The Last President (Daybreak, #3)The Last President by John Barnes

Third in the Daybreak series (following Directive 51 and Daybreak Zero) and in many ways the most horrifying and yet oddly satisfying of the three. Some things are resolved, like why Daybreak (saw that coming). I won’t go into detail (see title above) other than to say that it seems that Barnes is someone who believes that even when the human race is at its lowest, even when it’s been beaten so seriously down it can’t see how it will ever get up again, we don’t give up. I like that. I hope it’s true.

There was one surprise reveal toward the end that rocked me back, but then I thought, Why? Of course James would do exactly that. Love it when characters behave in character–It is a wonder to me how well Barnes combines slam-bang action adventure with realistic character development. (Note: See Bambi.) And I soooooo want Lord Robert to get his, in the most painful, bloody, excruciatingly extended way possible. I harbor great hopes for Freddie Pranger in his next career path.

And I’m going to quote from a Twitter conversation I had with Mr. Barnes when I reached a certain point in the book, as follows:

With the greatest possible deference and respect: YOU SONOFABITCH! **********’S DEAD!

He replied:

And in the same spirit: you are welcome. I cried when I wrote it.

See, all you weenies out there? I’m not the only writer who kills the ones I love.

Barnes is writing a casebook scenario of when things fall apart, the center cannot hold, and then what happens? We’re going to find out, in future books in the series (Barnes says, “Next Daybreak book backed up behind a mainstream YA (about half done) and next Jinnaka book. Will probably follow Acey and Paley to St. Croix.”). Can’t wait.

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3 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Ok – you’ve convinced me. After I look to see if I have Book 2 (I know I’ve read it), I’ll head up to Big Box Books and get this one.

    Oh, well, at least the Daybreak ecoterrorists have averted climate change (see also Steve Stirling’s Emberverse, starting with Dies the Fire, but answers to be found in The Sunset Lands and Scourge of God, books 4-5 respectively.)

    Barnes does seem to kill off his nice guys. Check out the ending (well, the penultimate scene) in his Armies of Memory.

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