Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Last Orphans by N.W. Harris Review

Hey readers, Happy Thursday! Most of you are gearing up for a weekend full of awesome! I hope you all have awesome plans! Before you get down to celebrating, I have a review to share with you all. I picked up this read last night, for FREE off of B&N after checking it out for a very long time. Well, once I started I knew it was game over. I devoured the entire novel in just a couple of sittings. Definitely one of the most unique reads I have checked out in a long time. What are we raving about? The Last Orphans by Neil Harris. Here's a bit about the book and our author:

One horrifying day will change the life of sixteen-year-old Shane Tucker and every other kid in the world.

In a span of mere hours, the entire adult population is decimated, leaving their children behind to fend for themselves and deal with the horrific aftermath of the freak occurrence. As one of the newly made elders in his small town, Shane finds himself taking on the role of caretaker for a large group of juvenile survivors. One who just happens to be Kelly Douglas—an out-of-his-league classmate—who, on any other day, would have never given Shane a second glance.

Together, they begin their quest to find out why all of the adults were slaughtered. What they find is even more horrifying than anything they could have expected—the annihilation of the adults was only the beginning. Shane and his friends are not the unlucky survivors left to inherit this new, messed-up planet. No, they are its next victims. There is an unknown power out there, and it won’t stop until every person in the world is dead.

A spine-tingling adventure that will have you gasping for breath all the way until the last page, The Last Orphans is the first book in an all-new apocalyptic series.


N.W. Harris
Born at the end of the Vietnam war and raised on a horse farm near small town north Georgia, his imagination evolved under the swaying pines surrounding his family’s log home. On summer days that were too hot, winter days that were too cold, and every night into the wee morning hours, he read books.

In addition to writing, he has been a submarine sailor, nurse, and business owner. His studies have included biology, anthropology, and medicine at UCSB and SUNY Buffalo. He is an active member of SCBWI and lives in sunny southern California with his beautiful wife and two perfect children. He writes like he reads, constantly.

Find N.W. Harris

My Thoughts:

I oftentimes find myself bouncing from genre to genre, looking for the next spark in my list of 'great reads'. It's been a pretty bumpy road lately. For every great book I review, I turned down a handful, it seems. For months now, I have stared at the cover of the novel and reread the synopsis thinking 'one day I'll check it out'. Well folks, today was that day. Last night before bed I said to myself 'well, I'll just read a chapter and see what I think". 75 pages and an hour later, I was hooked. So much for sleep!

From there my whole day was spend itching to get off work so I could rush home and finish this read. HOLY SMOKES PEOPLE. Seriously, I couldn't step away. Could not step away. Absolutely incredible. 

The only negative critique that I have of this novel is its' length. My B&N version clocked in at only 207 pages. I flew through this read. Which is fine, but I would have loved to see a longer version of this novel. I am sure that Harris has a whole folder on his computer somewhere of 'deleted scenes' from Orphans and I'll tell you what, I need to see them!

Also, a warning to some of you. This book does get a bit graphic as it deals with many gruesome deaths and adult situations.

As you guys know, here at One Guy's Guide to Good Reads, I review a bit of everything from a plethora of authors. One side of the literary community that I always fall short on is male authors. In this female dominated community, it's hard to find a male author who is not only writing, but producing high quality works. On this blog, I've only review a handful in a years' time. I am beyond honored to host a review for Harris here today. 

To say Harris' writing style is impressive, would be an insult to this incredible novel. Words can't hardly describe it. I know now after glancing at multiple other reviews of this novel that I am not the only one that thought this, but Harris has a huge knack for horror writing. I would definitely dub him one of the 'Stephen Kings of YA'. I do not know that a YA book have ever given me chills the way that this story did. The description that Harris is able to put into his settings with so little words are incredible. Harris is definitely one of those authors where 'less is more'. It was incredible how his writing was able to evoke such images in my imagination. This entire story was like a motion picture played in my mind. Absolutely phenomenal. 

When it comes to the plot line, I won't say that this idea is completely unheard of. What I will say is that Harris definitely takes this and makes it his own. A world without adults may seem like a great time, but Harris shows us all how truly terrifying it could be. No rhyme, rule, or reason, can a group of children really come together to survive? The gripping emotions brought forth from this plot line left me beyond words. How do you fit this much story into a mere 200 pages? I will say that for some reason I was constantly comparing this novel to The Maze Runner, except.... much better. I wasn't a huge fan of the MR trilogy, but I loved the tone that James Dashner set. I believe that Harris also does an absolutely incredible job of showcasing that the YA genre can compete for those coveted horror-readers. 

The characters in this novel were awesome. There wasn't any beating around the bush. They were blunt, brash, and would grow from children to strong willed adults in a very short period of time. I was able to relate with so many of these characters that it made each and every hardship tear at my heartstrings. Kudos to Harris for this incredible character development!

Survival, loyalty, and maturity are all huge themes in this novel. I am sure that this will only expand as the series continues, but these these are interesting on so many levels. To be honest, I'm not sure that this same novel would necessarily work if it were flipped on its' head and all the children died and left the adults to fend for themselves, the loss of innocence and the aging of a child are both heartbreaking and pivotal moments in life and Harris captures those moments perfectly. I cannot wait to see what the next novel holds for our characters.

As you guys can clearly see, I was a huge fan of this novel. Without a doubt one of the best YA I have read all year. I am granting The Last Orphans by N.W. Harris a well-deserved 5-star review. I was hooked from page one and was not disappointed in the least. You have definitely gained a huge fan here Mr. Harris. I cannot wait to follow your latest works! Here's to many, many more successful stories! The Last Orphans is a MUST READ for fans of horror, sci-fi, and any YA, especially those looking for 'something different'. I know you will not be disappointed!

Alright readers, that's all I have for you on the topic of The Last Orphans by N.W. Harris! What do you think? Sound like your kind of read? I loved every second of it. I only wish it were longer. Thankfully I don't have to wait long to sink my teeth into book two, I kept this review short so I could get started NOW! Go download your FREE copy now from the retailer links above! Until next time, Happy Reading!


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