The Last Empire series is a sweeping dystopian thriller epic by little-known author Emilie Hardie that chronicles the fall of the Australian Empire. Though a series of novellas, it follows a similar structure to TV shows, including episode numbering.
The Last Empire is formed from several inter-weaving storylines and an unbelievable amount of named characters. The central storyline seems to be that of General Emma Calloway, a former New Zealander, who is unwillingly appointed as Governor to the Territory of New Zealand. Off to the side is Nathan Smith, whom seemingly everybody but himself knows is Emma's long-lost brother. Emma's half-sisters, the Iskander twins Alexandra and Katerina, both join their sister in New Zealand, much to her annoyance.
Currently weaving in and out of the main storylines are:
- Governor-General Crane, who looks like he might end up being the Big Bad
- Marshal Brett Johnson, the traitor who turned New Zealand over to the Australians, currently the head of the Australian Army and uncle to Emma, Alex and Kat
- Peter Smith: head of the Resistors and adopted father of Nathan Smith
The existing episodes are as follows:
This book provides examples of:
- Armies Are Evil: and are the ones sent in to crush uprisings as brutally as possibly. In particular, the Australian Army responds to rebellions in invaded Territories by razing the area and anyone in it, regardless of whether they were involved or not.
- The Bad Guy Wins: the Australian Empire won during the Invasion of New Zealand, so this is the perspective of the Resistors
- Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Calloway-Johnson-Iskanders. Only time will tell just how screwed up but, to start with: Nathan is part of the Resistors and Emma's long-lost brother. Both Emma and her uncle, Brett Johnson, are very senior in the Australian Army and loathed for it. Emma's mother is, apparently, an alcoholic and married to Gregori Iskander, who is the father of Alex and Kat. The twins apparently dislike what Emma and Brett do and try to ignore it. Also, there have been hints that Emma's father met a rather sticky end.
- Dark Action Girl: Emma Calloway,
- Dark and Troubled Past: Emma Calloway, with hints that there is far more to be known
- Jerkass: Emma Calloway, so much. No one seems to actually like her, though some do appear to respect her enough to do as she says
- Knife Nut: Emma Calloway apparently, though her vaunted skills have yet to be demonstrated
- Loads and Loads of Characters
- Sibling Rivalry: strongly implied between Emma and Alex, though Emma completely out-classed her half-sister
- Would Not Shoot a Civilian: averted with Emma, as she burns the main island in the Cook Island straight away
- Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: the Resistors. Emma, and the rest of the Australian Empire treat them as dangerous terrorists, but so far they seem to be more focused on getting rid of the more brutal elements of the Empire than anything else.