Title: The Last of Us (The Last of Us: American Dreams)
Author: Neil Druckmann and Faith Erin Hicks
Published: 12 November 2013 by Dark Horse Comics
Purchase: Book Depository | Amazon
Synopsis: Nineteen years ago, a parasitic fungal outbreak killed the majority of the world’s population, forcing survivors into a handful of quarantine zones. Thirteen-year-old Ellie has grown up in this violent, post pandemic world, and her disrespect for the military authority running her boarding school earns her new enemies, a new friend in fellow rebel Riley, and her first trip into the outside world, where she is confronted with a dangerous insurgent group – and with the monstrous victims of infection!
The Last of Us is a short, quick read about a concept that has been done many times before: zombies. The focus, however, is more on the friendship of Riley and Ellie as it is a back story of Ellie from Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us video game. I really enjoyed artwork of the graphic novel, the sketchiness of the lines and dull hues of colour captures the dreariness of surviving in a post apocalyptic world overrun by zombie like creatures. I especially loved the art at the start of each chapter, it was absolutely stunning.
The story was far less memorable due to its poor execution and length. As the book is so short there isn’t much development with the story. It’s more of an introduction to the world riddled with infection and violence, a rebel group and the desires of the main characters. By the end I’m left thinking “Huh. That’s it?”
Riley and Ellie both have strong qualities. Ellie is assertive, outspoken and impulsive, it seems to land her in trouble often. Riley is determined, brave and resourceful. They become quick friends and the story follows a night of their terrible adventures. It’s typically filled with explosions and flesh eating fiends but still entertaining and by the end I was a bit curious about certain events.
Although there were enjoyable moments, The Last of Us graphic novel left me feeling unsatisfied and underwhelmed. If you’re a fan of the video game then it is a decent and enjoyable read but as for other readers it leaves a lot to be desired and it won’t be my first recommendation if you’re looking for a zombie read. The book is more targeted towards people interested in the game and current fans of it.