Alexandra Oliva was born and raised in upstate New York. She has a BA in history from Yale University and an MFA in creative writing from The New School. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband. The Last One is her first novel.
Published by Ballantine Books on July 12th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Literary, Science Fiction, Apocalyptic & Post-Apocalyptic, Thrillers, Suspense
eARC provided by Ballantine Books
For readers of Station Eleven and The Passage comes a dazzling and unsettling novel of psychological suspense. In Alexandra Oliva's thrilling fiction debut, survival is the name of the game, as the line blurs between reality TV and reality itself--and one woman's mind and body are pushed to the limit.
She wanted an adventure. She never imagined it would go this far.
It begins with a reality TV show.
Twelve contestants are sent into the woods to face challenges that will test the limits of endurance. While they are out there, something terrible happens--but how widespread is the destruction, and has it occurred naturally or is it man-made? Cut off from society, the contestants know nothing of it. When one of them--a young woman the show's producers call Zoo--stumbles across the devastation, she can imagine only that it is part of the game.
Alone and disoriented, Zoo is heavy with doubt regarding the life--and husband--she left behind, but she refuses to quit. Staggering countless miles across unfamiliar territory, Zoo must summon all of her survival skills--and learn new ones as she goes.
But as her emotional and physical reserves dwindle, she grasps that the real world might have been altered in terrifying ways--and her ability to parse the charade will either be her triumph or her undoing.
Sophisticated and provocative, The Last One is a novel that forces us to confront the role that media plays in our perception of what is real: how readily we cast our judgments, how easily we are manipulated.
Advance praise for The Last One
"The Last One seamlessly melds two of our contemporary obsessions--the threat of global catastrophe and the staged drama of reality TV--into a fiercely imagined tale of the human psyche under stress. This is an uncompromising, thought-provoking debut."--Justin Cronin
"Haunting, moving, and remarkable . . . Alexandra Oliva's debut novel is clever in its concept and gripping in its delivery. This propulsive book is for everyone who ever thought reality television signaled the end of the world."--Karen Joy Fowler
The premise for this story is so interesting to me. I love reality shows about surviving the wild. I think the people who compete in those shows are superstars. Seriously the amount of skill and knowledge needed to survive without modern conveniences is mind blowing. The protagonist in this story signs up for […]