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The Last Day

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  4,497 ratings  ·  520 reviews
A visionary and powerful debut thriller set in a terrifyingly plausible dystopian near-future--with clear parallels to today's headlines--in which the future of humanity lies in the hands of one woman, a scientist who has stumbled upon a secret that the government will go to any lengths to keep hidden.

The world has stopped turning. The hunt has just begun.

It is 2059, and t
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published February 4th 2020 by Dutton Books
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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Andrew Smith
At first the world started rotating more slowly, then it’s rotation stopped altogether.

The year is 2059 and the earth stopped turning thirty years ago. Roughly half of the planet is in perpetual frozen darkness and most of the rest is turning to desert, thanks to the unremitting full force of the sun. there is a narrow habitable region which has, by luck alone, avoided either extreme. Britain won the end of the world lottery and has become the pre-eminent force in the world, and the place everyo
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"Then the world
The world stops turning round
Then the world
The world stops turning round
It's a killer but that's the way it goes"

~World Stops Turning by The Angels

What an exciting post-apocalyptic thriller The Last Day is!  

In 2019, the gravity from a passing asteroid slows down the Earth's rotation until it finally comes to a complete stop (not to worry - it didn't actually happen). As you can imagine, this is a catastrophe. One half of the world is plunged into eternal darkness and the othe
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


This book is a dystopian thriller set in a world that quite simply has stopped spinning, this has caused half the world to be in constant light and half in constant dark and life chaotic in the few places where humans can now survive

The best place due to its geography is the UK but even here it is perilous after years of temperature changes and, well, basically everything we take for granted being eroded and is now a challenge

Some of the UK is now sectioned off and is America and Europe is k
The Nerd Daily
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by AB Endacott

When I first heard about The Last Day, I was intrigued. The debut from Andrew Hunter Murray who, among many other things, is a QI Elf, is set in a world where, ‘forty years ago, a solar catastrophe began to slow the planet’s rotation to a stop. Now, one half of the globe is permanently sunlit, the other half trapped in an endless night.’ It seems an interesting premise; especially given the setting in Britain, a country which once hel
Apr 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When it comes to dystopian tropes the idea of the earth stops turning and the ramifications it has the population is one that has had many rodeos. Ever since the Bible, this premise has been fictionalized and while there have been convincing attempts at this theme nothing has come close to the global impact that such an event would create up till now.

Set in the year 2059, by then the world is thanks to an inexplicable cosmic event seemingly barely habitable after from 2020 till 2029 earths rotat
Apr 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
An untethered dwarf star stopped Earth’s rotation about 30 years ago. There are no more dawns or sunsets. The lucky parts of Earth get to live in light and grow food. The other parts get to freeze. Great Britain is one of only a few habitable places left.. Scientist Ellen Hopper is studying ocean currents when she is summoned to the death bed of one of her former professors who has a secret to convey to her. Hopper spends the rest of the book trying to find out what that secret was.

The author h
Feb 26, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great concept and thought provoking read. I really enjoyed the world the author built. My issue was with the pacing and story itself. The twist or reveal for me was underwhelming espcially against the backdrop of the world. I was expecting more. Plus I also just felt the characters were a little too simple. Good debut
Liz Barnsley
Nov 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Last Day is a heady mix of post apocalyptic drama and political thriller, with some intricate world building and intriguing, engaging characters.

It is an end of the world espionage tale as our main protagonist Ellen Hopper risks everything to find out a dangerous secret- dangerous to those in power who are determined to ensure it’s burial. Beautifully plotted, cleverly addictive, you eagerly follow in Ellen’s footsteps through a ravaged and isolated UK, Andrew Hunter Murray adding insightful
Andy Coleman
Mar 05, 2020 rated it it was ok

How can a book about the Earth losing its rotation be boring? Well, it helps when all the interesting parts are just short asides about the history of what happened instead of actually being part of the story.

