The Last Iteration is a mystery, a love story, an adventure, and sits somewhere on the line between fantasy and science fiction. The basic premise is that seven people wake up in a strange white labyrinth with no idea how they got there. The basic story is how they figure out what the place is and how to get out. And filling out the rest of 86,000 words is a group of very different people figuring out how to deal with each other.
They come from a city-state that has been simmering in civil war for more than a decade, following a short and violent revolution. There’s Cie, raised in the last generation of an upper-class family and now chief-saboteur for the rebellion. Han is a figurehead for the new regime, powerless and disillusioned, but with no way out. Geno is a doctor with a chip on his shoulder who thinks it’s safer to be alone. Rina is a schoolteacher ruled by anxiety. Jaspar is a charming journalist with a bad habit. Kel is so ordinary that no one even notices she’s a spy. And Elise keeps finding herself in the middle of things, no matter how much she’d prefer to be elsewhere.
They’ve been pulled from all sides of the conflict and all walks of life, but there’s a secret connecting them, and surviving long enough to figure it out drags them all together.
There are also monsters, shifting terrain, and a semi-corporal grey creature that won’t leave them in peace. It’s kind of an odd little book, but it’s fun to read, especially once you get to know the people in the labyrinth and how they bounce off each other. I did my formal education dissecting the fun out of great literature, but I’m a huge fan of personal reading for pure entertainment, and The Last Iteration is the kind of book I read to be entertained