'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 8 October 2019

Review: The Last Word

More than a year ago, I reviewed The List by Patricia Forde. There was no talk of a sequel, but I noted my hope that something would come.

And it has.

After what happened in Ark, Letta is in hiding with the rebel group, the Creators (or the Desecrators, as the leaders of Ark like to call them). 

She’s trying to bring language back by teaching the children of Ark in secret, but the new regime in Ark appears to be worse than the last one.

Letta wants peace. She wants normality. Letta trusts people. She sees the good in everyone.

These should be assets, but in a world on the brink of chaos, when babies are being taken in the night and your neighbours could be your enemies, it isn’t.

When Letta’s desire to trust sees the Creators taken captive, it triggers a domino effect. Fighting, war and death follow and Letta wants nothing to do with it. All she wants to do is run away and find her parents. She doesn’t want to fight. She doesn’t want to be the wordsmith.

But sometimes the fight follows you wherever you go, and Letta learns that sometimes the right thing to do is also the hardest.

The Last Word is a captivating middle fiction read for lovers of dystopian tales. It’s set in a future world where climate change has left only pockets of surviving humans, and in one of these pockets — the town of Ark — the leaders believe it is language that led to the destruction of the world, and they’ll do anything to prevent it from happening again. Even destroying language altogether.

The List and The Last Word delve into what language is, what it means for society and also it’s power — power to do both good and bad. The books explore concepts like freedom of speech, good verses evil and sacrifice for the greater good.

The Last Word is one of those books that challenges your concept of self. It will make you think about what you would do if freedoms were being stolen. Would you, could you, rise up and speak up for what you believe in? Could you do it if you knew it would place your life at risk?

A poignant and relevant tale for our time, The Last Word is the conclusion I’ve been waiting for. 

Title: The Last Word
Author: Patricia Forde
Publisher: Affirm Press, $16.99
Publication Date: 27 August 2019
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781925870664
For ages: 11+
Type: Middle Fiction