Review: The Last Gifts of the Universe by Rory August

Review: The Last Gifts of the Universe by Rory AugustThe Last Gifts of the Universe by Rory August

on April 7th 2022
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 203
Format: ebook

A dying universe.

When the Home worlds finally achieved the technology to venture out into the stars, they found a graveyard of dead civilizations, a sea of lifeless gray planets and their ruins. What befell them is unknown. All Home knows is that they are the last civilization left in the universe, and whatever came for the others will come for them next.

A search for answers.

Scout is an Archivist tasked with scouring the dead worlds of the cosmos for their last gifts: interesting technology, cultural rituals—anything left behind that might be useful to the Home worlds and their survival. During an excavation on a lifeless planet, Scout unearths something unbelievable: a surviving message from an alien who witnessed the world-ending entity thousands of years ago.

A past unraveled.

Blyreena was once a friend, a soul mate, and a respected leader of her people, the Stelhari. At the end of her world, she was the last one left. She survived to give one last message, one final hope to the future: instructions on how to save the universe.

An adventure at the end of a trillion lifetimes.

With the fate of everything at stake, Scout must overcome the dangers of the Stelhari’s ruined civilization while following Blyreena’s leads to collect its artifacts. If Scout can’t deliver these groundbreaking discoveries back to the Archivists, Home might not only be the last civilization to exist, but the last to finally fall.

I read The Last Gifts of the Universe by Rory August for the Ready Player Read(athon) because it fit the Book by Discord Member-prompt.

I picked this book during a promotion without knowing much about it. After reading the first few pages, I knew it was going to be a fun little book (around 200 pages). Why? Space cat! Pumpkin is Scout’s cat and they explore planets together. Can you imagine a fluffy cat with his own space suit? Getting fed by the suit? I’m imagining those cat yoghurt tubes being emptied in front of Pumpkin. My imagination is endless.

Scout is an Archivist and collects datapaks from older civilizations that have been wiped out by a race called the revenants. They hope to find out how to stop them from killing everyone in the universe. They find another cache, where Blyreena shares her civilization’s history. And her personal history. Scout’s adventures are fast-paced and have high tension situations while Blyreena’s recollections are much more intimate.

Despite the short length, there’s still more than enough world-building to enjoy. The characters are layered and all have their own arc. The best character is still Pumpkin though. Would you disagree? Space cat!

I give The Last Gifts of the Universe four stars. It’s entertaining, well balanced in pace, and a unique cast of characters. It’s a great book to read in one go while you’re heading towards your holiday destination or by the pool.

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