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Last Ones Left Alive

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  1,355 ratings  ·  276 reviews
“Combines the spare poetry of The Road with the dizzying pace of 28 Days Later.Jennie Melamed, author Gather the Daughters
“A riveting novel.” Eowyn Ivey, bestselling author of The Snow Child

Remember your just-in-cases. Beware tall buildings. Always have your knives.

Raised in isolation by her mother and Maeve on a small island off the coast of a post-apocalyptic Ireland
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published August 27th 2019 by Flatiron Books (first published January 24th 2019)
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Steph i forgot about that! i would say yes.
Jessica Rodrigues First person from the main character, a young woman named Orpen.

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Average rating 3.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,355 ratings  ·  276 reviews

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Jeffrey Keeten
Sep 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: post-apocalyptic
”I kept looking. I looked all around the island with a hunger in me to know more about how it was when the world was whole. I read everything. In the houses, in old papers, there was more of it, signs of people all gathered up. I went further all the time, out to places I wasn’t meant to go on my own, and I ate up the pictures of businesses and towns and cities and countries. I kept going till I first read the word ‘banshee,’ and that was only the start, so it was.”

For all of her short life, Orp
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Better than McCarthy's "The Road," (ooooh-verrated!) in that there is a smudge of hope amid the bleakness. I give full credit to the matriarchal badassery of the survivors in this apocalypse. Of late, this genre has grown like a mushroom out of the wet fears of our collective consciousness of late.

This one is taut and real. The zombies in this one terrify, and the purpose of surviving is shared by everyone. Orpen is a true heroine in that she has hardened herself into a shell containing, literal
Heidi The Reader
Aug 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, dystopian, horror
Last Ones Left Alive brings the zombie-genre to Ireland. Orpen, the daughter of Muireann and Maeve, spends her life training, running, and learning to throw knives. The end has come and humanity has, for the most part, been wiped out by zombie-like creatures called "skrake."

"I'm to put away the stories about the monsters that are not real and to hear about the others. They've got worse as I got older; heroes are caught, turned, burned, throttled, they die of hunger and cold. Children same as me.
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Oh My .... what a boring book , really i spent weeks trying to finish it,i have no idea how it could generate so much attention this book, when i discovered it it seems to be the new "Jonathan Maberry" kind of book about Apocalypse and zombie, every reviews was praising it...... did i confuse the right one!?!?!?
The characters were absolutely not interesting, and their behaviour was so depressing!!!
yess, all the story is a triumph od depression and sadness, and yes.....Zombie Saga are not partic
Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
Bleak overall but has small bits of hope. The comparisons to The Road and 28 Days Later are absolutely deserved and definitely give you the right idea for the tone. But as a survival story set a while after a zombie apocalypse it doesn’t bring too many new ideas to the table.
Sep 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is short, but even so I DEVOURED it - it's an amazing read that sped by far too soon.

Set in an Irish future post zombie-apocalypse, this is a minimal tale - Orpen is the only child of a couple living on an otherwise deserted island, and it's absolutely her story. Most of the book is spent with her, her dog, and her wheelbarrow on the road through a deserted land. We do go back and forth between that and her time growing up on the island with her mother and Maeve, and the contrast betwe
Feb 15, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020-read
3.5 stars

An interesting book with a literary feel to it, and one that grew more on me after I had some time to think about it.

I suppose I can sort of see the comparisons to The Road and Station Eleven, but not really. For me a closer comparison would be to The Reapers are the Angels. Those three books are all favourites of mine, but Last Ones Left Alive does not feel as substantial; it's more like an extra long short story.

That said, I did enjoy this for what it was - the coming of age and test
The Captain
Aug 26, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandon-ship
Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this sci-fi eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here be me honest musings . . .

I picked up this book because it was described as being like the road (loved) or station eleven (one of the best books ever!) but set in Ireland with zombies and a feminist bent.  Sadly I only made it to the 20% mark before giving up on this completely. 