The main story is about a woman trying to find out her old mentor's secret while navigating in London's dystopian reality. You'll find the usual things: curfew, dictators, secret police, etc. But nothing you haven't read/seen in the other countless dystopian future-ba
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think I must be a bit strange, reading dystopian books in our current situation, but at least the premise in this one is a little different to the usual. I liked that this is - to me at least - a new scenario, and a welcome change from the usual plague, zombie and EMP stories. Yes, I read a lot of post apocalyptic and dystopian novels so I thought I had read it all. Obviously not!

It is 2059 and a solar catastrophe has led to earth initially slowing its rotation and then eventually stopping, le
Mar 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is 2059 and the world has stopped turning – quite literally. More than thirty years ago, the world started, ‘The Slow,’ and gradually came to a stop. Half the world is in darkness, the other burning hot. Only a small sliver is habitable and that includes the UK, although it still has massive problems with climate and how that affects health. The author has cleverly turned politics on its head here – what if the refugee boats heading out were from the United States? However, the US still has s ...more
May 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
This was fine. A generic caper with an interesting setting and a decent protagonist made for an inoffensive read that was enjoyable, but definitely not memorable.

The science behind how the world stopped turning and the consequences thereof, were unfortunately not well thought out, but at least the setting was a good starting off point. The world-building was decent and even somewhat believable, but as the story went along, I found more and more elements not making sense (view spoiler)
Jun 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this dystopic thriller. It's quite the page turner and one of those books I had a hard time putting down. Ellen Hopper is the strong, smart, and appealing main character and the plot is terrific. I highly recommend this one even if it may not be in your usual "genre" of books that you like to read. ...more
Gerardine  Betancourt
The Last Day deserves to have more hype in the book community. The premise is super interesting.
In 2020 a dwarf star causes the earth to stop spinning. In one hemisphere the earth is in complete darkness with extremely cold temperatures and the other side full daylight with a terrible burning heat all the time. Now in 2059 Great Britain is the only remaining habitable place to live.
Ellen Hopper our protagonist is a scientist who is in the North Sea when some government officials take her to Lond
Mar 08, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had high hopes for this book. The title and description of post apocalyptic world were so promising but unfortunately misleading. This is not post apocalyptical work of fiction, this is plain political conspiracy thriller.
The story was not too bad but it was dragged on for so long, that in the end i did not care anymore what will happen. And even when the big secret reveal came, it was not anything special and did not mean anything much for me.
To summarized this is a glorified prologue for the
DNF at 25%.

I liked the premise here, and the writing was fine. But it just didn't really grab me and I'm being ruthless about setting books aside if they aren't floating my boat.

May well work for others, as the writer clearly has talent, but like the earth in this tale, it was a bit too slow-moving.
Frank Miceli
While not a long book it took forever for something to actually happen. When the big reveal happened it felt rushed.
Margaret Schoen
This is a review of an ARC from Edelweiss.

Just couldn't finish this one. Murray does a slow build to explaining the premise: the earth's rotation has stopped and now some parts of the world are stuck in eternal day, others in eternal night, which led to the complete breakdown of society, except not really because we're about 30-40 years in, and in the parts of the world that are still in somewhat sun everything is basically ok? There's still electric power, and food being produced, and society s
An entertaining post-apocalyptic/dystopian thriller set in Britain. There are some great ideas and concepts in this novel and it certainly has an intriguing plot. However, I've given this 3 and not 4 stars because I wasn't able to engage with the characters as much as I would have liked (making the novel hard to get into) and the plot isn't suspenseful, so the reveal had little impact. Nevertheless, a good premise and a fun read. Review to follow shortly on For Winter Nights. ...more
Jan 09, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I do love a dystopian future book and this had all the signs of being a great one and for the most part I wasn’t let down, although perhaps good not great would be more accurate.

