Sacrifice all you have to survive. Imprisoned for weeks on an enemy starcraft, Franny, Court, and Mykal have sat with an unfathomable revelation. But as they fight to stay alive, escaping prison means trusting a young mysterious stranger. He knows everything about their lost histories, and when answers aren’t given freely, the bonded trio are forced to join a mission. One that will determine the fate of humanity. Legend says, a baby―the first of her species―has the power to cloak and teleport planets. Tasked with retrieving the infant, Court fears the baby is just a myth, and if they fail, they’ll never find the truth about their origins. As Court and Mykal grow closer, their linked bond becomes harder to hide, and dynamics change when Franny begins to fall for someone new. Vulnerable and with no choice, the hunt for the baby sends the trio on a dangerous path to Saltare-1: a water world where their enemies can’t die and survival comes at a high cost.
The Last HopeFeatured
Court was seriously injured at the end of the first book, and now believes he is dying. His only recourse to be sure that Mykal and Franny survive. But this link between them has him concerned. If he dies, what happens to them? Court was (and is) my favorite character. He finally has opened up to a relationship with Mykal, and this tempers his cool exterior. Court cares too much, and it becomes an issue now that he is linked.
Mykal takes being human in stride. It honestly doesn’t seem to affect him that much. He was raised as a Grenpalish and that is who he is. He worships their gods and remembers the only parent he had. Then he meets Stork(more on him in a minute), the unknown that saves them from Romulus, and well let’s just say, he’s got a new family member ?
Franny takes the news the hardest. She has struggled since surviving her deathday with the fear of the unknown. She wants to know when she will die. There is security in that for her, except she can’t know. She will never know as a human when she will die. Then there’s her nosebleeds. Every time they happen she fears for her life. And now she’s human, fragile. She doesn’t really know how to handle that.
The Saltarian Conflict
The plot of this book focuses on why the Saltarians hate humans. It also dives deeper into the whys surrounding Franny, Court, and Mykal. I found myself fascinated with the world-building here. The history the authors give Earth and the conflict with the Saltarians is interesting to say the least. But it’s the new character that is introduced early in the story that caught my attention.
Stork is a bludrader, Saltarian blood traitor. Like Franny, Court, and Mykal, he was stolen away at birth and raised on another planet. He was taken from his parents and Mykal was left in his place. Stork is a Saltarian raised by humans. He shows everyone that just because he is Saltarian doesn’t mean he can’t love humans. He carries the world on his shoulders, and my heart breaks for him instantly. There is so much he isn’t allowed to share with the trio and so much he wants too.
Stork with the help of Franny, Court, and Mykal have one mission: return to Saltare-1 and retrieve a baby, a new species that could save Earth from Saltare.
Overall I really enjoyed The Last Hope. There are plenty of answers to the questions burdening the trio, and I was happy with those. If the authors wrote more from this world, I'd read it! I want to know more about it and see more of Franny, Court, and Mykal. If you enjoy YA sci-fi, I highly recommend it.
They live on Saltare-3, a cold planet where technology has advanced so much that a special reader can tell you the exact date you will die. It is inescapable, and you cannot defeat it through endangering your life earlier- things which should kill you may only maim you. You will only die on your death day. However, Franny, Court, and Mykal somehow escaped their death day, living through it. Each had a different place in their society, filling the roles allowed to them by chance and their death date. For instance, Franny was a fast-tracker, someone who would die before 29, and so does not receive education, takes labor jobs earlier, and generally lives for pleasure until their death date.
The three ended the previous book with stealing a spaceship after forging different death dates, along with some of their classmates, and arriving in space to learn that they are actually human, and the others are Saltarian. This book begins where the last left off, with the three locked up in the brig and wondering what that revelation even means. Soon, they are rescued and then sent on a mission to find a newborn. We get many of the answers to the questions that arose at the end of the first book, as well as more exploration of what the universe looks like in this future.
What I loved: The pacing in this book was better than the first, and I was completely captivated the whole way through. The world-building is also enhanced as we learn more about Earth and the Saltare planets in this book. The sci-fi is a lot stronger. The romance is also stronger. The couples that arise were amazing, and I was cheering for them the whole way through. I loved the main characters still, and the new characters added were equally as endearing. I really admire how different the main characters are and how well they come off the page.
What left me wanting more: As a relatively minor point, the sci-fi explanations were not quite so scientifically accurate, and there seemed to be a supernatural element to these, as well as a little belief needed to accept them. The ending also felt a little rushed with a lot coming together and happening quickly without full explanations. I would have liked a more extended ending to fully capture the end and how everything comes together. Adding to this, I would have liked one more chapter in the epilogue from another point-of-view to also add to the what will happen vibe (I won’t say who to avoid spoilers).
Final verdict: THE LAST HOPE is a fantastic end to a wonderful duology, and I highly recommend for fans of sci-fi, such as DEFY THE STARS and ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. Despite minor concerns, this is a strong continuation of a really engaging and intriguing YA sci-fi/fantasy duology.