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? Lying liar, or heroic savior? A mercenary, a charlatan, a legend? A man, an immortal—perhaps even a god?
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.
Driftwood will be released on August 14, 2020. Preorder now!
“Everyone’s dead,” Last said. “That’s Driftwood. In the end, every person, every street, every world will fade and crumble and die.”
“Verdict’s still out. Who says I won’t die someday, like everyone else?”
I absolutely adored Driftwood. Before requesting this ARC, I read the short story because I wasn’t quite certain I would like it. You can find the story here, though it is also the first chapter of the book. I’m so glad I read it, because I really loved the short story and the full book (which I was not expecting to be so short! It is only about 45k words) was no different.
Driftwood follows the tale of Last, which is also the tale of Driftwood. Driftwood is where dying worlds come to die. One day, they show up there, and piece by piece their people and their lands disappear, forever. Except Last.
Last is the last of his kind, the last of his world. No one knows how long he has lived, though it is longer than anyone else living can remember. His homeland has long since disappeared into the Crush, the center of Driftwood. He has lived past the time his kind should have died naturally. He is a mystery. Though he states that his intentions are to help the people of Driftwood, not everyone is convinced. And everyone wants to know the secret of why he is still alive and so many others aren’t. Too bad Last doesn’t know either.
Driftwood is told in a series of short stories, each one counting another tale of the man known as Last. Some are generations old, some are newer. There is a rumor going around that Last is dead at last, and no one knows what to think. They have held a sort of memorial, telling tales and remember Last, while also searching for anyone who has any real concrete proof of his death. Or life, as some hope.
While short, Driftwood is just so full of life. I wouldn’t say it is full of happiness, since it is filled with people who are slowly losing their homes and lives. But it is full of life, regardless. I love the world that Brennan wrote. And I may have a small crush on Last. Even though he was rarely anything other than an enigma told by the storyteller. But when he was more, he was a friend.
I don’t know if this is a book one in a series or a standalone, but I really hope I get more from this world. And Last.
ARC received from Tachyon Publications on Netgalley. This did not affect my review.