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Last Ones Left Alive

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  583 ratings  ·  150 reviews
LAST ONES LEFT ALIVE is the story of Orpen, a young woman who must walk on foot across a ravaged Ireland in the desperate hope of saving herself, and her guardian Maeve, from the zombie-like menace known as the skrake. Sarah Davis-Goff's strikingly original debut will appeal to readers of dystopian literary fiction such as STATION 11 or THE END WE START FROM.

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Hardcover, 280 pages
Published January 24th 2019 by Tinder Press
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Jessica ☕ First person from the main character, a young woman named Orpen.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  583 ratings  ·  150 reviews

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Jeffrey Keeten
”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,
Heidi The Reader
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." p/>"I'm
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
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 ar
Sep 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 co
The Captain
Aug 26, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 draggi
Gabriela Pop
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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.
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Better than "The Road," in that there is more 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, literally, the last vestments o
Karen’s Library
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
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Cormac McCarthy meets Justin Cronin. Fantastic read.
Jessica ☕
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 wasteland i
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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.
Taryn Pierson
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.
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
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
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
Jackie Law
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Brenna Thom
Jul 06, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 apocalypse stor/>The
Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
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"
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Tracy Robinson
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Suzanne Rooyen
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
When I started this, I wasn't sure I was going to like it. The writing is sparse and the plot is pretty much just a long walk, but somehow the author still manages to pack a devastating emotional punch.

I strongly recommend this to anyone looking for a short but intense read and a fresh take on the zombie-novel.
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, dystopian, arc, zombies
Took me a little while to get used to the writing style but once I did I flew through this one. It’s a slightly different take on the zombie apocalypse genre and I really enjoyed it. The only thing holding me back from giving it five stars is the ending felt abrupt. I wanted more questions answered and more about the banshees. Overall a very good debut novel.
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Read this in three sittings. Couldn't put it down - dying to know more about the post-apocalyptic Ireland!
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't really know how to feel about this novel. I enjoyed it, that much I know, but I just wish everything was explained. However, that is my usual complaint with apocalypse stories, so I'm sure its just a "me" problem.

The writing was great and realistic! It took a bit to get used to, but once I was invested in the novel, I loved the writing style. The chapter setup was perfect and made me not want to put down the book because I was so intrigued about what happened in the past and what was ha
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
"Last Ones Left Alive" by Sarah Davis-Goff is a story about a post apocalyptic Ireland where the fight to survive and endure means to live another day.

From the first line of this novel, I knew I was hooked. The story alternates from current to the past on how Orpen, the protagonist, was raised in an island called Slanbeg off the coast of Ireland by her mother and her mother’s partner Maeve. Orpen was trained how to fight and survive against what Davis-Goff calls the zombies or “skrakes”. Once b
Realms & Robots
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Last Ones Left Alive turns zombie fiction into a heartfelt character piece that highlights the power of family and perseverance at the end of times. The zombies, or skrakes in this instance, are as gory and gross as you’d imagine. They’re just a small part of the story, representing an obstacle as our protagonist sets out to fulfill what she believes to be her destiny. It’s heartbreaking at times, thrilling at others, and ultimately a moving look at the final sparks of the human race.

Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Last Ones Left Alive deals with themes of isolation, women’s empowerment, and coming-of-age. Orpen’s parents kept a lot from her in an effort to protect her from the outside. Their little island was free from skrakes, but when they leave she sees that not all is as she thought. The city dwellers have a distinct way of looking at the world and when she meets up with the few that are still alive, Orpen sees that the world is a much different place than she realized.

I found some very go
Aug 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Excellent debut novel with well-written, strong female leads. 5 things to know...

1. This is basically a zombie novel. It's a post-apocalyptic/dystopian tale where the world is besieged by zombie-like creatures called Skrake.

2. I've seen comparisons to Cormac McCarthy's "The Road", and yes, they are valid. But this didn't feel as bleak to me. So it's kind of a lite-version of The Road. Maybe "The pavement".

3. It's the first zombie novel I've read set in Ireland
AnnMarie Sharp
Mar 14, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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