The Last Mile by Tim Waggoner

The Last Mile - Tim Waggoner

Mythical gods return to earth to wreak havoc and enslave humanity, ensuring a steady stream of sacrifices. Their return mutates earth into a hellish nightmare of predatory landscapes, plant life and hideously altered animals. With food and water running low, people are now pushed into surviving by any means, Dan is lucky that he was chosen as a thrall by one of the Gods to obtain sacrifices. His current captive, Lucy, is willing to fight to stay alive and when Dan's car breaks down on the highway, one mile from his master's lair, she will do anything to try and stop the inevitable.

Waggoner paints an absolutely horrific picture of a post apocalyptic world, one where cows now have udders with faces on them and plants attack and consume you. The story is told from two perspectives, Dan and Lucy. Dan is a sympathetic character even though his new role is to kidnap people for the gods to consume, there's a lot of depth given to his story by using different time lines to show how he became a thrall and what happened to him and his family.

Lucy starts off as being a fairly benign character, she seems like a nice person but about half way through her story, again told in flashback, you learn that she has had to do some awful things to survive. You start to get an idea that she may not be as sweet and innocent as she first appears.

The pacing was pretty spot on, the story flowed along effortlessly and made this an engagingly easy read. My favourite part was the ending, although I might have guessed it, it still packed a nice punch. A great take on Lovecraftian themes and some great world building that I hope the author would think about revisiting.