Title: The Last book Ever Written
Author: Jonah Kruvant
2015 – Fiction – Dystopian
Source: TLC Book Tours
The Story: Victor Vale is about to get the promotion of a lifetime. Since he was young, his dream was to become a detective in the police force and be able to help people. And if he can solve one more case, he’ll be granted the title of First Detective and earn his badge. But in a dystopian society where books are banned, society is highly stratified, citizens use virtual reality as an escape, and government is corrupt, he is faced with a decision: expose the illegal group of creators or join them to fight for art and freedom.
The Opening Line: It all starts when we’re born.
Thoughts: I initially was intrigued by this novel because the synopsis mentioned a virtual reality component – that citizens of The Nation have a computer chip implanted in their brains as children and later use needles to inject themselves into UNICE, the virtual reality world. While this component actually played out much differently than I had imagined (thanks for ruining me forever on this one, Ready Player One!), it was still integrated well into the overall plot.
I really enjoyed ARM – the art resistance movement that is the backbone of the book and of Victor’s decision to become a writer. Although illegal, creators of all sorts are able to join ARM and sculpt, paint, draw, read, write, perform, and more. As an underground resistance, ARM is a fresh idea, a new sort of resistance not often seen in dystopian novels. Yes, they have a weapons facility, but their idealism is pacifism and they hope to bring change in other ways.
Victor’s growth as a character was also great. Initially he is focused on his job and earning money to support his wife and family. Growing up in The Nation, he is essentially brainwashed into believing that those are the important things in life, that his merit lies in his abilities to advance and earn. Following his growth into a writer and his changing mindset about art and the government is a fascinating journey.
The book feels simultaneously sarcastic and scary. It is a sort of parody of the ultimate dystopian, corrupt nation. Citizens have few freedoms, are born into strict class systems with little chance of moving up in the world, and are fed propaganda with no access to books or outside information. What’s scary to me is that this could actually happen. Already our politicians and corporations are in bed with each other. Our freedoms are disappearing gradually, almost so as not to cause alarm. And our citizenry is finding more and more solace in the internet, in television and smartphones and gaming. And while I love technology, I despise the thought of being captive to and reliant on it. Kruvant’s book is a look at what could happen if we aren’t careful, and that’s terrifying to me.