Last Bastion of the Living
The Bastion was humanity’s last hope against the fearsome undead creatures known as the Inferi Scourge. A fortified city with a high wall, surrounded by lush land rich with all the resources needed to survive, protected by high mountain summits, and a massive gate to secure the only pass into the valley, the Bastion became the last stronghold of the living on earth. But one fateful day, the gate failed and the Inferi Scourge destroyed the human settlements outside the walls and trapped the survivors inside the city. Now decades later, the last remaining humans are struggling to survive in a dying city as resources and hope dwindle.
Vanguard Maria Martinez has lived her whole 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 her lover, 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. 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.
Synopsis from Goodreads
4.5 stars - but darn close enough to five for me to round it up!
Rhiannon Frater, you spin a good yarn! I seriously read for hours today, not even moving when my ass fell asleep, because I couldn't bear the thought of putting this book down. Bravo!
I will be dreaming of these characters tonight, and probably every other night for a very long time to come. Maria Martinez is strong enough for me to follow, but damaged enough for me to want to protect her. She earns the loyalty of her friends, and of her (slightly) older and dedicated man, Dwayne. I often have a problem with romance in books, because I find it's hard to duplicate a realistic relationship between two fictional characters. But Frater has definitely convinced me! Besides, Dwayne is a man I can definitely fall for! No more of these boys who have barely reached puberty, trying to save the world. Dwayne takes just one day at a time, and lets Maria do most of the saving.
Normally, when I am writing a review for a book, I take notes while reading. But I kinda got distracted by the story and didn't write any notes. And now that I've finished, I've forgotten all the amazing, earth-shattering thoughts I had while reading. I did notice that it was a little on the long side, but I think that's excusable when the thrill is taken right to the last page. I looked down at the progress bar and was surprised to see there was suddenly only 4% left. How in the Hell is this going to wrap up in only 4%?!
But, it did wrap up. Sort of. I won't say anything about the ending, but I can definitely see how people want a sequel. I would jump on the sequel bandwagon if it existed, but I can respect Frater's decision to leave it as is.
Highly, HIGHLY recommend!
A HUGE thank you to Rhiannon Frater for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.