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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best book magazine in the UK“, climate-change post-apocalyptic novel set in 2098, L J Goodman’s The Last Advocate introduces a world divided into zones – red, yellow and crystal.

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The Last Advocate

L. J. Goodman originally started writing her first venture into sci-fi , The Last Advocate, twenty five years ago, but decided to revisit the manuscript and rewrite it to make it fit for a 21st century readership garnering praise from all.

Set in the year is 2098, when the Earth’s population has exceeded the resources the planet could afford, all attempts at colonising other planets have failed and countries no longer exist. The world is now divided into three zones: red, yellow and crystal, depending on the quality of life afforded to its human population. The red zone is little more than a wasteland having had no rain for years, and the yellow zone isn’t far behind.

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One Leader, who resides in the pristine crystal zone along with his twelve Advocates, now rules the world. A genetically enhanced human population also live in the crystal zone and responsible for their health is a pre-gen, Doctor Marcus Jarret.

When Marcus finds himself dispatched to the yellow zone, Anja, the woman he loves escapes. He is accompanied by Finch, a genetically enhanced Associate Advocate, who is the eyes and ears of the Leader.

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While they search for Anja, Marcus and Finch befriend a number of people who hold the key to the truth about the crystal zone and the Leader. They quickly discover all is not as it appears and there is an urgency for the pair to return to the crystal zone and attempt to overthrow the Leader before it’s too late.

The last advocate is the ultimate human experiment, a one of a kind being, yet to be born. Throughout the story they serve as narrator and through them we learn about the past, present and future of our planet and its inhabitants.

Well-constructed, with great character development, and a narrative that puts shudders up the spine of  everyone who picks up a copy, the appeal of this novel also has a lot to do with the wordsmithing skills of award-winning copywriter and journalist L. J. Goodman.

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Whilst set only 74 years into the future, The Last Advocate novel feels worryingly un-farfetched; and its dystopian narrative will hopefully go some way to encouraging climate-change naysayers that burying their heads in the sand will not save our planet.

L. J. Goodman

The world has changed a great deal since I was a child and worryingly so. I feel desperately sad for future generations and what they will inherit as a result of the inaction and ignorance of previous generations including my own.

I’m not only concerned with the state of our planet, but also the way we receive and process information, be it from recognised media outlets or social media. News used to be reported, now it’s interpreted. It’s hard to discern the truth from fiction or spin, especially when it comes to politicians.

The Last Advocate is a cautionary tale of what could happen if we don’t change our ways now. It is definitely not a book for climate-change deniers.

-L. J. Goodman
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L. J. Goodman was born in Sydney, Australia, and moved to the UK in 1982. Her writing career spans many decades and has taken her around the world from Sydney to London, Paris, New York, and Dubai. She is an award-winning advertising copywriter, a journalist and public speaker.

Now based in Wales and following 10 years of hard campaigning where she helped to change the law and ban the sale of puppies and kittens in pet shops, she became an award-winning animal welfare campaigner. Her Animal Hero Award was presented by Paul O’Grady which was a huge honour at the time and has become even more poignant since his tragic passing.

This is L.J’s debut novel in the sci-fi/cli-fi (climate fiction) genre. It was actually started 25 years ago, and those first few chapters ended up in a box, long forgotten about. While helping to clear out a storage room in late 2022, a friend discovered the manuscript, read it, and persuaded the author to complete the project.

A lot had changed in the world since those original chapters were written and, in fact, many of the things in the book had already come to pass.

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