PJV Quickie: DO NOT let the cover fool you – this book was amazing!!! As I sit and think over the story, the word ‘epic’ keeps coming to mind. Throw away all your pre-conceived ideas about what you think a ‘lizard romance’ involves; The Last Hour of Gann is going to wow you.
Amber Bierce’s mother is dead. Not that she was much of a mother to Amber or her little sister, Nicci, but now they’re being evicted from their apartment. Options are few and Amber signs herself and Nicci up for a five year contract on a maiden voyage to colonize a new planet. Of course things don’t go as planned and the planet they crash into is not their original destination. Things can’t possibly get any worse, and then of course they do, and Amber and her sister are left with a small band of humans to try to survive on this unknown planet.
Uyane Meoraq – a Sheulek and Sword of Sheul, is a priest-type warrior who’s main focus is to mete out judgement to lawbreakers (usually death) and settle disputes (usually by killing one of the parties). He’s been out visiting various cities for the last year, settling disputes and praying, and is planning on journeying home when he sees a fire in the sky and knows it’s a sign for him to travel instead to the temple of Xi’Xheoth where he hopes to hear the voice of Sheul (God). Little does he know how long this pilgrimage will last or how much it will change him.
My thoughts are so jumbled up about this book; I have no idea where to begin. I first heard about The Last Hour of Gann on twitter, and was looking for something different, so I looked up reviews on Goodreads. There weren’t many, but the first thing to pop up was an enthusiastic review from Jill Myles. After reading that, I knew I had to read this book. I’ve got to tell you, I am on a pretty strict book budget and wouldn’t normally pay $6.50 for an ebook by a new-to-me author, but it’s a really, really long book so I took the chance. All I can say is, “Yay for taking chances!”
What is so awesome about The Last Hour of Gann, you ask? Oh, so many things! (I had written down notes to use in my review, but I lost them, so my apologies if this is all over the place) As I mention in my PJV Quickie, the story is epic. Ultimately, it’s a beautiful love story, but the journey is full of anger, hope, betrayal, despair and perseverance. The hero is a lizard man and the heroine is human, and they are both kind of wierded out by the other’s appearance. The way that they fall in love is so well written, it takes it’s time and builds so slowly that the characters are surprised when they realize it’s happened. It’s sweet and touching and wonderful.
As I was trying to describe the story to my husband, I told him it reminded me of several books: First, Lord of the Flies by William Golding – the similarities are obvious as the crash survivors are trying to create a colony and the struggles for dominance that go along with that. (The characters themselves discuss this similarity in the book). I was also reminded of Steven King’s Dark Tower series – the physical descriptions of the land and the religious imagery and rituals of the planet natives had the feel of this series. Also, it kind of reminded me a bit of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Really, you say? I know, but bear with me… Amber, our heroine, is on a postapocalyptic planet full of abandoned cities and run-down machines and she is from a time where people used machines. She knows more about technology than the planet’s inhabitants, who are primitive and have a society based on survival and strength. She doesn’t understand the rules of society and it puts her in danger.
Now, on that last note, be warned that there is rape in this story, and it’s not glossed over. It’s painful to read. At the beginning of the book, even our hero engages in it as part of his religion/culture, and I didn’t like that at all. But it’s part of the story and the end will make the reader’s journey worth it. Every single word: Part of what I love about the story is Meoraq’s journey from beginning to end – he was such a rigid character at first, then he meets the humans and they test him at every step of his pilgrimage (if he had a dime for every time he had to stop and draw six breaths to calm down…). By the middle of the book Meoraq had won me over, and by the end of the book there was a special place in my heart for a certain lizard man.
I thought After was a great heroine – she wasn’t wimpy, didn’t put up with anyone’s shit, and even when it looked like there was no way things could get better, she doesn’t give up and she fights for what she believes in. The secondary characters were wonderful foils for both Amber and Meoraq and, at times, rage-inducing. So much of this book brought out so many feels for me. Besides the relationships, the suspense as they journey across Gann was physically affecting me and I wanted to read faster to see what was happening but also wanted to turn away because I just knew something awful was going to happen.
Just in case you haven’t figured it out yet, there are sexytimes in this book – between a lizard man and a human. But don’t let that turn you away from a great story. Seriously, it’s so well done, you forget, because you’re focused on the story and the characters and by the time it sneaks up on you, you’re really hoping it’s going to happen.
(I’d also like to add that I read Heat after finishing The Last Hour of Gann. If you read Heat first and are hesitant to read The Last Hour of Gann – they’re totally different. Heat reads more like Natural Born Killers where Gann is more like The Dark Tower. So very different.)
This book is going to be hard to peg – I think fans of romance, sci-fi, and maybe general fiction will enjoy The Last Hour of Gann. It’s a genuinely interesting story that happens to have some steamy scenes in it, not the other way around.
Other books you might like, similar to ‘The Last Hour of Gann’:
- Grimspace by Ann Aguirre