The Last One Alexandra Oliva

download Pub: Penguin

She wanted an adventure. She never imagined it would go this far.

When Zoo agrees to take part in a new reality TV show, In The Dark, she knows that she will be tested to the limits of her endurance. Beating eleven competitors in a series of survival tasks deep in the forest will be the ultimate challenge before she returns home to start a family.

As the contestants are overcome by hunger, injury and psychological breakdown, the mind games to which Zoo is subjected grow dark beyond belief. This isn’t what she signed up for: the deserted towns and gruesome props. Is this a game with no end? alone and disoriented, Zoo must summon all her survival skills – and learn new ones as she goes . . .


In The Dark, is a reality TV show in which 12 contestants take part for a hefty cash prize.

Each character is given a nick-name, Banker, Tracker, Waitress etc.. and then there is Zoo. She is taking part for one last adventure before she starts a family.

As an animal lover,  she is now forced to gut squirrels and bash fishes heads in just to survive. Believe me, this makes for unsettling reading. Highly descriptive, Oliva does not hold back in her writing of how to ‘dress’ a deer ready for eating. But when you’re starving, to what extents are we prepared to go??

The Last One, attacks your senses in so many ways. The stench of the dead, Zoo’s thirst,  her hunger and her fear are horribly portrayed.

A cross between I’m a celebrity and Survival, this is a fabulous read. The challenges that the contestants face are all very real, and Oliva’s writing gives the book a tense and gloomy edge. After reading this tale gave me nightmares.

This is quite a different book than I normally read, but is one I enjoyed. It is a remarkable debut and if you can get over the animal killing-albeit necessary then it is one I would recommend.



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