Published: August 14, 2020
Publisher: Tachyon Publications
Pages: 240 (Paperback)
My Rating: 3.0/5.0
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Who is Last?
Fame is rare in Driftwood- it’s hard to get famous if you don’t stick around long enough for people to know you. But many know the guide, Last, a one-blooded survivor who has seen his world end many lifetimes ago. For Driftwood is a strange place of slow apocalypses, where continents eventually crumble into mere neighborhoods, pulled inexorably towards the center in the Crush. Cultures clash, countries fall, and everything eventually disintegrates.
Within the Shreds, a rumor goes around that Last has died. Drifters come together to commemorate him. But who really was Last?
Driftwood is the invention of bestselling author Marie Brennan. Mirroring the world that many people are currently living in, the Driftwood stories chronicle the struggles of survivors and outcasts to keep their worlds alive until everything changes, diminishes, and is destroyed. Driftwood is the first full-length novel in this world.
Marie Brennan’s work always deals with such fascinating concepts and Driftwood may be the most fascinating of all. The synopsis was all it took for me to rustle up a copy of the book and check it out for myself. I mean, who could possibly resist a book where fragments of countless ended worlds appear in what is called Driftwood, where they are inexorably drawn towards the Crush and they will be no more.
Yes, the world building here is absolutely tantalizing and offers the opportunity for endless small and possibly even a few full length tales about the different world fragments, but the story is really about one called Last. He is the last of his race and his world was drawn into the Crush long ago. No one knows how old he is or what his world was called, though he sometimes helps those who seek him out for advice or assistance. Now he is thought to have died or at the very least, disappeared.
The story is a series of smaller tales, brought together by Last’s disappearance and the gathering of those who mourn (or seek) him. They tell tales of how he tried to save their world fragments, or assisted kingdoms or seekers of lost things. The tales were rich little nuggets of world building, but ultimately failed to satisfy me. I admit, I often have this issue with novellas or shorter length novels like this one so please take my assessment lightly. If you often enjoy shorter reads, you’ll probably think this is fantastic, as most others do.
The synopsis implies that there will be other tales set in this world, and I would very much like to give them a try. I think the concept is brilliant, and as I said before it’s ripe for more short stories or other forms of expansion.