Author: Kim Liggett
Genre: Horror, Young Adult
Hardcover, 352 Pages
Publication: January 10, 2017 by Tor Teen
Source: I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.
“I plead the blood.”It’s been awhile since I’ve read a good horror story, and The Last Harvest fit the bill perfectly. The Last Harvest takes place in a small town in Oklahoma involving teens, a secret society, nightmares and visions, and a prophecy…which happens to be everything I like in a story! Liggett hooked me in within the first chapter, building on the creep factor as we flashback briefly to the night Clay’s dad died. The Last Harvest paid homage to old school horror, classic horror where we get a sense of something ominous coming, it’s a steady and gradual build, like the perfect slow burn before the big reveal. Liggett nailed everything about this book, from the plot, the setting, to the realistic and relatable characters.
Those were the last words seventeen-year-old golden boy quarterback Clay Tate heard rattling from his dad's throat when he discovered him dying on the barn floor of the Neely Cattle Ranch, clutching a crucifix to his chest.
Now, on the first anniversary of the Midland, Oklahoma slaughter, the whole town's looking at Clay like he might be next to go over the edge. Clay wants to forget the past, but the sons and daughters of the Preservation Society—a group of prominent farmers his dad accused of devil worship—won't leave him alone. Including Ali, his longtime crush, who suddenly wants to reignite their romance after a year of silence, and hated rival Tyler Neely, who’s behaving like they’re old friends.
Even as Clay tries to reassure himself, creepy glances turn to sinister stares and strange coincidences build to gruesome rituals—but when he can never prove that any of it happened, Clay worries he might be following his dad down the path to insanity...or that something far more terrifying lies in wait around the corner.
If you’re the squeamish type, then this book might not be for you. Liggett spectacularly details all the horrible and gory things that happened to the people around Clay and it’s pretty graphic at time. Liggett also did an amazing job crafting and incorporating the religious aspects to the story. Although, at first I thought that it sounded too preachy but as the story progressed, I realized that she wasn’t being preachy at all; that this is exactly what the story needed and in my opinion all the better for it.
There was a lot to like about Clay. Before his father’s death he had it all, the girl, popularity, a football star, basically the town’s favorite. But the year after his dad died, it was as if everything was stripped from him. He and his family became outcasts, the black sheeps of the town. I admired Clay for stepping up and putting everything aside to support his family; even going as far as saving all his money to put his youngest sister through a private school. The other 6th generation of the Preservation Society were all very well fleshed out and developed. Although, readers will only come to know a little more than what’s on the surface when it comes to Clay, Ali and Tyler. I still thought Liggett made every one uniquely their own and most importantly still memorable enough in terms of secondary/tertiary characters.
The Last Harvest exceeded all my expectations. It is the best horror story I’ve read in a long time and the best, most shocking twisted endings I’ve read in years! Liggett throws readers in for a loop, with twist after twist and just when you thought you knew everything…she proves you wrong. Oh so wrong. I never would have guessed that ending if you gave me a bunch of chances. It completely surprised me, and to me, those are the best story, the best kind of endings. I know I used the word ‘best’ about 5 times in a paragraph…but it’s just that kind of book! I highly recommend checking out The Last Harvest, you won’t be disappointed!