A Novel

by Alexandra Oliva

A dazzling and unsettling novel of psychological suspense. 

She wanted an adventure. She never imagined it would go this far.

It begins with a reality TV show. Twelve contestants are sent into the woods to face challenges that will test the limits of endurance. While they are out there, something terrible happens — but how widespread is the destruction, and has it occurred naturally or is it man-made? Cut off from society, the contestants know nothing of it. When one of them — a young woman the show’s producers call Zoo — stumbles across the devastation, she can imagine only that it is part of the game.

Alone and disoriented, Zoo is heavy with doubt regarding the life — and husband — she left behind, but she refuses to quit. Staggering countless miles across unfamiliar territory, Zoo must summon all of her survival skills — and learn new ones as she goes.

But as her emotional and physical reserves dwindle, she grasps that the real world might have been altered in terrifying ways — and her ability to parse the charade will either be her triumph or her undoing.
Sophisticated and provocative, The Last One is a novel that forces us to confront the role that media plays in our perception of what is real: how readily we cast our judgments, how easily we are manipulated.


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THE LAST ONE seamlessly melds two of our contemporary obsessions — the threat of global catastrophe and the staged drama of reality TV — into a fiercely imagined tale of the human psyche under stress. This is an uncompromising, thought-provoking debut.
— Justin Cronin, NYT bestselling author of The Passage
A high-concept, high-octane affair.
The Guardian
Haunting, moving, and remarkable.
— Karen Joy Fowler, NYT bestselling author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
Clever in the best sense . . . astute and compelling.
A pulse-pounding psychological tale of survival.