The Living Reminder

Fiction - Science Fiction
217 Pages
Reviewed on 04/06/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite

It is a scary thought to be the last man in the world, especially when you think that man is a social animal. The Living Reminder by Thomas Zman is a highly cautionary tale with this premise. The last man on Earth in question is a man with the biblical name of Elijah, who started having prophetic dreams back when he was a young boy. The dreams are about a mysterious entity: Stardom is his name, an emissary to the cosmos, who uses words that conjure pictures that always left Elijah in a state of wonderment—for Stardom’s words evoke destruction upon humanity. A modern-day equivalent of the Ten Plagues of Egypt has ravaged the land, leaving Elijah as the last man on Earth. As he wanders around his desolate town, he encounters Kyliptra and Abslam, alien twins who become his friends. This friendship will allow Elijah to have time for closure and to gather himself for a momentous transition.

The Living Reminder is an autophobic science fiction drama relating to a sole existence as a memento of a once inhabited planet. Zman’s prose is elaborate, yet every word counts. His approach to conflict and drama is heightened by the anxiety that develops within Elijah as he grows up. There are xenophobic undertones at the initial phase of his encounters with the twins, but as the only remaining representative of the human race, he displays a rectitude expected from being a Living Reminder. It can well be interpreted as an allegory for life, with a discourse worthy of a group discussion. It is a formidable tale with a sense of spirituality and compassion. The story is that good, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Lit Amri

“The dreams haunted me right until high school. Then they just stopped. Stopped after a life-changing event that rocked my world. No longer was my sleep troubled by anything, for my life had swung around, and I, like the rest of humanity, seemed to be having all my troubles during my waking hours." Being the last human alive after the world was destroyed by aliens, Elijah wanders in misery, musing about his present and remembering the past. He's then discovered by twin aliens, sole survivors of a crashed UFO. Having no one else for company, the friendship between Elijah and the aliens is forged. He joins them on a space journey to a new planet and discovering more about the aliens' history. The Living Reminder is a dystopian sci-fi by Thomas Zman.

I found the premise interesting as it explores the meaning of being human, and what needs to be done to preserve and mend humanity. The story's imaginative elements are derived from both ordinary and extraordinary details of life and human knowledge itself. Several books and historical figures are mentioned and incorporated subtly, including references to the Bible, folklore, and even mysterious beings such as the Nephilim. Moderately paced, the plot has a few nice twists that justify the story's fantastical concept. The Living Reminder is deeply contemplative, and given how relatable the moral implications are to the real world, at times I had a slight difficulty reminding myself that this is fiction; the forebodings are eerily realistic. All in all, Thomas Zman weaves a thought-provoking intrigue about the threat of infinite destruction into a dystopian tale.

Rabia Tanveer

The Living Reminder is the fifth book in the Neuphobes series by Thomas Zman. It is a dystopian science fiction novel that follows the story of Elijah. Elijah was the last human alive on Earth. When the aliens came, they destroyed everything, and now Elijah was all alone. However, that changed when he encountered two aliens alone as well. Their ship was destroyed, and now they were waiting for the Mothership to rescue them. As they awkwardly became friends, Elijah went with them when the Mothership came. And so, his journey to a strange new planet began where Elijah was the odd one out and left to reflect on what his life had become. What was the purpose of his life now? Why was he spared? What would he do now that he was “safe” on an alien planet with aliens as friends?

Although this is the fifth novel in a series I have not read, I had zero issues forming a connection with Elijah. Elijah was disturbed and distressed; he was alone and had lost everyone he ever loved. The plot was very intriguing. The concept of being the last man on Earth and the mental struggle to survive was handled with extra care. The author used emotive words and kept the narrative gentle. Both of these attributes made the story more entertaining for me. I instantly formed a connection with Elijah. He was devastated, grieving, and had lost all fight in him. The connection he formed with his two alien friends and the reflections they provided him with was fascinating. The Living Reminder by Thomas Zman was fascinating and unexpected, but it was great.