Last Star Standing

Fiction - Science Fiction
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 01/29/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Spaulding Taylor is the pen name of a London-based ghost writer, who was previously published by Orion (in contemporary fiction). He worked for over fifteen years as a professional cellist, performing with orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic and BBC Symphony. He is married, and spends part of every year in Crete.

Spaulding Taylor writes: 'That's the official bio, (above). In fact, Last Star Standing happened at the wrong time and against my better judgement, just when I was preparing to launch a six-part series in a completely different genre. Every writer I knew warned me against it, but the character of Aiden - reckless, impulsive, volatile, open - wouldn't let me go until I'd pinned him to the floor.

Writing it was a struggle: because I wasn't "up" in the genre - though I love it - because Aiden was so unruly - and also because I PERSISTED in sticking to first person, present tense, until I finally listened to reason and snapped out of it... I wanted that fiery immediacy, but it wasn't really right for the book.

I'm grateful to everyone who helped me on the journey - and grateful too to the three people here (unknown to me, of course) who are the FIRST to review it. Really warm thanks to you guys! Here's hoping that there are others who'll feel the same!

Spaulding Taylor'

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Last Star Standing is a dystopian science fiction novel written by Spaulding Taylor. When they came for him in the middle of a class he was teaching, Aiden Tenten’s heart sank. How had the Xirfell found out about him? He was almost relieved, however, when a sadistic demonstration of a tester’s zuge was going to be performed upon pundling 3034, a particularly gentle soul who had answered the tester’s call for a volunteer even as his fear was evident in his posture, trembling lips, and frightened eyes. Aiden couldn’t look away from the scene though he dearly wanted to. His arrest was really why the testers were there, however. And they left with him, leaving the terrified pundling unharmed. Aiden knew it would be a soul-shattering experience being a guest of the Xirfell, the inhuman overlords who had swept in and conquered earth after the ravages of World War III.

Spaulding Taylor’s Last Star Standing visits an earth toxic and reeling after a devastating third world war and under the supposedly benevolent dictatorship of the Xirfell and their King. Taylor’s plot is an engrossing one as it follows Aiden Tenten’s journey through the tortures inflicted by the Xirfell’s testers and other creatures designed to elicit extreme agony and maintain control over their victims. There's also his marvelous life story beginning with his birth to an aborigine mother and an infamous politician and his initiation into the resistance, a band of earthlings sworn to rid their planet of the alien overlords or die trying. I loved how Taylor develops Tenten’s character throughout the story. His adventures with his friend Bully and the diminutive and powerful gromeline, Pavlina, are grand entries into the realm of classic science fiction. Taylor displays a masterful touch at bringing his characters to life, and his writing is effortless and fluent, making reading this action-packed and thought-provoking offering a rare treat indeed. Last Star Standing is most highly recommended.

Susan Sewell

Aliens from another galaxy have overtaken the earth, and a group of rebels is fighting to free themselves from the tyranny of the intergalactic creatures who have subjugated the population and nearly decimated the planet in the fascinating dystopian novel, The Last Star Standing by Spaulding Taylor. The earth barely survived World War III and humankind's unthinking abuse when invaders from another galaxy took over. Aiden Tenten is a human that has endured body-altering experiments performed by his captors, the loss of personal freedom, and the agony of watching his home planet die. Determined to bring an end to the alien regime, Aiden joins a rebel movement. After being captured, tortured, and executing a daring escape, Aiden resolves to kill the intergalactic King. His imprisonment and daring escape inadvertently disclose that there are traitors amongst those he trusts, and to make matters worse, they want him dead. Can Aiden carry out his plans to free the world of the alien pestilence? Or will his enemies get to him first?

Set in the latter part of the twenty-first century, The Last Star Standing by Spaulding Taylor is an intriguing science-fiction novel with a post-apocalyptic flavor. With a dramatic plot, innovative creatures, and a creative story world, it is a captivating journey into a futuristic world of alien invasion and overlords. From the first page until the last, the story captures and holds the imagination. The detailed aspects of the individual characters are artistic and original, and each one is so beautifully illustrated they carry an authentic air, giving them a realistic and natural feel. It is an extraordinary tale with a dynamic storyline filled with action and drama that promises to entertain science-fiction aficionados who enjoy extraterrestrial inspired novels.

Grace Masso

Last Star Standing by Spaulding Taylor is a story that appeals to fans of dystopia and readers who enjoy strong post-apocalyptic settings. Earth is a wreck after WWIII, and it is now invaded by ruthless aliens. Expelled from the Academy, the only university in the world to survive WWIII, after what he has with Ravene is discovered, Aiden lives as an outsider. After the arrival of the Xirfell in 2084, seventeen years after WWIII, Aiden wants to be among those who refuse to give in to fear of their terror. He becomes a rebel, but gets captured by the galactic invaders and is set for execution. Aiden learns from a mole working within the regime that the aliens plan to destroy the entire resistance. So, he orchestrates a daring escape, but outside, he meets a rebellion that is fraught with challenges, back-stabbings, and betrayals. With a growing feud between him and the new rebel leader, can Aidan engineer the overthrow of the occupying regime and save the remnant of humanity?

This is the tale of a hero and it is a story that reveals what Earth can become should there be a WWIII: a place filled with “hunger, famine, devastation and misery.” The author does a wonderful job in writing a setting that is evocative of the ravages of war and climate crisis. The theme of science is well-explored in this novel and readers encounter an alien race with superior scientific power, able to alter human DNA. The first-person narrative voice is elegant, espousing the point of view of the protagonist in a manner that is both intimate and compelling, allowing emotions, thoughts, and the inner conflict to come out strongly in the story. The story features a strong setting and a post-apocalyptic conflict that is well-written. The writing is crisp and the entire novel is graced by a compelling protagonist that you cannot take your eyes away from. Last Star Standing is fast-paced, riveting, and an enjoyable read.

Chris Jeffery

Wonderful ideas – great rebel vs alien invader novel
I enjoyed so much about this book. The likeable but troubled hero of the rebels, Aiden; the witty descriptions of the various alien creatures; wondering how on earth he’s going to overcome each new challenge. It’s full of the sort of original ideas that made me smile reading Harry Potter, but the steamy relationships and adult language make this one for the grown-ups. A solid plot and a most enjoyable read. Sequel please….