"The Last Refuge"—Where Fantasy Meets Sci-Fi in a Richly Woven YA Adventure

Published 23 Apr 2024
by Anca Antoci

Title: The Last Refuge
Author: Christina Bacilieri
Released: 14.11.2023
Buy from Amazon
4.15 (read)
Our review:
4.00 (read)

Are you ready for another gem I picked up from NetGalley? If you enjoyed the “Hunger Games” and the “Divergent” series, this book is a perfect fit for you.

“The Last Refuge” by Christina Bacilieri takes you into this mesmerizing world where magic, power, and destiny collide in a dystopian setting. With a blend of intricate world-building, compelling characters, and thought-provoking themes, this YA fantasy will captivate you from start to finish.

What I Loved

In “The Last Refuge,” you get sucked into a world with a creepy dictatorship and a tightly controlled magic system. Keira, the hero of the story, goes through a mind-blowing transformation and becomes a powerful shifter, getting caught up in a fight for her life. Bacilieri does an amazing job blending magic and science, and throws in a bunch of awesome creatures that make the story way more exciting. The exploration of close friendships and budding romance intrigues, leaving readers eager for more. Keira’s journey of self-growth, set against a backdrop of political turmoil and personal challenges, is a captivating and relatable tale. The narrative is rich with intrigue, suspense, and forbidden magic, keeping readers hooked until the last page.

What Didn’t Resonate With Me

Although the first half of the book is captivating due to its intricately woven narrative, the second half of the book falls short in maintaining the same level of momentum and tension that propels the story forward. On top of that, sometimes it feels like the pacing is too fast and the time jumps make the story hard to follow. While the character development shows promise, it would be more believable if it had a more natural progression.

Themes and Tropes

Bacilieri explores themes of power, political corruption, poverty, and environmentalism, offering readers insightful allegories relevant to our world today. Incorporating found family dynamics, magical creatures, and a slow-burn romance add depth to the story, appealing to fans of YA dystopian fiction.

Therefore, if you enjoy trope like found family, forbidden magic, slow-burn romance, love triangles set against the backdrop of a dystopian future, don’t miss out on “The Last Refuge”.


“The Last Refuge” is an engaging YA fantasy book that strongly portrays themes of hope, resilience, and the journey of self-discovery. Bacilieri’s combination of science fiction and fantasy forms an enchanting realm full of possibilities waiting to be discovered. While the pacing and character development may falter at times, the novel’s strengths lie in its rich world-building, thought-provoking themes, and engaging narrative. Fans of dystopian fiction, particularly those who enjoyed “The Hunger Games,” will find themselves drawn into Bacilieri’s spellbinding tale.

In summary, “The Last Refuge” offers a gripping journey that balances fantastical elements with real-world reflections, making it a standout addition to the YA fantasy genre.

Our final verdict: