Here is a spoiler summary of what happened in The Last 8 by Laura Pohl to help refresh your memory before you read the sequel. This recap was provided by the author herself, so thank you for helping everyone out, Laura!
Clover Martinez is a 17-year-old Mexican-American girl who dislikes people but likes planes. When the aliens invade Earth and kill everyone, Clover survives, continuing to dislike people even though there are considerably less of them now, and liking planes, even though if she tries to fly one, she’s shot down almost immediately by the invading alien forces.
After surviving on her own for six months, she hears a radio message that beckons her to go to Area 51 to meet other survivors (7 of them, aka, The Last Teenagers on Earth). The survivors aren’t interested in fighting, and Clover threatens them all until they agree. They fight, discover secrets, all of them are half-aliens, except one who’s an entire alien. It’s a whole thing.
Now that the short summary of what happened in The Last 8 is over, read on for the full thing!
Clover Martinez — bisexual & aromantic main character. Wannabe pilot. No time to die.
Brooklyn Spencer — conspiracy theorist. Unable to shut up.
Violet Deveraux — the Boss.
Adam Foster — last of the white boys.
Flint Rogers — likes rocks and Star Wars.
Avani Sharma — only braincell of the group. Scientist.
Rayen Kindelay — owns 37 different knives. Takes no shit.
Andy Walsh — local nerd.
what happened in The Last 8?
- Clover Martinez is a 17yo Mexican-American girl who lives with her abuelos in a farm in Montana. She’s always wanted to be a pilot and dreams of an expedition to Mars. When the aliens invade, it’s Mars who come to her instead (technically not Martians, but it’s another planet. It counts).
- Clover’s abuelo was a pilot with the Air Force and he leaves to go to the base and find out what’s happening. Clover’s stuck for a week in the farm until her ex-boyfriend, who she broke up with because she isn’t into romantic relationships, shows up half drunk and says he loves her. Clover says okay, buddy, which is slightly cruel but true.
- Clover and Noah, the ex-boyfriend, head back to the city in the morning to get batteries for the satellite phone so Clover can talk to abuelo. When they get there, there’s a strange dust clinging to the air. They go to Noah’s house first, but it’s empty. When Clover turns around, the aliens are waiting for her.
- The aliens kind of look like that one doll-head with metal legs from Toy Story 1. This is relevant. Kind of.
- The aliens chase Clover and Noah down. Noah falls and they shoot at him, turning him to dust. They don’t shoot Clover. They go away.
- Clover runs back home and doesn’t find Abuela. She gets the plane to find Abuelo, but as soon as she’s up in the air, the aliens shoot her down. She crashes into the base, which has been obliterated, and she knows everyone is dead. Clover threatens the aliens. They ignore her.
- SIX MONTHS LATER
- yes, indeed
- This was not a an intended Twilight reference.
- Clover spends the next six months surviving, still suffering obvious PTSD/depression symptoms, though she gets a Dog, which is an improvement.
- Dog does NOT die or get harmed!!!
- Clover and Dog find shelter and she makes questionable choices like eating peanuts when she’s mildly allergic and wearing camo, but also makes good choices, like showering.
- In the morning, Clover encounters another alien, who still doesn’t see her. They never do.
- Clover steals another car. She crashed the last one. And the one before that. And the one before. And the one-
- You get the point. She flies planes, doesn’t drive.
- Accidentally, she turns on the radio and hears a message, telling her that other survivors are in Area 51.
- Clover crashes another car getting there. It’s not a metaphor.
- Instead of the super warm welcome, Clover is immediately put into isolation on “Boss” orders. Clover thinks it’s an adult but spoilers: no adults left in this world. Only the 7 surviving teens left standing.
- Clover finds out that they’re in Area 51 since the invasion, all the others died either by alien attack or the following plague. She gets closer to Brooklyn, who finally disobeys the orders and lets Clover out. They throw her a welcome party, where she tells everyone about the outside. Clover realizes they haven’t been out since the invasion and have no idea what the world looks like.
- Clover confronts Violet, the Boss, about their plan. Violet says there is no plan to fight, unless Clover can convince her.
- Clover stays around, gets closer to Adam, who looks a lot like her ex-boyfriend, which sends her down on a trip to guilt lane constantly.
- Clover is still angry there is no plan to fight back, especially if they aren’t alone. She threatens everyone. They ignore her.
