Monday, 14 October 2013

BLOG TOUR!! The Last Girl by Michael Adams

At the Other End
The end of the world happened quickly. The sun still shone, there was no explosion - just a tsunami-sized wave of human thought drowning the world in telepathic noise as everyone's inner-most secrets became audible. Everyone's thoughts, that is, except sixteen-year-old Danby.

Everyone looked like bad actors in a poorly dubbed movie. Their expressions didn't match their emotions and their lips didn't sync with what they were saying. But they were all so loud.


The end of the world happens in the blink of an eye.

When The Snap sweeps the globe, everyone can instantly hear everything that everyone else is thinking. As secrets and lies are laid bare, suburbs and cities explode into insanity and violence. What might have been an evolutionary leap instead initiates the apocalypse.

Sixteen-year-old Danby Armstrong's telepathy works very differently. She can tune into other people but they can't tune into her. With only this slender defence, Danby must protect her little brother and reach the safety of her mother's mountain retreat. But it's 100 kilometres away and the highways are blocked by thousands of cars and surrounded by millions of people coming apart at the psychic seams.

Danby's escape is made even more dangerous by another cataclysm that threatens humanity's extinction. And her ability to survive this new world will be tested by a charismatic young man whose power to save lives may be worse than death itself.

First Impressions Last
Thrilling and a breath of fresh air! The Last Girl is everything you need in a book and the start to a trilogy.


Behind the 400 Pages

What I really love about this book is that it's set in Paramatta!! That's kinda-sorta me (i'm Liverpool). I could so easily create every scene in my head, and not just because I know the area. Adams does a fantastic job at making you able to easily see The Last Girl come to life. From the very first page you are entranced at how you can so simply imagine everything that happens all the way until the very end. Some parts of the book make you laugh because it's just typical Aussie things to do and say and it makes the setting work so much more!

I wish we got more of an introduction to all these new gadgets in this future. It held me back a little trying to figure out exactly what they are and what it does. Danby is a bit on and off for me. Some of the things that she does, like not reacting as she should to her father. I would have liked at least a bit more emotion coming from her about it. Same thing goes for her and driving. I found that a bit strange because even though up coming 16 year olds don't drive, they know the basics about it (like using the gear shift from Park to Reverse/Drive). Seriously, it's common sense stuff. And it's not like Danby isn't smart, throughout the rest of the book she is a very smart kid and knows exactly what to do in situations. Sure, sometimes she doesn't think of the bigger picture with her actions, but still, she would do what any of us would do.

As the book continues and Danby leaves the city with her brother, things start to heat up. We can see exactly what the Snap has done with the world. Some of the things that happened, you could see coming and you could guess before Danby realized (just a bit frustrating haha). Although, there are the predictable times in this book, there are some things (especially at the end) that leave us blown away. I love how along the way, no matter the trouble she faces, Danby sticks to herself and what's true to her. She will compromise and bargain to get things go the way that she believes is the best for everyone, not just for herself. From the ending, I can't wait to read the next book! She surprises me with realizations that I never thought of and I heard it all click as she started talking about it to herself.

Buy The Last Girl from all good book sellers and online!
Available NOW!


What's Next:

The Last Shot

Finding the Time: March 2014

The Last Place
Finding the Time: 2015

Michael AdamsAuthor Bio:
Michael Adams has been a restaurant dishwasher, television host, ice-cream scooper, toilet scrubber, magazine journalist, ecohouse lab rat, film reviewer, social media curator, telemarketing jerk, reality TV scribe and B-movie zombie. This one time, he watched bad movies at the rate of one per day for an entire year and wrote a book about the traumatic experience, which is called Showgirls, Teen Wolves and Astro Zombies. Michael lives in the Blue Mountains, NSW, with his partner, daughter, one dog, two cats and an average of three supersized spiders. The Last Girl is his first novel.

Handy Hinty Links:


Take A Seat. Get Strapped In. Let's Go For A Ride:

1. Where have we seen you before? (previous projects/works)
You may remember me from such films as Christmas Ape and David Versus Super Goliath. Actually, that’s Troy McClure from The Simpsons.
Me, I’ve worked as a magazine writer, for Empire, YEN, Rolling Stone, Men’s Style and a bunch of others. I was on TV as a co-host of The Movie Show on SBS and as host of The Movie Club on Showtime. Sydney ABC radio listeners might’ve heard me talking movies with Richard Glover and James Valentine. If you saw the Aussie horror movie called Bloodlust, then that was me playing “Stoned Hippy”, and I was also a zombie in George A. Romero’s American horror film Survival Of The Dead. I wrote an episode of TV thriller series Two Twisted called “A Flash Exclusive” that starred Dan Wylie and Peta Wilson and Bryan Brown.
My previous non-fiction book was called Showgirls, Teen Wolves And Astro Zombies. It’s a comic memoir about trying to find the world’s worst film – by watching one crappy movie every day… for a year.
The Last Girl is my first novel.

2. What goes through your mind after your novel has been on sale for the first week?
It’s still early days yet because as I answer this The Last Girl has only been out for just over a week. What is really satisfying is seeing it finally out there and big and bright on bookshelves. Even better is getting feedback from people who loved it and can’t wait for the follow-up. One reader said she started it before going to bed and stayed up all night to finish. You can’t ask for a better review than that.

