Friday, June 21, 2013

Audio Review: The Last Bastion of the Living: A Futuristic Zombie Novel


The Last Bastion of the Living: A Futuristic Zombie NovelAuthor: Rhiannon Frater
Published: September 12th 2013
Publisher: Lyssa-Noel Rhiannon Frater
Lenght: 11 hrs and 56 mins
Buy: Audible

A walled city surrounded by lush land, protected by high mountain summits, and fortified by a massive gate to secure the only pass into the valley, The Bastion remained humanity's last hope against the fearsome undead creatures known as the Inferi Scourge. On one fateful day, the valley gate failed and the Inferi Scourge overran and destroyed the human settlements outside the walls, trapping the remaining survivors inside the city. Now, decades later, the last remaining humans are struggling to survive in a dying city of dwindling resources...and dwindling hope.
Vanguard Maria Martinez has lived her entire life within the towering walls of steel. She yearns for a life away from the overcrowded streets, rolling blackouts, and food shortages, but there is no hope for anyone as long as the Inferi Scourge howl outside the high walls. Her only refuge from the daily grind is in the arms of Dwayne Reichardt, an officer in the Bastion Constabulary. Both are highly-decorated veterans of the last disastrous push against the Inferi Scourge. Their secret affair is her only happiness.
Then one day Maria is summoned to meet with a mysterious representative from the Science Warfare Division and is offered the opportunity to finally destroy the Inferi Scourge in the valley and close the gate, reclaiming the lost lands and energizing the populace with renewed hope for the future. The rewards of success are great, but she will have to sacrifice everything, possibly even her life, to accomplish the ultimate goal of securing the future of humanity and saving it from extinction.
I wasn’t even the least bit surprised by how much I enjoyed The Last Bastion of the Living. Rhiannon Frater is well known for being a horror writer par excellence, and she only confirmed her status with this futuristic zombie novel. Well, she did a bit more than that: she outdid herself and surpassed all my expectations by far.

Vanguard Maria Martinez is an officer of the constabulary. Although young, she’s already a decorated war hero with a very strong sense of duty. Her job is to guard the wall that separates the living from the dead – the Bastion from the zombie-infested lands – but the war against the Inferi Scourge, i.e. the zombies, has long ago been lost. The last city, last Bastion, is fighting for mere survival, nothing more. Maria doesn’t remember a world without the scrags, but when she is called to lead a desperate mission, she sees it as her duty to accept.

Castellan Dwayne Reichardt is Maria’s boyfriend, twenty five years her senior. They keep their relationship a secret for several valid reasons, but their love is strong and true. He is there to support Maria every step of the way, and he never hesitates to bend a few rules if that’s what it takes to keep her safe. Frater did something not many authors do: she wrote a solid relationship that was already established at the beginning of the novel and that remained a warm, comforting presence throughout. This story did not need relationship angst – it needed both Maria and Dwayne, confident in their love and united against their enemies. Everything about them was perfectly realistic and even though they were physically apart most of the time, their love kept softening the edges of this story.

The Last Bastion of the Living is told both from Maria’s and Dwayne’s third person points of view, and both perspectives were needed to understand the full extent of their troubles. Frater is a fabulous storyteller, one who knows how to build up tension to an almost unbearable level, and The Last Bastion is her most mature work to date, unpredictable and fascinating.

Kristin Allison narrated this audiobook and I thought she did a stunning job. Her voice is calm, measured and mature-sounding, perfect for a fierce soldier like Maria. She narrated the action scenes in that same tranquil manner, which, instead of making them seem dull, increased the creepiness and the tension. She was an excellent choice for a book like The Last Bastion and I won’t hesitate to buy something narrated by her in the future.

As for Rhiannon Frater and I, our love story is only just beginning. She’ll keep writing, I’ll keep reading and we’ll both live happily ever after.


27 comments:

  1. Haha! I like the sound of your happily ever after. That's like Rick Riordan and me. If he stops writing I may as well pass out and never read books again.

    Liking the sound of this!

    Awesome review, love! <33

    ReplyDelete
  2. This author has been receiving nothing but praise. I need to get to at least one of her books soon.
    I like how the couple is already established in the beginning of the book itself. I can see why that would be important for a story like this. I happy that you loved this audiobook, Maja!
    Lovely review! :)
    I hope your HEA with Rhiannon is one without any bumps!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've never heard of the author or this book, but you always manage to enlighten me with new books and authors so it's not surprising. Sometimes I think I live in a book hovel. Hidden from the world of amazing things out there.

    The cover looks very kick-ass and I like the sound of the main character and the romance. I'll be adding this book to my wishlist and I'm glad you enjoyed the audiobook so much, Maja! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm always on the lookout for more good audiobooks, so I definitely need to check this out! Not to mention I've heard so much about Frater's books - I just need to read them already! Great review, as always, Maja, and thanks for putting this one on my radar! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. "Frater did something not many authors do: she wrote a solid relationship that was already established at the beginning of the novel and that remained a warm, comforting presence throughout."

