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Last of Her Name Hardcover – 26 Feb 2019
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About the Author
Jessica Khoury is the author of the Corpus Trilogy--ORIGIN, VITRO, and KALAHARI--as well as THE FORBIDDEN WISH. She currently lives in Greenville, South Carolina.
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Plot and Themes: 4.5/5
Awesomeness Factor: 4/5
Review in a Nutshell: Last of Her Name is a fun, fast-paced space adventure that is perfect for running through in one sitting.
// Content Warning: Violence, Death, Gun Violence, Murder, Mental Illness, (Alien) Racism
– Premise –
Last of Her Name is an epic sci-fi retelling of the legend of Anastasia. I’m completely trash for anything Anastasia, so I’ll probably be a little biased during this review. When Stacia’s home is visited by the Direktor Eminent, her entire world changes. She discovers she’s the lost Princess the Direktor is hunting, and is smuggled away by her friend Pol, except her best friend, Clio, is left behind and taken prisoner. Stacia will do anything to save her, even if it means traveling across the galaxy.
– Writing –
Jessica Khoury’s writing style is entertaining, fun, and straightforward. It’s quick and easy to jump into, perfect for this sci-fi adventure. If you like your books to jump right to the action and plot, this one is definitely the style for you. The setting of the book is fairly well developed, with plenty of interesting planets and cultures, and a cool political system. I do wish it was a little more fleshed out, or that we could have seen more of it.
– Plot –
This book is fast-paced. There is constant action and drama with no lulls at all. I started this book just to kill some time but ended up not being able to put it down until I was done. Be careful when you start this, you’ll want to make sure you have enough time to read the entire thing. Not only was there plenty of action but a major twist I did NOT see coming, and I absolutely loved it. I can usually predict things and still enjoy it, but while I knew something was off, I did not expect the truth.
– Characters –
Stacia is our main character, and she’s really fun. A little impulsive and reckless, but in a completely believable way. I loved her dedication and loyalty to her friend, and some aspects of her history make her a very interesting narrator for this story. I can’t say any more than that without ruining it, but trust me, it’s interesting. Pol is another great character, who’s loyalty is even more remarkable than Stacia’s, and I just really loved him, okay? He was great. Their relationship was adorable and precious and I loved them. Riyan was another fascinating character, as well as Maya, but I feel like we didn’t spend enough time with them to really love them (especially Maya. I did come to love Riyan, but Maya was just kinda meh to me).
– Conclusion –
Pros- Great main characters, the plot was fantastic! (still not over that twist)
Cons- Didn’t connect to some side characters, setting could be better
Overall- 4/5 stars.
Last of Her Name is a fantastic sci-fi for a quiet day where you just want to read. It will hook you in and never let go.
The world-building in this novel is worth the price all by itself, as Khoury leads us from planet to planet, each inhabited by humanoid species adapted to the planet's ecosystem, each featuring fantastically imagined cultures, architecture, and ways of life. Perhaps coolest among these species are the Tensors, genetically modified humans with the power to warp space-time, who inhabit an appropriately gravity-defying, mind-bending city. But even they aren't as striking as the alien consciousness that Stacia eventually encounters--an astonishing feat of imagination that (almost) literally blew my mind. I'm still trying to process everything in this book, but I think I'd need my own superhuman consciousness to do so.
No book is perfect, and there are a few lapses in Khoury's narrative, most of them having to do with coincidences I had a hard time believing. (Would a top-secret military installation really put the distress signal where anyone strolling down the hall could activate it?) And unfortunately, the book is marred by a number of typos, especially in the thrilling final chapters, that aren't the author's fault but that I wish the publisher had taken more care to correct. Still, these relatively minor issues weren't enough to break the spell cast by this truly amazing book.