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The Last Iteration by Mel Arthur
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The Last Iteration

by Mel Arthur

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Showing 5 of 5
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book as an advanced copy from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. This very unique book opens with Hanian Tris a general in the Sayal military finally coming across another human being after being in a labyrinth where everything is white for weeks. Unfortunately for him, it's Ciege Celhaim one of the leaders of the rebel Cezdets. She immediately attacks him when she sees him in his uniform and recognizes his face. Once he gets her to stop fighting him and talk to him they discuss where they are and what is really going on. Tris believes that he is dead and this is the afterlife while Ciege thinks this is some kind of hallucination brought about as a way to interrogate her further. That's when they realize that while they've been there for weeks they haven't eaten or drank anything, though they do sleep. The longer the two are together they argue and get to know one another and after they fight the ape-like creatures called mirkas, he saves her life and they make love. Also, the sky turns dark with stars at night and with a sun during the day.

But they are not alone. Geno Karrin, a doctor, and Rina, a young woman who is afraid of everything, are paired up. Rina likes the doctor but he's still hung up on his dead wife. He also doesn't want someone to have to depend on him. She is a Zodiacist, a follower of the Zodiac religion while he is a man of logic and reason. When they run into the mirkas Geno gets badly damaged killing them. Luckily there is a gateway that appears and when you walk through it you are healed of all wounds and you get a new set of clothes and shoes.

Elise Valez is a scout for the Cezdet rebels and she is with the mysterious Ulein who disappears at the oddest moments and stays gone for days at a time. She encounters a grey man whom she runs away from because he scares her. She also runs away from the mirka until she finally faces them as it is her only option and tosses them over a cliff. Elise is in tune with the labyrinth and can sense the people and creatures in it. She also knows her way around it. When the next set of mirkas show up and there's six of them she runs for Tris and Ciege for help. This, of course, means that their romance will have to stop. She can't have a romance with the enemy in front of one of her officers. Then they go and set out to help Rina and Geno.

When they find out that the grey man is controlling everything and that he wants them to go to the center of the labyrinth they decided to stop and do nothing, with dire consequences. I was totally fascinated and hooked by this book from the get-go. The world is very creative and unique and the characters have depth. You really care about them and become invested in their lives and really hope they don't die. The plot held many surprises such as who Ulein really is and why and how they are really there and are they alone in the labyrinth. Arthur has done a magnificent job of writing a novel very much worth reading. This is the first book in the Spartan Labryth series and I can't wait to read the next one. I highly recommend this book.

Quote

She was small, but she was crazy, and crazy was always dangerous.

-Mel Arthur (The Last Iteration p 11)

You can’t fall apart if there’s no one to put you back together.

-Mel Arthur (The Last Iteration p 35)

Maybe it was just the old double standard at work. A big dog didn’t have to be mean; it was enough that it was mean. Only little dogs had to be scrappy to scare people.

-Mel Arthur (The Last Iteration p 36)

Pain was there to overcome.

-Mel Arthur (The Last Iteration p 60)

“It would be a delight if you could go more than a couple of days without getting grievously wounded.”

She smiled. “Then how would I get your shirt off?”

-Mel Arthur (The Last Iteration p 157) ( )
  nicolewbrown | Jun 4, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The writing is good, but the world building is severely lacking. Also, ugh, for people hooking up just because.
  liveshipvivacia | Mar 30, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I could not get into this book. The characters were not enough to keep me interested in the bleak, non-existent landscape.
  JanaRose1 | Jan 29, 2018 |
“The Last Iteration” is one of those little gems that you stumble upon, not expecting such a great novel. It’s a fantasy about a world where the normal rules of logic and motion don’t necessarily hold sway. The essence of a great science fiction or fantasy is to put people in an abnormal situation and see what comes out, how do they deal with their situation, his do they deal with each other, what really truly matters when everything else is stripped away.

And, here, a group of seemingly disconnected and opposing people are somehow plopped out of their lives and dropped into an endless labyrinth with no rhyme or reason. They don’t even know what they are supposed to do or even if they are all alone. And, fearsome elements beat down upon them and monsters that multiply every time they appear. Will they retain their old grudges from the outside world ? Will they come to trust each other? To sacrifice for each other?

The writing style is easy to follow and a reader quickly becomes enveloped in this strange bizarro world they these people find themselves in. Well done. ( )
1 vote DaveWilde | Jan 21, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
“The Last Iteration” is one of those little gems that you stumble upon, not expecting such a great novel. It’s a fantasy about a world where the normal rules of logic and motion don’t necessarily hold sway. The essence of a great science fiction or fantasy is to put people in an abnormal situation and see what comes out, how do they deal with their situation, his do they deal with each other, what really truly matters when everything else is stripped away.

And, here, a group of seemingly disconnected and opposing people are somehow plopped out of their lives and dropped into an endless labyrinth with no rhyme or reason. They don’t even know what they are supposed to do or even if they are all alone. And, fearsome elements beat down upon them and monsters that multiply every time they appear. Will they retain their old grudges from the outside world ? Will they come to trust each other? To sacrifice for each other?

The writing style is easy to follow and a reader quickly becomes enveloped in this strange bizarro world they these people find themselves in. Well done. ( )
  DaveWilde | Jan 21, 2018 |
Showing 5 of 5
The Last Iteration is an excellent first novel. The story is unique and intriguing as the characters make their way through totally unknown territory towards an unknown destination which allows the reader to focus more on the characters and their interactions. I am not necessarily a science fiction fan but when you read this book, you will realize that there is probably no specific genre that it fits into. I had a little problem with character orientation in the beginning but once I tuned in, the storyline carried me through to the end. I highly recommend reading this book.
added by mrrbpook | editAmazon.com, Richard Pook (Nov 29, 2017)
 
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