There were some wonderful science fiction elements here, I really enjoyed the science of it all and discovering all about this new world. It is bleak in the future when the world has stopped turning and life is a struggle with resources scarce. It reminded me of the films Waterworld and Mad Max at times, although less e
*Source* Publisher
*Genre* Science Fiction
*Rating* 3.5


Andrew Hunter Murray's The Last Day is based on the premise that sometime in the future, the world is going to stop rotating, causing day and night to be the same spot day in and day out all over the world. The cold spots are eternally cold and the warm spots always warm, possibly too warm as they face the sun in the same position without change. The cause of this calamity was a huge celestial body known as a white dwarf star crossin
Jan 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
'The Last Day' is a rather unusual, well-paced story, that deals with state security matters wrapped up in the world of Science Fiction.

The planet has stopped spinning. Why, what are the catastrophic effects and who exactly stands to gain when the New World comes together to meet with the Old?

A really good idea that keeps the reader guessing with mystery, suspense, interesting detail and plenty of action, although I did find the world Slowing the Stopping and the physical effect on both the pla
Karen’s Library
Holy moly, the premise of this book knocked my socks off! Due to plausible science, the world eventually comes to a complete stop. This took years and years for the earth’s spin to start slowing and one day, stop completely. Parts of the world is in full on daylight ALL. THE. TIME. This means hot hot hot. Parts of the world is in constant darkness, so freezing cold. There is an area that is the perfect temperature to grow crops and this is known as the Goldilocks section, where the breadbasket ( ...more
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Due to a celestial event the earth has been knocked off it's axis. First the days got longer & longer until finally earth stopped tuning completely. Half the world was cold & in darkness whilst the other baked in endless sunlight. A small habitable zone exists & Britain becomes the lead power by being in the right place. Ellen Hopper lives on an rig out in the Atlantic studying sea currents when she gets a message from Edward Thorne, an old Uni tutor who had been a great influence in her life. H ...more
I'm not that far into this, but after reading all the reviews I've decided to set it aside for the time being. I'm not sure I like this author's voice; I certainly don't care for the main character much. The audiobook narrator (Gemma Whelan) is excellent. I may come back to this later, but for now I'm going on to other things. ...more
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
It is 2059 and the world has stopped rotating, leaving half of the planet in frozen, perpetual darkness and turning the other half into a scorching dessert. Britain has emerged due to luck of the draw as the world’s new super power. It now occupies the only sliver of the earth that is habitable because it just so happened to be in the right location when the earth stopped for good. Ellen Hopper is a scientist that works on a offshore rig in the Northern Atlantic studying ocean currents. She has ...more
Mar 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stop the world... 4 stars

When a rogue white dwarf star passes through the solar system, its gravitational pull affects the Earth’s rotation on its axis. Gradually over a period of years it slows, with days and nights lengthening; and then it stops completely, leaving half the earth’s surface in endless burning day and the other half in endless frozen night. Humanity scrabbles to survive and Britain comes out on top, lucky to be in the small habitable zone that surrounds the growing desert
Rosie Kirk
I so wanted to love this - I love Andrew Hunter Murray and the premise was interesting. I certainly didn’t hate it, and it was an easy read with nice enough prose, but it just didn’t deliver for me. The characters didn’t feel fully developed, any depth always seeming something of a trope. Overall I think it could have benefited from more of a “show don’t tell” approach, and I was frustrated as the central mystery was predominantly unravelled through luck and coincidence.

I think a lot of this ma
Bob Mayer
Jun 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An intriguing dystopian story. The premise of the world losing its rotation and there being permanent night on one half and permanent day on the other raises all sorts of questions and many are answered.
The year 2059, earth had stopped rotating so one half saw the burning sun and the other, frozen night. Only a twilit region could survive.

Britain was the only safe country which had survived, but it had closed its borders to all. People were trying to survive a harsh world in poverty making use of few resources. One such person was Ellen Hopper who received a message from her professor to meet with him. Therein lay the adventure when Ellen traveled to places to know the biggest secret.

My first
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Andrew Hunter Murray is a writer from London. His first novel, The Last Day, is a high-concept thriller set in a world whose rotation has slowed to a halt. The Last Day will be published in the UK and USA in February 2020 by Penguin Random House.

For ten years, Andrew has been one of the writers and researchers behind the BBC show QI. He is one of the co-hosts of QI’s spin-off podcast, No Such Thin

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