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The Last Princess

The Last Princess - Galaxy Craze THE LAST PRINCESS had been on my radar for awhile. Why? Because I LOVE me some royal family gossip – any royal family. And obviously I love science fiction, the apocalypse, and things that seem like THE POSTMAN until Kevin Costner went and ruined it all. On paper, THE LAST PRINCESS by Galaxy Craze seems like the perfect mixture of this, but there was something about the story that kind of disappointed me. It might have been the length (way too short)… Actually, it was probably the length.Following Princess Eliza, THE LAST PRINCESS chronicles the life of a girl second in line to the throne of England after the destruction of the world as we know it in the Seventeen Days, a not-very-well explained but very-well-described event. The sky rained fire and acid rain, animals died, the world went silent, and the UK was left alone. Eliza’s mother was assassinated, and the rise of the New Guard has left the royal family on edge, until one fateful ball starts events spinning that will change the UK forever…The idea behind this book is wonderful, mostly unique, and totally took me back to THE POSTMAN. In THE LAST PRINCESS, we find Eliza doing battle with the New Guard, an organization led by a brutal man and his bloodthirsty army trying to conquer the UK and replace the Windsor line with their regime. Except their regime is pretty much worse than the one in place whose only sin is having nice parties and a little more food. But let’s face it – if this ever happened, I expect 95% of rich people/royals/politicians to be hoarding food waiting for us poor people to starve to death. And this Cornelius Hollister guy seems like he’d be so much worse.I think I just rambled off there. Anyway…After an attack on a royal ball leaves the family broken and Eliza running for her life, the real action begins. We begin to crack this vivid post-apocalyptic world and delve into a story that is focused heavily on the action. There is a romantic element, but if you are a fan of kicking butt and adventuring, this story will definitely appeal to you. The romance in this one wasn’t needed, and in fact I felt like the author added it for two reasons – 1.) the notion that all YA books need romance and 2.) the inevitable twist. But I didn’t buy the twists related to our dear designated love interest, who wasn’t developed nearly as much as I had hoped.But where we had flat secondary characters, I quite enjoyed Eliza. I am not always a big fan of teenage characters who act like whiney spoiled sixteen year old brats, maybe because at heart I might be 10 but in body I am quite a bit older than that. Eliza was every bit the calm, collected, and cultured young lady she should have been, being a Princess and all. Was she foolish? Yes. Did she make really stupid decisions? Yes. But I can’t fault this book based on the fact that the main character was desperate to save her family. In the same boat, I know I would probably have done the same thing.World building isn’t totally impressive. Why? The Seventeen Days is never explained in depth. We know what happened, but never why. Likewise, the facts about the aftereffects aren’t really acknowledged. I wish we could have known more about this. We’ve got dead birds, seas that crush sailing ships, and dead trees, but how in the world did we manage to have complete desertion and overgrowth between Hampton Court Palace and the Tower of London where a horse could easily pass unnoticed? Also, did Eliza’s horse really manage to get from the Tower of London to Balmoral Castle THAT quickly? It’s over 600 miles and it’s implied that she got there in two or three days while she was badly injured.This book heavily borrows tropes from the post-apocalyptic genre. Once again, I won’t call it dystopian because it isn’t really – there is nothing seemingly perfect about this world, not a fatal flaw that cracks the system. But we do have a politically-minded post-apocalyptic story laden with action, adventure, war, family drama, and just a smidge of romance. But the story fails on one issue – the book is too damn short and everything glossed over. I wanted more, and instead I got a rushed conclusion where things suddenly jumped forward days at a time with no explanation, no power, no real basis.World Building - ♥♥♥World is not fully explained, but vividly described. Eliza constantly thinks Balmoral is in England, which should theoretically make the Scottish people angry.Characterization - ♥♥Only Eliza is ever fleshed out, and a lot of her characterization relies on predictable tropes.The Love Factor - ♥♥Girl and designated love interest have googly eyes almost immediately resulting in instalove; boy inexplicably drawn to girl; pair is making out after knowing each other very briefly; romance is very secondary to rest of plotAssorted WTFery - ♥♥♥Who could possibly think Cornelius Hollister was better than the King? Brutal dictator inspires army of hooligans to basically pillage the country. Don’t see how this would go over well.VERDICT: Belayed by some shoddy explanations and a length that is WAY too short for the material needing to be covered, THE LAST PRINCESS is still a very interesting entry into the post-apocalyptic market – but could have been so much more.