The Last Book in the Universe by Rodman Philbrick
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book was hard to get started. There was so much jargon: latches, zooming, cancel, proov, stacks, geez, red, and so on. If the jargon really bothered me at first, I can imagine a young adult having a difficult time realizing what is going on enough to keep moving forward.
But move forward, I did. The setting is in the cyber-punk slums of the post-apocalyptic future. The world has almost been destroyed. The main character is Spaz, named for his behavior when he experiences epileptic seizures. Spaz meets an old man named Ryter who once was a writer, but all books, except for the one Ryter still has possession of, have been destroyed. Ryter attempts to explain to Spaz what life was like pre-apocalypse.
Spaz's former foster sister is sick and may die. Ryter agrees to help Spaz get to the latch and see her one last time. Little Face joins them. The result is a fast-paced adventure that has the reader rooting for the threesome. Once Spaz sees "Bean," he decides he has to find a way to heal her, and the adventure continues.
I liked this story. I can't say I loved it for a few reasons, one being, of course, the jargon. Another is how much we must suspend belief to understand some of the things in the book. True, it is science fiction, but some of the events just didn't make sense. Last, I wasn't satisfied with the ending. I'm glad I read it, but it doesn't make it onto my favorite books list.
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