I couldn't connect with the main character, Orpen, at all.  I thought that Orpen dragging her sick companion ar
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dystopian ✔
Feminist ✔
Great storyline ✔
Quick read ✔
Zombies ✔
Left room for a sequel? Omy I really hope so..
Excellent first novel for this author. I will be looking out for further works from her.
ps The Irish dialect in this book makes it even better and as far as I can tell she nailed it.
Karen’s Library
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Last Ones Left Alive is a very haunting dystopian novel set in a post apocalyptic Ireland. I have to say that I devoured this book any chance I had.

The story goes back and forth and alternates chapters between the present and the past.

It starts off with Orpen, a young adult, traveling on the mainland pushing the woman who raised her in a wheelbarrow. Maeve in the wheelbarrow is obviously sick and Orpen is desperately trying to reach Phoenix City.

Orpen was raised on an island as a warrior by h
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)

Many thanks to Flatiron Books for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

I liked the characters but the book overall was a bit meh.

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Gabriela Pop
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
someone please turn this into a gritty tv miniseries and also give it a sequel!!genuinely feel like i'd read many more books set into this world and i am left wanting more tbh
perfect for fans of The Walking Dead as well as The Girl With All The Gifts
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cormac McCarthy meets Justin Cronin. Fantastic read.
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sff, fiction, 2019-release
I just wanted more here--more development of the apocalyptic back story, and more resolution by the end. This kinda felt like watching one episode of a TV show.
Feb 02, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2020, horror
After listening for an hour and the first 10 chapters, I was still waiting for something truly different or unusual to happen. The split timeline is a nice gimmick, bringing Orpen‘s past and present together eventually. The plot is fairly basic, there are no great surprises and it‘s pretty predictable. I‘m assuming the minimalism is on purpose.

The Road comes to mind. With zombies. Orpen is pushing along a wheelbarrow with an incapacitated passenger, on her way East towards Dublin. Trouble lurks
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very original and enjoyable to read.
Never thought I would come across a zombie type book set in Ireland.
But it was great and very interesting all the way through.
Not till the end of the book to you entirely know what's been going on.

Highly recommend.
Jessica Rodrigues
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Once I started reading, I couldn't put this down, and not just because the atmosphere was so tense that I was white-knuckling my e-reader.

TENSE is the best word for this book. Orpen is never safe, even in the idyllic flashbacks to her peaceful childhood on the zombie(skrake)-free island where she was raised by her mother and her mother's partner, Maeve. And these memories are made all the more tragic by the readers' knowledge that Orpen wouldn't be pushing an unresponsive Maeve through a wastel
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Devoured this in two day. Excellent story, and compelling characters.
In the aftermath of a long-ago zombie apocalypse, a young woman is raised by two women on an island off of Ireland. We get the story of Orpen as she travels on the mainland with the slowly zombifying partner of her dead mother, interleaved with the story of her childhood.

This is a great version of the zombie story, well-written and from a part of the world we don't usually get to see in this context. However, this is half a book, and there's no warning anywhere in the published copy that there's
Maria Hill AKA MH Books
“This road, this hungry road, eating us up”.

A post-apocalyptic novel, set in a bleakly beautiful and desolate Ireland. In the first scenes, we are introduced to the mysterious Orpen who is making her way from the West coast to the East coast together with a grey skin Maeve who is lying unconscious in a wheelbarrow. Why is Ireland abandoned, and who is Open and where exactly does she think she is going? All of these are answered over the course of a fast-paced and quite short novel. Of course, t
This was an odd one. The writing is good, and has a literary feel. We're dropped into a story with Orpen slogging her way towards Dublin, and hopefully the elusive Phoenix City, with Maeve, one of her mothers, asleep in a wheelbarrow along with some chickens, and their dog Danger trotting along beside her. We don't know much else, but things are tense because Orpen's worried about getting caught by skrake, who unlike the typical shuffling, moaning zombies, are fast and vicious.
We're gradually le
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Somehow I ended up reading two women driven post apocalyptic stories back to back. Ok, so it isn’t really that surprising, given their proliferation and my predilection for that sort of thing, but still…back to back…that’s pretty bleak. Good thing there were two radically different beasts. This one is starts off like The Road set in Ireland and nicely develops into its own thing. The main protagonist, young woman named Orpen, who has been trained to take on all the dangers of this new hostile li ...more
Jul 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Last Ones Left Alive is Sarah Davis-Goff's debut novel. This is a post-apocalyptic zombie novel set in Ireland, which was intriguing since I don't think I've read many books set in Ireland.

