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Review: The Last Human by Zack Jordan

The Last Human

Zack Jordan

Most days, Sarya doesn’t feel like the most terrifying creature in the galaxy. Most days, she’s got other things on her mind. Like hiding her identity among the hundreds of alien species roaming the corridors of Watertower Station. Or making sure her adoptive mother doesn’t casually eviscerate one of their neighbors. Again. And most days, she can almost accept that she’ll never know the truth—that she’ll never know why humanity was deemed too dangerous to exist. Or whether she really is—impossibly—the lone survivor of a species destroyed a millennium ago. That is, until an encounter with a bounty hunter and a miles-long kinetic projectile leaves her life and her perspective shattered.

My Rating:

Zack Jordan delivers a space romp that tracks the voyage of a young Human girl, rumored to be the last of her race, as she steps from the shadows of intergalactic leper to possible savior. Sarya the Daughter is a lonely girl, living as a low level civilian in the Network.

The Network acts as a galactic intelligence formulated by millions of species that once joined, offers not only the vast knowledge it contains, but also access to faster-than-light travel. The human race has been deemed unsuitable, in fact they are seen as downright dangerous and destructive, and were instead wiped out by the Network in a mass genocide.

Shenya the Widow, an apex species much like some freakish spider with deadly blades for limbs, has hidden Sarya, protecting her like a mother bear and lying about her true identity. When a bounty hunter shows up and attempts to abduct Sarya, the events end catastrophically, destroying her home and propelling her into the dark depths of unfamiliar space.

Alone in a universe inhabited by god-like intelligences, Sarya investigates the tumultuous history of the human race and the Network, finding that she might be a simple bipedal being, but she can still make a difference in the grand scheme of things. The theme of free will is predominate and well orchestrated, especially when juxtaposed against the backdrop of the wide, unknown, and bleak cosmos.

The scope of beings, ranging from single-minded to group minds and sentient planets (think Kurt Russell’s aptly named Ego character in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. II) and the colossal settings offer a grand scale, science fiction novel. Perhaps because of this, the pace sometimes suffers, but this is a satisfying and adventurous debut.

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