Set in the United States in the year 2053, America, like most of the world, has undergone earthquakes, an economic collapse, and famine, which has rendered the nation hopeless. America has looked to other countries for help. Orphaned at the age of 9, Arena and her twin brother, Gabe rely on each other for everything. With being twins they both share the same birthmark. There on the back of their necks is a mark the shape of a crucifix. On their 15th birthday they receive a mystery letter and key from their estranged Uncle Finnegan. This key will unlock their fate, and it will be up to a priest, who has vowed to protect them since birth to undo the evil in the world, and to help unleash God's wrath upon those who have turned from Him in the last days of history.
I was contacted by J.E. Plemons and was asked if I could read and review this new start to a series. When I received the book of course the first thing I did was look it up on goodreads. When I read the description all I could think was "Holy information overload", but I'm so glad that didn't keep me from reading it. The other thing I noticed right away was the cover. I LOVE THE COVER. It had me thinking Throne of Glass right away. Strong female with swords, SOLD. When I first started reading I was like okay, okay this is the same Armageddon end of the world story; been there, read that. The further I got into the book the further it went from the mundane.
I usually hate when leading characters are under the age of 17/18 but with Plemons' writing style it really didn't bother me. It also helped that Arena is a total B-A. When he started to describe Aerna though I was a little set back...
"My hair is the color of midnight, and my milky-white skin has turned a light olive from the summer sun. I have my mothers pouty bottom lip and hazel eyes that soften under dim lighting in a continuous spectrum of caramel and green shades. The only feature I don't share with my mother are my thick, dark eyebrows. I get really tired of plucking these hair caterpillars."
Why was I set back?? Well if you follow me on any social medias then you know why... BECAUSE THAT'S EXACTLY HOW I LOOK! Too a T. It doesn't help that I'm often mistaken for being 15/16. But for real it made me kind of laugh.
I really thought this was going to be a teen girl saves the world kind of read and it wasn't. That made for such a good twist as far as characters went. Aerna can't seem to keep herself out of troubled waters. She is strong, short tempered, and super compulsive. Aerna and Gabe feel way more realistic as far as characters go. I thought both Gabe and Aerna held their own throughout this book. The highlight of this book however is the world-building, graphic scenes, and the world issues that are brought up. Those are the things that made the story feel more authentic. The only "negative" is that it is a little heavier on the religious side than I usually like/am use too. That's really the only thing on the blah side that I have to say. The rest of the story more than made of for it (it was honestly like I said just something I wasn't use too).
It's been a good month or two since I've read such a gory, graphic book, and I'm glad Last Light Falling was the one to fill the void. I liked how it took kind of a Proxy feel as far as the government went. As strong as the characters are it is very clear what Plemons' is strongest at... and that is world building. He leaves no stone unturned when he was setting the locations. You never had to strain to imagine what was going on and what everything would look like. Oh and don't even get me started on that ending though! It was amazing!!! Definitely a cliffhanger!
Last Light Falling was gripping, thrilling, and a series too keep an eye on. I have no doubt this series will be taking shelves by storm. It's a story I didn't see coming, and I look forward to reading more of his work in the future. And I can already tell the wait for book two is going to be too far away...