Review of The Last City of America

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marba
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Review of The Last City of America

Post by marba »

[Following is a volunteer review of "The Last City of America" by Matthew Tysz.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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The world is dying. After Doctor Barnabas Vulcum managed to create Hephaestus, a terrible, devastating virus, the population dropped dramatically. On the ground that once was the United States, only seven cities are left standing. The military was ordered to relocate all the remaining people in one of these cities. Years have passed, and Vulcum is approaching his death. His designated heir, Harold, doesn’t seem to possess the same misanthropic and power-hungry drive, but he worships knowledge with all his soul, and no price is too high to pursue it. In the background, a revolution is stirring.

The Last City in America by Matthew Tysz is a dystopian novel. It follows the story of a multitude of characters thanks to a third-person omniscient narrator.

I especially enjoyed the world-building. It is evident that the author put a considerable amount of energy and time into this incredibly convincing construction. The social and economic impact of a virus such as Hephaestus has been depicted with a cold lucidity, and I can tell you with absolute certainty that it’s both easy and terrifying to lose yourself in this future. I have a fondness for Tysz’s ability to instantly give the reader a clear photograph of the scene, partly as a result of well-aimed metaphors.

The characters are the mainstays of this novel. I appreciated how they were portrayed: the author was not afraid to show their darkest and most twisted aspects, and there isn't always a good side to balance them. Don’t expect wholesome, noble, and righteous heroes because you will not find them. The lack of a moral guide is striking. The author offers us characters that are authentic, psychologically consistent, and with deep backstories.

Now, some negative aspects: with its 658 pages, the book is a bit lengthy, and you have to wait for almost a hundred pages before getting some action. I appreciated the fact that the novel was partitioned into numerous chapters so as to increase the rhythm of the story. Within the same chapter, though, you can encounter various flashbacks and changes of scene that are often not highlighted, and this could generate confusion within the reader. I would have liked some indication of at least the year in which the scene is set. In addition, the substantial number of secondary characters makes it very difficult to follow the story without occasionally going back and checking on the previous pages.

The negative features that I mentioned wouldn’t be enough for me to deduct a star. However, I found more than ten errors. None of these was particularly bothersome, but according to the Guidelines, I can’t rate this book more than 3 out of 4 stars.

I would recommend this novel to an adult audience since there are several violent and erotic scenes. Obviously, the targeted audience is one that is into the dystopian genre, but I think that those readers who like psychological thrillers will also find this novel surprisingly good.

******
The Last City of America
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Omega_01
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Post by Omega_01 »

I have known Matthew Tysz with great stories and amazing plots. Therefore, I am pretty sure this is an addition to great works. Thank you for your interesting review.
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Post by Humera955 »

The theme of this book is quite relatable these days don't you think , being in the middle of pandemic .
thanks for the amazing review
:tiphat:
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marba
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Post by marba »

Humera955 wrote: ↑01 Nov 2021, 04:41 The theme of this book is quite relatable these days don't you think, being in the middle of pandemic.
thanks for the amazing review
I totally agree: it was hard not to think of COVID while reading. Thanks for commenting!
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marba
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Post by marba »

Omega_01 wrote: ↑01 Nov 2021, 00:57 I have known Matthew Tysz with great stories and amazing plots. Therefore, I am pretty sure this is an addition to great works. Thank you for your interesting review.
It is a very good novel, indeed. Just be sure to have spare time because it is a challenging read :wink:
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Post by Ellylion »

I love Tysz's novels, but this one seems to be too long and a bit confusing for my liking :) Thank you very much for this great review!
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marba
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Post by marba »

Ellylion wrote: ↑01 Nov 2021, 09:01 I love Tysz's novels, but this one seems to be too long and a bit confusing for my liking :) Thank you very much for this great review!
I understand :wink:
Thank you for stopping by!
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Post by Katarina Radovcic »

Ha, my mind would probably read the Hephaestus virus as COVID, pretty relatable! I am very intrigued by the characters, though. The plot sounds interesting, but I really want to know more about the characters and how they are portrayed. I'm adding this to my shelves and bravo for an amazing review!
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Post by Nonso Ok »

I've never really tried the dystopian genre. Thank you for your review.
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marba
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Post by marba »

Katarina Radovcic wrote: ↑04 Nov 2021, 09:49 Ha, my mind would probably read the Hephaestus virus as COVID, pretty relatable!
I totally get it :lol2: Than you for stopping by!
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marba
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Post by marba »

Nonso Ok wrote: ↑04 Nov 2021, 20:59 I've never really tried the dystopian genre. Thank you for your review.
Thank you for your comment!
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Post by Raluca_Mihaila »

Matthew Tysz created another masterpiece with great characters. Thank you for your brilliant review!
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Post by Hyacinth Bella »

I think this is a dystopian world that mirrors our situation right now, I think it can be both entertaining and educational at the same time. Thanks for the review!
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marba
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Post by marba »

Raluca_Mihaila wrote: ↑05 Nov 2021, 04:56 Matthew Tysz created another masterpiece with great characters. Thank you for your brilliant review!
He did! Thank you for commenting ;)
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marba
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Post by marba »

Hyacinth Bella wrote: ↑05 Nov 2021, 05:39 I think this is a dystopian world that mirrors our situation right now, I think it can be both entertaining and educational at the same time. Thanks for the review!
Thank you for stopping by!
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