1 out of 4 stars
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It is the year 2025, when the virus named Hephaestus was known by all in America. It is said to have many effects, inability to bear children being a major concern. In 2066, ‘The Founding’ takes place. America is now said to have seven cities, each ruled by a skylord. Very few interact with one another, and even then, only for trade. This is the setting of The Last City of America by Matthew Tysz. It’s a dystopian read, filled with the violence and atrocities in the future and how a few brave people think of fighting it to create a better world.
There were many characters in the story and so I figured out the protagonists only after finishing it. Morgan Veil, a citizen of Manhattan, is requested to start a rebellion against the LIM, the Long Island Market, after a particular associate is awed by his courage to stand up to injustice. He does so but is filled with so much rage that he ends up killing even the person who recruited him, along with his companion, Adam Velys and all whom he feels responsible for the sad life his fellow people lead. He slowly learns to feel for them, receives their forgiveness and builds a beautiful city. The people who never smiled in their lives now knew happiness.
The story doesn’t end here. With 658 pages, it’s hard to review without spoilers. Everybody in Manhattan tells their children to thank themselves that they’re not in Chicago, where crime is normal. Children, women and men are kidnapped alike and have tests done on them in the prestigious Rush University. In the name of science, innocent lives are lost every day. One day, Charlie Grakus, a tribal, mesmerized the guards and takes over Chicago, killing the host/skylord (Tristan Senco) in the process. His mission is to bring change to Chicago. He destroys Rush, causing Harold Del Meethia, the most intelligent one alive at that time in the university, to flee for his life. Harold’s mentor was Dr. Barnabus Vulcum, the creator of Hephaestus, a twisted guy concerned with destroying the world. Harold is a sociopath but wants to learn more with the help of science. He learns from one of his dying professors, Dr. Richard Iris, that he had the power to get rid of the virus his master created.
Many prominent characters appear throughout this story. Angela Mesa, who grew up with tribal people after she was kidnapped, is searching for her father in Baltimore when she meets someone and ends up leading a revolt. Alabaster Mercado, along with his children – Francis, Darius, Roger and Karen, rules the West. It is seen that the West has lesser crimes than the East, solely due to their just and wise rulers. They have a major role in carrying out a revolutionary against Chicago. At times, characters having minor roles were introduced. Keeping multiple threads running through my head was tiring. There were too many chapters with only a few pages, just to describe a certain event in another person’s point of view. I think this can be rectified.
This was a horrible story. I have read dystopian stories like The Hunger Games series and the Divergent series. But this one actually got me to wondering why the future seems so horrible. Is it alerting us to be ready for it or just scaring us? I think that criminals would get grotesque ideas about how to torture people in the future. Men are killed for the simplest of crimes and women raped and objectified in the worst ways possible. Kids are orphaned or taken from their parents to be tortured. I don’t know how someone could even think in such a twisted way. With all due respects for the author, I do not think this is suitable for any age group to be reading. Visions of torture pained me for days. I have always hoped for a happier future, where all are treated equally and not having lives lost just for some powerful man’s greed. In this book, even women who have made it to the top are ridiculed and objectified, solely because of their gender. I think with all the empowerment of this time and age, this story relates to the Dark Ages, not the future.
To be honest, I hated this book. I rate it 1 out of 4 stars. The single point is because of the unexpected suspense element which kept me reading. All the protagonists are shrewd and intelligent, making the war scenes interesting. Other than that, it’s a very long story filled with too many characters, too many places, too much violence, too many deaths, too much sexual harassment, too much foul language, too much fear and too much pain. There is potential to create a wonderful book. It’s a page-turner, I have to give it credit for that. The ending was alright, but the question I got was “all this at what cost?” I hope happy stories of the future may emerge in the market and all of us may be happy.
The Last City of America
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