The Last Savanna: Review

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I requested this book on a whim, generally being interested in books on Africa, and I’m very glad that I opted to read this book as it was a very enjoyable read. There were many parts that set this book apart from other books about Africa, but most notably the characters and beautiful writing.

The plot in this book was really interesting. The story follows a couple groups of people, that end up interconnecting at the end. One group is a group of Somali poachers, bent on collecting tusks from the few remaining elephants in Kenya. Another group is a collection of soldiers, some new and some seasoned veterans, bent on protecting the elephants from the poachers. The reader is also introduced to a man and a woman (I won’t give anything away) and is left entranced as the story follows the hardships they face. The plot was strong before the love element was introduced, but after that I found myself having a difficult time putting the book down.

The characters in this book are also really fantastic. It was interesting reading about the interactions between the groups of characters but it was also very interesting reading about the interactions between the groups. I thought that the characters interactions with each other seemed realistic and believable, even the characters who were a different culture than me still seemed believable and realistic. I found myself able to relate to the characters with relative ease and even if I wasn’t able to relate to them, I was able to understand them and sympathize with what was going on.

Although the plot and characters are strong throughout the book, I thought that the strongest point for this book would be the writing. There were numerous times throughout the book where I paused in my reading and thought to myself, “Wow, that was a really beautiful sentence”. And while the sentences were beautiful on their own, together they painted a wondrous pictures of Africa and a beautiful wilderness. While the writing was descriptive and beautiful, it wasn’t overly so (which I greatly appreciate). I didn’t find myself getting annoyed with the descriptions as they were tastefully placed throughout the story and added to the story, rather than detracting from it.

I think it’s worth mentioning that the start of this book is really strong and unique. The story starts out from the perspective of an eland, then goes to the perspective of a lioness, then to the perspective of a lion, then to the perspective of a Samburu warrior, and so on from there. I thought that was an incredibly unique way to begin the story, I was hooked on the beautiful writing from the animals perspective and probably wouldn’t have been disappointed had the book never transitioned to a human perspective. Stories don’t normally start out from the perspective of an animal but I thought that it really suited this book and began the story nicely.

Overall, I am really glad that I read this book. There were so many different parts of this book that made reading it a truly enjoyable experience. After having the opportunity to read this book I will gladly be looking up other books by Mike Bond to read. 5/5 stars.

I received this book for review purposes via NetGalley.


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