In the drought-stricken Wastelands that arose out of an apocalypse, Adam McClain never thought himself the hero. Kicked out of the town he created, and shunned by his friends and former allies when they discovered what he was, he's managed to find work as a bounty hunter. After all, who better to hunt the wargs and reivers that haunt the Badlands, than one of the monsters themselves?
She's the woman he can't have...
Mia Gray learned the hard way that men can't be trusted, and when McClain strides into her bar she knows that trouble just walked in. The rugged bounty hunter is her greatest weakness–but he's hiding something, and the last time a man kept secrets from her, she got her fingers burned. Tempting as he is, Mia's staying far away.
But when a horde of reivers strikes her town and captures her sister, the only one Mia can turn to is McClain. Together they might just be able to rescue her sister, but what will happen when Mia learns of the secret McClain is hiding? Can she ever trust him again? And when the man who broke Mia's heart in the first place discovers the same secret, will McClain survive?
Ms McMaster paints such a vivid picture of a harsh landscape populated by individuals literally fighting to survive. There's a huge division between those struggling in the Wastelands and those behind fortresses known as the Confederacy. The world building is just beginning to expand as the author lets her readers know there is still technology in this bleak landscape, but it's jealously guarded by men who are starting to feel more monstrous than the creatures stalking the night.
Adam McClain almost had it all. Forcibly turned into a Warg, he found a way to make a kind of peace with himself and helped build a settlement but when his secret came out, he quickly found himself outside the very walls he helped build. Mia Gray has closed her heart to all except her sister but when Reivers kidnap Sage, there's nothing Mia won't do to get her back, including working with the enigmatic Adam McClain. Following the trail brings danger and uncomfortable truths as Mia starts to trust Adam, only to fear he is hiding a secret from her.
The Last True Hero had everything I look for in a book. Fast paced, interesting characters, and a plot that kept pounding along. In addition, the writing at times had an eerie feeling of impending doom as the author took time to describe the unthinkable. Her description of Wargs kept me imagining giant wolf like creatures but when the journey stopped off in a devastated Vegas, it sent shivers down my spine as I could picture the broken buildings described so easily. Perhaps it's not those physically altered by nuclear fallout or extraterrestrial life that chills the most; that dubious honour goes to the Reivers! As human as you or me but violent, bloodthirsty, and totally uncivilised. Think of the Thunder Dome from Mad Max and multiply it by one hundred. A societal collapse full of brutality, but even more chilling is the power behind this unholy throne.
There is romance here and it might take the central couple a while but yes, the buildup in light of Adam's past felt right. Mia has her own baggage to deal with so seeing them find a way to each other really made me smile. Although there are notable supporting characters that hopefully we will see again, these include Colton the longtime nemesis of Adam, Zarina who has a lot to make up for and a surprisingly brave young woman, Ellie, who courageously goes hunting for her missing girlfriend. It's definitely a dark and gritty story but there is love and tenderness and I can't wait to find out what happens next.
A copy of this was provided for me which I have voluntarily read and these comments are my own honest opinion.