Friday, September 13, 2019

BOOK REVIEW | The Last Hope by Krista & Becca Ritchie

Title: The Last Hope
Author: Krista and Becca Ritchie
Series? Yes, The Last Hope is the second in a duology.
Pages: 400
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication Date: August 13, 2019
Source: I received a copy of The Last Hope in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own. :)
A stunning conclusion to the sci-fi romance duology by writing duo Krista & Becca Ritchie, The Last Hope is filled with twists and turns you'll never see coming.

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.

I'm going to be honest with you: I had no expectation that The Last Hope was going to be one of my favorite books of the year, and yet here we are. After reading and quite enjoying The Raging Ones by Krista & Becca Ritchie last year, I was anticipating the  sequel, but wasn't biting at the bit. Thank goodness a publicist reminded me of its publication earlier this year, and I am delighted to say that The Last Hope is one of my favorite books of the year. 

There are two major reasons why The Last Hope was pushed into both "five-star" and "favorite book of the year" category. The first is the Ritchie's nuanced, aching, and authentic take on friendships. The second, is their fantastic world building. But I'll get to that in a moment. First, let's talk about the characters. 

I'm a reader who needs to love the characters to love the book. While I liked Court, Mykal, and Franny from The Raging Light last year, I fell in love with them this August. The Ritchie's took such a great amount of time building the core three's characters in the last novel that I immediately fell into into the world of its sequel without any whiplash. At the heart of The Last Hope are its three main characters and they're profound bond with each other. It's so easy to relate to Franny, the girl who yearns for adventure, yet fears the consequences. Mykal is full of heart, and his all encompassing goodness grounds these relationships. Court, the mastermind, always puts so much pressure on himself, and I just wanted to give him a hug, even though Court would never hug a stranger. Reading these three interact with each other was captivating. They jump off the page on their own, but their unbreakable bond is what makes them come to life. 

Outside of the core three characters, we also see a wonderful cast of both familiar and new faces. I was a bit scared we weren't going to see some of my favorites from the last book, and was delighted when they appeared. I won't get into too much detail here because of spoilers, but the addition of these characters was wonderful, and injected the novel with energy right as I felt the novel slowing down. The "mysterious stranger" from the synopsis also plays a big role, and I just loved him. All the characters are absolutely necessary; they add depth to the relationships among the crew and provide a unique perspective to the world around them and the conflicts that arise. 

Now, onto the world building. This one took me by surprise. In my fantasy novels, I let world building slide in sake of more time with eh characters or a faster moving plot, which is why I struggled just a tiny bit with the first book. However, all the world building of the first book paid off. Given the knowledge based from The Raging Light, the Ritchie's were able to construct a detailed and convincing conflict. The political intrigue was riveting, and the stakes, which were dangerously high, left me reading as fast as I could. For readers who have a hard time suspending their disbelief while reading fantasy novels, this series would be no problem. The co-authors put so much effort and thought into their world, that I wholly believed in every intricacy or reveal about the world. 

This much is obvious: I loved The Last Hope, and I believe that it could captivate a multitude of readers across genres. If you like fantasy and sci-fi, here you go. If you like character-driven stories, here you go. If you like romance? Here you go. You've got the picture - The Last Hope is a well-balanced, intricately thought out, and compelling novel. It will make you clutch your chest with worry, empathize with the characters, swoon a little, cry, and then repeat it all over again. I recommend this series to absolutely everyone, and I do hope you give it a chance!

With that, I give The Last Hope
5 out of 5 Planets! No surprise there! :)  

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Have you read The Last Hope? If so, what did you think? 

Thanks so much for stopping by and I'll see you soon with another post! 

Happy Reading!

Genni @ Ready, Set, Read!

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