Book Review: ‘The Last Four Things’ by Paul Hoffman

Posted: 7 February 2015 in Book reviews
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the last four things

Synopsis

Life has not been kind to Thomas Cale. He thought he’d escaped the clutches of the horrible Redeemers, but instead was betrayed and thrown right back into their hands. Well, into Bosco’s hands that is. Because Bosco had a plan that hinged all around Cale. And so he welcomed Cale back with open arms. And then proceeded to twist him into the weapon he needed him to be.

Unlike Cale’s prior existence at Sanctuary, he is given a comfortable room, plenty of food, and is not punished for anything (unless necessary in front of someone Bosco is trying to deceive or impress). Cale uses this new found freedom to his full advantage. He speaks his mind about everything, helps his serving boy get plenty to eat, and even uses his power to save a group of people on death row who become his Purgators. These were his original Purgators. No, they were accidentally sent to their deaths from a misunderstood death order. So Cale took what was available to him and turned them into his soldiers.

While Cale was reliving life in Sanctuary, Vague Henri, Kleist, and IdrisPukke, who were tailing them in the beginning, all find themselves in vastly different circumstances. Kleist never really cared about Cale, so when Vague Henri and IdrisPukke find him gone one day, it isn’t all surprising. While they continue towards Sanctuary, Kleist tries to get as far away as possible. In the process, he saves a girl, Daisy, who had been kidnapped. He takes her back to her people and stays with them, in the process becoming a father. While there, the Klephts are attacked by the Redeemers. They send the old, women, and children ahead and fought for their survival not knowing a portion of the army had been sent around to intercept the fleeing.

When Cale’s Purgators are ready, they are sent to contain a new threat in the form of the Laconics, mercenaries for hire. But unbeknownst to Bosco, Cale has other plans. He plays his part very well, fighting and laying traps, that Bosco would no reason to mistrust his weapon while he deals with issues within the Church. The pope has died and it is discovered that he was actually a female. While the Church covers it up and works to elect a new pope, Cale, Vague Henri, and a contingent of his Purgators have deserted the Redeemers to Spanish Leeds where IdrisPukke had been working with the leaders to get them safe passage. If only he knew things were only going to get worse.

My Thoughts

If you’ve read my post on the first book ‘The Left Hand of God‘, you’ll know that I loved it. It was such an adventure. Needless to say, I was excited to rejoin Cale in the next chapter of his life. Truth be told, it was a bit of a let down. You expect the story to continue on its fast paced course, but with ‘The Last Four Things’ the story took a sudden halt. Book 2 seems to focus more on the behind-the-scene workings of the Redeemers and Bosco and the other characters rather than the turbulent life of Cale. That doesn’t make the book any less interesting, just a bit of a letdown with the pace.

I did enjoy the twists and turns in this one though. You really get to see the devious nature of the conspiring Bosco as he continues towards his goal of heading the Church. He almost seems like a completely different person now, especially with his relationship to Cale. He is more generous and patient, while at the same time conniving. He lets his mask fall down and isn’t concerned about the possibility of betrayal considering what he is planning to do. He is truly an evil person.

I also like seeing the different sides of the characters. As each character (Cale, Kleist, Vague Henri, etc) moves in their own sphere, it is interesting to see how their lives develop separately, but are still somehow affected by each other. Who would have thought that any of these guys would be capable of becoming fathers? I didn’t. Kleist never seemed overly honourable, but with the reality of becoming a father and becoming a part of a community he shows just how good of a person he actually is.

Overall, I did like the book despite being let down by the slowness of it. It is well written and developed. I really can’t wait to read the third book 😉

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