    LOVE THAT MAJA! Normally established relationships don't hold as much interest for me because I love all the tension that comes from the moments leading up to it, but I've been reading so much angst lately that the though of a warm and comforting relationship has me breathing a sigh of relief. Can't wait!

    Also, random side note: I read the word "living" in the title as "lung". Apparently I disregard i's and turn v's into u's when reading now. Awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I keep meaning to try this author! I did buy one of her books so I really should get to it soon. I am so glad you enjoyed this one. It is nice that there was a relationship already in place and that it stayed that way. It doesn't seem like you see that too much anymore and it is a nice change and one I think I would really enjoy.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is my first time running across this book, but I love audios! The romance aspect of the book has me really curious. I would love to check this one out. Great review :)

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

    ReplyDelete
  8. This sounds amazing. Although it's not often you read of a romance with such an age difference, but I guess it works here. I've been loving audio books lately, and the narrator is such a huge factor in making the story come to life. I'll have to check this one out! Lovely review, Maja. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I heard about this book yesterday from Giselle "Best Zombie Books" post and I get a little creeped out by zombies, so I don't think it's for me, Maja but I'm glad that you are loving it. Rhiannon Frater to you is like Kresley Cole for me. I'll read whatever she writes :) Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have read several of her books thanks to Christy. I won this one and havent' read it yet, but I am hosting Rhiannon for Apocalypse and I am planning on either this one or As the World Dies. Glad to see that you are a fan now as well!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I haven't read any of Rhiannon's books yet, even though I won a couple a while back and have them on my kindle. And a lot of people rave about her. I'm glad you enjoyed this one so much and that the narrator was so good. I'm currently listening to my first audio, so don't have too much experience with those yet lol. Great review Maja :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. OMG! I so need to read this! I really love the sound of the romance! I'm not one for frustration within the romance just for the sake of having it. Oh I hate that! So, I'm stoked on that alone. This sounds fab and it has just moved up the wishlist. I may even see if I can locate it on audio.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Man, I was shocked and amazed at how freaking awesome this book was. Never again will I doubt! Really love seeing a good solid stand-alone novel but I would not have complained if she turned it into another series. Fabulous review, so glad you loved it too!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I can't believe I still haven't read anything by Rhiannon, it seems like all my favorite trusted bloggers adore her. I love the fact that there is an established relationship you're rooting for before the book even begins—that's so rare! I can't think of a single example, actually. It seems like authors assume we need to see characters fall in love to root for them. Definitely going to check this out when it releases. Wonderful review!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wasn't this an amazing story?!? I truly didn't think it was going to be all that and then BAM! I was completely enthralled. I LOVED the relationship aspect -- definitely better to have two, solidly united characters than two all angsty.

    ReplyDelete
  16. LOVE this review! I don't even worry now whether or not I'll like her books, she does no wrong. You are absolutely right about the relationship in this book. It was perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Books by this author are always jumping out of somewhere. I remember seeing them all over the place and more or less every has got a great review. I'm so happy to see that you've enjoyed this book. I love it when relationship is done well. Great review! :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. I don't think I've ever read a book involving a relationship with such a large age gap, but it sounds like Rhiannon Frater makes it work and handles it well. I've heard such great things about her books! Although this one never really interested me before (I blame the cover) I really want to give it a try now. Another great review!

    ReplyDelete
  19. This sounds really good. The relationship being included and not angsty sounds intriguing. Must check it out.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I haven't read any book from Rhiannon yet and this might be the first. I'm not really into audio books. Thanks Maja for the review. The story sounds exciting and unique.

    -Dannielle

    ReplyDelete
  21. I have never listened to an audiobook before, but I really must listen to one soon. They are a great way of multi-tasking.

    Kristin Allison sounds like a fantastic narrator! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I've only read one zombie book before but I really enjoyed. I'm definitely intrigued by this one! :) Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  22. very interesting and different have not heard of this one yet. Have not read much horror myself lately or anything with zombies hehe. Umm Love the fact that this has a mature sounding voice, it does sound like it suits Maria.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'm not much into audio books, but I *AM* into the concept of this book, so I'm sold on that, for sure! Plus, the fact that you say this is narrated really well, and that it's easy to listen to has me curious. I might just have to get it! Great review, Maja :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Lots of people love this author a LOT.. I think it's time for me to give her a shot.. Which book would you suggest I start off with ?

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hmm, I'm going to have to go investigate this one. I like the sounds of it. Strong too. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Awesome review, I adore Frater and of course have this in my tbr pile. I am glad the audio worked for you and cannot wait to read this!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Everyone seems to love this author! I don't do horror so I have skipped them so far but I'm glad you enjoyed this so much!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for stopping by and commenting. If you're a fellow blogger, I'll visit and return the favor as soon as possible. If your're using Google+ to comment, please make sure that your blog link is clearly visible on your profile.

Unfortunately, this is now an award and tag free blog, but I do thank you for your consideration.