This book was a tense read, and the author did a great job with setting the tone of the novel. It's a stressful slow burn. I am not the biggest fan of post-apocalyptic books, so I wasn't totally sure how I was going to feel about this, but it kept me interested enough.

I wish the book would have focused more
Brenna Thom
Jul 06, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: arc, sci-fi
”Despite myself, despite everything. The world ended a long time ago, but it is still beautiful.”

The Last Ones Left Alive was a disappointment for me. I’m sure some will love the writing style of this book, but I felt that it was lacking. Even with the flashbacks to Orpen’s past on the island, I never felt like I really knew who she was or what actually happened to cause the world to be the way it was. I never connected to her, and, therefore, did not care about her journey. This is a zombie apo
Mairead Hearne (

Last Ones Left Alive is unlike any book I have EVER read. It’s a dystopian novel but it’s set in a post-apocalyptic Ireland!! Now as many of you are already aware I am Irish and to see familiar place names mentioned in the same breath as flesh devouring zombies was a complete freak out. Sarah Davis-Goff has shaken me to to the core and led to one very sleepless night as my dreams were haunted with some variant of these ghoulish
Tracy Robinson
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Review from Sci Fi and Scary:

“All we’re left with is this broken place, and emptiness that starts in the fractured sky and torn earth but ends with this hollowness in my chest, and a fear of what the hell is out there.” -Sarah Davis-Goff, Last Ones Left Alive

Oh look, I’m reviewing another post-apocalyptic book! This should come as no surprise to my bookish friends and people who follow my social media. End of the world stuff, before/during/after, makes my dark heart sing. When I saw that this on
Jackie Law
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Orpen has been raised on the island of Slanbeg, off the west coast of Ireland. She has known only two other people in her life – Mam and Maeve. From reading old papers and listening in on conversations she has gleaned that these two women once lived in Phoenix City but managed to escape. They have instilled in her the knowledge that the mainland holds many dangers. There are the skrake – powerful, crazed, half dead beings who hunt the living and whose bite will turn their victim into one of them ...more
Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh dear goodness - the shrake is after you and if it bites, you die a slow death

The author has created a chilling and deadly Dsytopian Ireland and the language with its Irish quirks enhances the spirit and essence of time and place - so it does.

The narrator speaks in a nuanced voice, quiet, in short sharp sentences that make the language evoke the spikes and troughs of the landscape. For this is rough territory. Dangerous land.

" I am spooked is what I am"

Slanberg - the fictional setting thank go
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is exquisite, careful and considered, with a beautiful lilt to the language. Through past and present POVs, we are given an insight into Orpen's life on Slanbeg, an island off the west coast untouched by the skrake (zombies). Her life is as hard and unforgiving as the landscape, but it equips her with the skills she needs to survive. An ode to female relationships and feminism, this book is vital, visually and linguistically engaging, and I look forward to getting another copy when it ...more
Molly Ferguson
An Irish zombie novel!
Early on in this book, I didn't think I would like it as much as I ended up enjoying and being moved by it. It takes a while for the protagonist to become someone you root for. The way family gets defined and redefined is super interesting, as well as how humans can be cruel to one another. The split timeline worked really well, and I loved the use of the banshees here--I'll definitely write about it.
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