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on 28 October 2015
The 4 stars I give this are largely down to the ambitious and thought provoking plot and the ideas behind it. In terms of writing it jumps around a bit and the opening half is a little slow but as the catastrophe takes hold Scarrow shows what he is made of, ramping up the drama and reducing human beings to our base level of selfish hungry animals in the absence of our modern lifestyle. I felt the best characters did not get enough pages especially the villain, who is a delightfully cruel asassin. The very end is a bit odd however I won't spoil it here. I am definitely going to read the sequel. Alex Scarrow has a style that I had to get used to - but I am there now and I want more.
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on 6 July 2012
The story is based on an engineered world oil shortage and specifically how badly it would affect a developed country such as the U.K. The action is set in 2007.Chapter 12 has the P.M's advisors updating him on the crisis.P.60 "We import most of our gas and coal"."what about nuclear" "We produce less than five percent of our needs from that right now" "There's also a residual drip-feed of oil still coming in from the North Sea"
In 2007 Nuclear provided 26% of our electricity. We imported 21% of our gas but only 4% of our oil.
Due to the geography of the North Sea, almost all Norway's oil and gas were pumped ashore in Britain.
If the author had set his scenario in say 2015 he would have been far nearer the mark.
Similarly p 63 "Your basic food stocks like wheat,grains,root crops, meat...We don't grow that kind of stuff over here any more"
in 2007 we were self sufficient in grain, exporting wheat, barley and oats and importing maize and rice.
We imported a quarter of our potatoes,60%of our vegetables and vegetable oils,45% of our meat and 15% of our eggs and milk.
We usually had a surplus of pulses (peas,beans etc.)Our worse deficit was fruit-95% imported( citrus,bananas,pineapple etc)
We also imported half our fish and 40% of our sugar.
Provided we maintained our energy needs, we would be able to feed ourselves though not quite as well.
Nonetheless the book does raise a valid point about the dangers of over-reliance on a fragile global supply chain.

Two minor quibbles, p.260 "we're as island of 65 million" 2007 official population just over 61 million.
P.387 "..over Hungary right now,not far off Bucharest" Indeed not but Budapest was probably intended.

A recommended read, as it is well-paced.
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on 29 March 2011
This is the first Alex Scarrow book I have read. Having read previous near-future apolocalyptic novels as well as most of Simon Scarrow's 'Eagle' series it was inevitable I would pick this book up at some point.

The scenario was well worked with regard to the oil crisis while I felt the need for some dark, mysterious organization plotting it all was unnecessary and led to a little implausibility.

The extreme collapse of civil order in the space of a few days was also a little far-fetched - one of the characters turns from a civilized and well-mannered individual into sex-starved potential criminal in a matter of just a few days. Maybe stretching the disaster over a few weeks may have been more appropriate?

While these are examples where the novel could have been improved, the story flowed well and switched between the protagonists smoothly. I enjoyed the premise and felt attached to the characters, wanting each to succeed in their various challenges.

A very good read and fine example of this genre.
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on 6 February 2013
This isn't the English Patient or any other novel aspiring to win the booker prize, this is a good old fashioned paperback for journeys on the train or plane.

It's set in the UK and the concept is pretty simple and straight forward, a collapse in society (nothing new there). However, the story does flow quite well and i found it kept me reading to the end and interested in what was going to happen to the characters - which is all i ask for.

There are a few face palm moments with some of the characters when i had to question whether someone could really be that dumb, but not sufficient to deter me from progressing to the end.

Overall i enjoyed it. Perfect commute fodder.
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on 24 March 2013
I found this novel riveting. Brilliant characters, that you really begin to root for. The storyline is fascinating - the whole concept of social collapse and '9 square meals from anarchy'. It was this latter that really grabbed my attention, making me think about the modern world, how small it's become, how interdependent, fragile, finely balanced. I lost count of how many times I would pause and think "what would you do in this situation?" until finally, and to my surprise these thoughts were replaced increasingly with "what would you do to avoid being in this situation?". I think this book has all the makings of what defines a great novel. A story that draws the reader in, characters that get you onside (and others you despise)and a premise that makes you think. I went straight to my cupboards and stocked up.... and don't start me on my get-home-bag. Brilliant.
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on 29 November 2014
This booked scared the life out of me, it makes you realize how frightfully reliant we are upon outside trade/support. In a WROL situation it's hard to imagine how many of us would survive. The book is well written and provides a very accurate picture of what could happen if law and order broke down. Imagine the London riots, only this time people would be starving and killing for a tin of beans...with no Police to stop them.

High recommended!!
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on 5 December 2014
There's something about this book that probably made it the most entertaining book I've ever read. I'm a little biassed because I love the whole 'end of the world/survival' type genre, however the way this is written is first class. It cuts between a few related stories, each as interesting as the other and all gradually becoming one as the book goes on.

Something that I particularly liked, is that way it's easy to picture the environments due to quality descriptions that you become deeply immersed in, coupled with the locations selected.
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on 23 March 2014
Our current & previous generation has known peace & privilege for so long on our fair island, that the sense of entitlement is completely out of control. The reality of strife & all manner of shortages is rapidly creeping to our shores. Very few know how to grow basic crops, recognise a blackberry or an edible mushroom, or even generate wind power. These are remarkable & thought provoking books, rather than just apocalyptic trash. Both books: Last Light & After Light should form part of the national curriculum. Better still, young & old should begin to learn more about how to help each other now & in the future. Because ultimately we are all in this together. Our nation (one amongst many) has too many takers & users fuelled by testosterone, drugs & alcohol and not enough creators & providers. We need to readdress the balance fast. ~even small steps help. Well done Alex Scarrow!
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on 20 April 2013
I am a big fan of Alex Scarrow's books, including 'Timeriders' and 'Ellie Quin', so I am quite accustomed to Scarrow's writing style and storytelling. Scarrow is consistent with his incredible characterisation, settings and stories.

And 'Last Light' was no exception!!!

'Last Light' is a gritty, realistic and well told story of how quickly and easily the world could fall into chaos over the loss of a resource such as oil. Scarrow creates a realistic setting of 'post apocalyptic' Britain in a hauntingly convincing way and is superb at portraying the characters struggle to carry on during the events of the book. Rather than create a clichéd story, Scarrow has effectively given us something new when it comes to post apocalyptic fiction and best of all...

IT'S A BRILLIANT READ!!!

Well done yet again Alex Scarrow!!!
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on 6 March 2017
Exciting. Would recommend to others.
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