3. What inspired you to write this novel?
I wanted to create an apocalyptic scenario that resonated with this new culture where we’re almost always connected and communicating.
As much as I love zombie stories, it’s difficult to do something new with them. Same goes for asteroid impacts and alien invasion and nuclear war and climate change. Also, all of those threats are external to us. I was intrigued when I had the idea of a global telepathy outbreak that was internal, instantaneous and inescapable. All of secrets suddenly laid bare? I thought it’d be the end of the world – just not as know it from previous fiction and film.
But finding a way to put all those overlapping thoughts on the page was really hard. My key was Danby, a teenager doing her best to survive this nightmare scenario. I wanted The Last Girl to be personal, emotional, devastating – not like one of those blockbusters where you cut between characters and cities continents with all those “Mr President, we’ve lost New York – we need to get to the plane now!” sequences.  While there are plenty of big action scenes, they’re all told from Danby’s perspective. It’s the end of the world, viewed from the ground up.

4. What do you think about when getting/seeing negative reviews?
I’ve worked as a critic for a long time and I’ve delivered plenty of negative verdicts on other people’s work. Like my parents always said, “Don’t dish it out if you can’t take it.” It’s the job of the reviewer to call it as he or she sees it. I’m thinking The Last Girl will probably polarise readers. But that’s okay. I’d rather some people love it and other people hate it than for everyone to say, “Yeah, it was okay – 3 stars.” Better to be hot or cold than lukewarm.

5. How long was the writing/planning process?
The idea for The Last Girl hit me in 2008 while I was at a restaurant in New York and suddenly wondered what’d happen if everyone could hear everyone else’s thoughts. I loved the concept but had no idea how to write it. I was working on other things – another non-fiction title, a time-travel novel – but they weren’t panning out the way I wanted. I tried another story – about solar flares shorting out the power grid and a teenage boy trying to survive – but he sounded too much like me and the scenario felt a bit stale. But a teenage girl – she couldn’t have my voice. Writing from her perspective would force me to think differently. That was when I started to see how the telepathy outbreak idea could be told.
I started with a notebook in March 2011. It was very slow because I wrote as I plotted and I painted myself into all sorts of corners. I finished the final edit in July 2013. But in a way I think The Last Girl took much longer than two years because when I dug out things that I’d written about smoke-filled apocalypses and cult mind control as a teenager I saw how they’d echoed into the novel. I think books evolve over a long time and a lot of it is subconscious.

6. What was your reaction to the cover art when you saw it for the first time? Did you have any ideas from the days of writing/inspiration?
I thought it was beautiful and hypnotic. I’m proud to say that I contributed the idea of using the thought-word spiral. It happened quite by chance. I wrote a long article about collecting old vinyl records for Men’s Style magazine. A graphic designer named Marika Jarv read it and wrote to the editor saying how much she’d enjoyed the piece. Turned out she’s done this amazing artwork which is the names of hundreds of bands all running into each other in a huge spiral. I saw how the concept mirrored what I’d done with the overlapping thoughts so I put her in touch with the publishers and they went with it. The rest of the cover’s terrific and we’ve had amazing feedback. The back cover’s scary and there’s some lovely design inside also.

7. Any plans for future writing projects? Any being worked on now?
I’m finishing the last edit on The Last Shot, which is out in March and picks up where The Last Girl ends, and I’m writing The Last Place, which will finish the trilogy in 2015. After that, my next book will be a stand-alone novel set in the Golden Age of Hollywood. There’s never a shortage of ideas. It’s just finding the time.

8. Top 5 books
I always find it hard to be definitive, so I’ll go with what comes to mind.
Stephen King, The Stand – as far as dark fantasy apocalypses go, they don’t get much bigger or better than this epic. I read it as a kid and have re-read it several times since. It has been hugely influential on The Last Girl.
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita – fascinating, funny, shocking: it’s all of those things. What I love most is Nabokov’s delight in language, the music of it, the way he uses it as play and puzzle.
Ken Grimwood, Replay – an amazingly inventive time-travel story that’s a darker predecessor to Groundhog Day. You die, wake up as a teen, live your life over with future memories, die and then start over.
Theodore Roszak, Flicker – an occult thriller about an ancient conspiracy that culminates in the cinematic works of a deranged movie director. It’s like The Da Vinci Code for film fans.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl – a brilliantly dark and funny page-turner. Plus, watch her interviewed – she’s ace!

9. What book/s from other authors do you wish you had written?

The Bible, yo – because then I’d be, like, God.

10. Why read your novel? 

I think you’ll enjoy The Last Girl if you love dystopian and zombie and sci-fi epics but feel like you’ve seen it all before and done in similar ways.
This is a different concept and it’s set in an urban landscape we all know. We don’t enter the story after the apocalypse – we experience it second by second as our heroine does. I think Danby is strong and smart and funny and as believably brave as she is realistically frightened. The telepathy is the springboard into a whole new world – which becomes trickier as the series progresses. As dark as the book is, it’s also pretty funny. What I also like is you can deepen your understanding of the story and characters and themes if you dig into a few of the references scattered through every chapter. Nothing’s there by accident.

This novel was received for review via Allen & Unwin Australia. This review is entirely my own, no bribery or any deals have been made to sway this review or change my personal opinion of the novel.

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