Until the Last of Me by Sylvain Neuvel

Rate: 5/5

Medium: Audiobook/ebook (ARC)

Overview (No Spoilers):

As one of my most anticipated reads of 2022, I was very much looking forward to reading Until the Last of Me, that is until it was so good I finished it in almost one sitting. I could not put it down, and when I did, I promptly switched over to the audio medium so I could continue this adventure. Neuvel ties in a most unexpected ending that will leave the reader just as impatient for the next installment of the Take Them to the Stars series. 

Until the Last of Me picks up with Mia and her young daughter Lola fleeing the Trackers yet again. As with the A History of What Comes Next  there are leaps in time as we follow the various stages of Lola growing up, but where the first book was focused on rocket development, this time the Kibsu aid in the Voyager spacecrafts. As with before, Neuvel take real life technological leaps and pairs them with the Kibsu for a fantastic reimagining lending an unseen hand helping guide our space related advancements. While I knew about the Voyager spacecrafts from one of the many museum trips my mom would take us on growing up, I couldn’t help but go down my own wormhole now about how remarkable and over achieving those crafts were in real life. 

With regard to Mia and Lola the story took a familiar pattern of bouncing from location to location, all over the globe in response to a Tracker sighting, to teen rebellion resulting in calamity. In Until the Last of Me, we are granted the POV of the children of the Tracker and how they are raised. While this perspective initially proffered some empathy toward their situations, interestingly well meaning decisions eventually eroded that connection until the grown Tracker mirrors those of the past. 

For most of this read the Kibsu and the Trackers are following two very different leads, though suspense mounts as their paths start to align with Samael and his brothers’ are on a mission to Egypt whereas a bow marked with ancient symbols leads Mia and Lola to China. With both parties making significant headway, secrets held for millenniums begin to yield. In between these chapters, Neuvel scatters stories from the past that are drawn from real people, only now with an added link to the Kibsu or the Trackers, such as the tragic story of Hypatia.

Caught up in the pursuit of knowledge, Mia and Lola toe the line ever closer to danger, keeping the reader on the edge of their seats with each subsequent chapter. Filled with twists and turns, Neuvel packs in several shocking events that will leave the reader reeling, especially with the ending he has in store that makes the trajectory of the next book in the series seemingly limitless. 

Overall, filled with intrigue, mystery, and teenage angst, Until the Last of Me was a fantastic continuation of the Take Them to the Stars series that will leave the reader simultaneously shocked and thoroughly excited for the next installment.

Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):

  • It is now on my to do list to watch the documentary about the Voyager expedition that Neuvel recommends at the end of the book. 
  • With the special care of his mother there seemed to be such promise for Samael. Even the decisions he made along the way were rooted in ‘good’, but in reality, step by step, he was just following his nature. 
  • What is in store for Earth now that Samael sent the signal?
  • I can’t believe Lola abandoned her child! It will now be another lost link in their history. The risk was so high. How could she think that she could have defeated the Trackers on her own? What will happen to her child now?
  • What happened to Xuesen after Lola left?
  • What did Heather think when her friend broke out of the police station? Also the drug induced hallucinations where Lola murders all of her friends was terrifying. I totally thought she had done the deed.
  • Will Samael seek out his cousin? What is the cousin like completely removed from the Tracker situation?
  • I enjoyed the story of Anges the painter who lived out her life in a monastery instead of following the Kibsu rules, though the fate of her works are terribly sad. 

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