- Clover steals a plane from the compound and the aliens follow her. She manages to get them off her trail. There’s a lot of plane models in this chapter, some of which the author has never seen in her entire life.
- Adam picks Clover up after the plan, they fight. She tells him about how the aliens will always follow planes, even though they don’t care about cars. She tells this to Violet.
- Violet decides they can fight back with a plan of capturing an alien. They start reading a lot of government files. They start talking about the alien encounters by Clover’s insistence. PLOT TWIST: they all survived because they are all invisible to the aliens.
- They start making the plan and still read the files. Clover discovers of a blackout, about 20 years ago, going for a full week with no information. She asks Andy about this, who knows nothing. Avani makes a machine to keep the alien sedated for when they capture it.
- Avani tests everyone’s blood in a machine to see if there’s a reason why they can’t be seen by aliens, but the machine is broken. All the analysis show Violet’s blood.
- Adam tries to teach her how to drive. He’s kind of flirting. Clover kind of ignores him. About flirting, but also about teaching, because she crashes right into a wall in Area 51. The wall crumbles and they find PLOT TWIST: a spaceship.
- It isn’t a plot twist if it’s included in the synopsis, right? Still.
- Adam and Clover decide not to tell the others about the spaceship in the basement lest Violet calls off the plan.
- Clover convinces Adam to break into Violet’s personal files. They find a couple of files, and one dated of 20 years ago, and every page has been redacted.
- Ah, yes, Chapter 31, the author’s personal enemy. There’s a lot of planes in this one too. I don’t know why I decided I’d write about planes.
- They follow the plan, but it goes wrong. More aliens show up. They manage to capture an alien, Clover crashes a plane (first time!). Violet can be seen, and Adam jumps in front of her. He vanishes into dust.
- Adam’s death takes a toll on everyone, especially Clover, who still feels guilt over her ex-boyfriend’s death. Flint and Avani dissect the alien in the lab.
- Andy and Violet argue over the plan and Andy blames Adam’s death on Violet.
- The alien is made up of a thousand different parts. Just like the weird baby head in Toy Story 1.
- Flint and Clover try to use the machine to test their blood again to see if it’s still broken.
- Rayen and Flint find out about the spaceship in the basement. Flint points out that the spaceship is different than the ones they’ve seen, which means there are 2 alien species on Earth. PLOT TWIST.
- Violet, Brooklyn and Flint leave to get medicine. Before they leave, Avani says that the blood analysis was ready, and PLOT TWIST: the blood wasn’t human.
- Clover goes back to the spaceship in the basement, and it finally opens. Before she can explore, Avani says that the captured alien has woken up, and its sending brain waves to his counterparts. The aliens are a hive, and they’re coming all the way to Area 51.
- Rayen, Clover and Andy fight the invading aliens. Clover steals an alien gun which can kill the aliens. One alien seems stunned when he finds Andy, and Clover finally fits the pieces of the puzzle. PLOT TWIST: Andy is an alien.
How does The Last 8 end?
Clover and Rayen interrogate Andy to discover the truth. Andy is the last of the Universals, a powerful alien species which can bend the universe to its will. The other aliens, called Hostemn, are their enemies and they’ve engaged in an ancient war. The remaining Universals fled to Earth to hide, and the Hostemn found them. They killed all the humans to get to the Universals.
Earth tried fighting with a genetic experiment which went wrong. Only 7 survivors remained of it. PLOT TWIST: the last teenagers on earth are all human/hostemn/universal hybrids. Whew, that was the last one!
Clover tells the others and they’re devastated. Violet questions Andy about her powers, but Andy says she can’t access them unless she’s subject to an extreme emotion, and that it’s against the rules to use them. They come up with a new plan, and Brooklyn throws a party before the world ends.
The Last Teenagers on Earth head to the mother spaceship to blow it up. They’re all captured while Clover sets up a bomb, and the alien queen waits for Andy, who won’t use her powers. Violet sacrifices herself, and Andy, coming through grief, uses her powers to obliterate the alien species and bring Violet back from the dead. Together, all of them head into space to explore new worlds, to boldly go where no man (or Dog) has gone before.
Hostemn — ancient and evil alien species who invaded Earth and killed everyone.
Universals — the Hostem’s enemies, capable of bending the universe to their will, changing history and events.
Arc — Universal spaceship.
Sputnik — Dog.
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