s utterly true. D
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Will by: 166
This futurist/dystopian/noir had me hooked from the opening (as my internal soundtrack played "Dead Men's Bolero"). "Phenomenological inquisitor" Erasmus Keane and his often-frustrated minder return to pursue intrigue and skullduggery in Los Angeles' Disincorporated Zone, in a plot exploring the potential developments of virtual currency and reality, as well as plenty more technological extrapolation. But it also turns out to be linked to another mystery. Who and what IS Erasmus Keane?

But "Waha
Dec 14, 2017 rated it liked it
When I found out three days ago that the sequel for The Big Sheep was out, I went right to the Kindle store.

I did like this book but not as much as the first one. Yes, all the characters with their quirks are there, the story is fast paced and amusing, there are a lot of twists and turns, etc.

The difference is that everything in the last book was way blown over the top and that was it's charm. In The Last Iota, all the glamour, the villains, the plot itself is not as strange and amusing. To put
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the last book I managed to finish in the Dec 2017, it was absolutely great, considering that for me it approached relevant today topics. And in my view, it was better than the first book. Yes I know it has a cheesy: "everything is great in the end" and the story is absolutely linear, but nonetheless it was very enjoyable. Mystery, multiple twists, as usual, a bit or a lot of action(depending on your preferences), corrupt government, corrupt wealthy individuals, secret services, warlords( ...more
Shhhhh Ahhhhh
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
If the first book in this series is Sherlock Holmes in the middle of the 21st Century, this book introduces us to Moriarty. This book was everything I would expect from a sequel and much, much more. It goes further into the background of the first book, even introducing new tech without disrupting the plot points and universe-feel of the first book, which leaves the Author a lot of wiggle room moving forward. Plots on plots on plots. Bonus points/ kudos to the author for including cryptocurrency ...more
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-sci-fi
Second mystery with investigators Fowler and Erasmus Keane and their nemesis Selah Fiore set in post-collapse LA. The titular last iota is a promotional coin representing a bitcoin-like digital currency called "iotas" that has a sterling reputation but seems to be caught up in the Collapse and subsequent DZ carved out of LA. We learn a bit more about Keane, Gwen, Fowler et al and how entwined the currency manipulators are with all the violence. There are a few laughs and interesting background d ...more
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished
This time, I'm satisfied with leaving four stars instead of four-and-a-half. The Last Iota is still good, but not as good as The Big Sheep, and in the beginning chapters with the obligatory recap of who Fowler is and why he's working for Keane, it literally copy-pastes 2-3 pages from the first book. Word for word. I almost tossed this book out on general principal just for that, but I needed something to read during holiday traveling, so I stuck with it. The rest of the book was good, I'm just s ...more
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Kroese, Robert. The Last Iota. Dunne, 2017.
The Last Iota is a close sequel to The Big Sheep. Once again, we have our mismatched pair of noir investigators involved with moguls, mobsters, and missing girlfriends in post-collapse Los Angeles. This time the tech issue involves a hunt for a missing coin that is the key to retrieving a bundle of cryptocurrency. If you enjoyed the first one, you will enjoy this one.
Sep 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Classic tough guy thriller married to cyberpunk; the two genres don't divorce here but I still don't know if the marriage will last. The start was slow enough that I was actually on my way to returning it to the S.F. library, when having nothing else to read on BART I picked up with it again and decided it was worth finishing. Nobody who knows enough about cryptocurrency will find the speculation about credible, I suspect -- fortunately I don't know enough yet.
Jeffrey Schmieder
Jul 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
I like the world Kroese has created here, a dystopian future Los Angeles that looks more accurate this Summer of 2020. I like the way more than onemystery is being solved and some like Keane will never be solved. Plot? A group of special coins are being collected in the city and our PI's are hired by a former enemy to get one for her too. Satisfying conclusion but leaves you wanting more, who is Lila? Please Robert, tell me you are going to finish the trilogy soon.
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
Pretty meh for me - it's supposed to take place after a collapse of the dollar and the US economy, but... everything is pretty much the same, other than air cars, holographic actors, and a vast swath of LA given over to gangs and warlords. But, even that doesn't REALLY ring true, because, while the phone company doesn't work inside the DZ, the gas company does?
May 23, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this novel although the concept of iotas are beyond my comprehension. The characters are all well developed and the plot moves quickly taking many twists and turns. The setting is good and the social atmosphere is probable. It is a well written novel with excellent dialogue and I look forward to the sequel if there is one.
Joel Bezaire
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Big Sheep and The Last Iota are primed as the next great prestige series on a network like FX or Netflix or something. Terrific dark sci-fi without feeling like it's just riding the coattails of the recent dystopian fiction hype. Wonderful stuff.
Laureen Andrews
May 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
I could follow the genetic/scientific discussions in the previous book, but for the life of me, I could not understand the economic parts of this one. Charley Brown trombone noises is all I hear. Other than that, it's good.
Francis S. Poesy
As usual with Kroese's books there is the perfect blend of sci-fi, action, suspense, humor, philosophy, heart, and explosions! I hope there will be a third installment in this future-noir detective series.
A quick popcorn read. Noticed more continuity errors and such in this one which broke the immersion a little. The Holmes and Watson dynamic was still pretty solid here, with some fun interaction between Keane and Fowler. Overall it was a fun little book, but not a great one.
Stephen Fleming
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Keane and Fowler continue

Fun, thoughtful, well plotted, even at the expense of a couple of monologues. One quibble: Chapter 21 is based on wordplay and anagrams, and thus completely impenetrable in the audiobook version.
Sep 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-read
A dystopian sci-fi/crime thriller that works well on multiple levels.
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
As good as its predecessor. Sci-fi noir at its finest.
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Robert Kroese's sense of irony was honed growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan - home of the Amway Corporation and the Gerald R. Ford Museum, and the first city in the United States to fluoridate its water supply. In second grade, he wrote his first novel, the saga of Captain Bill and his spaceship Thee Eagle. This turned out to be the high point of his academic career. After barely graduating from ...more

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The Big Sheep (2 books)
  • The Big Sheep (The Big Sheep, #1)

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“She tried to kill us, Keane."
"You can't take attempted murder personally in this business, Fowler.”
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