The Last Science

by Etzoli

Original ONGOING Contemporary Drama Fantasy Sci-fi Female Lead Low Fantasy Magic Male Lead Multiple Lead Characters Secret Identity Supernatural Urban Fantasy
Warning This fiction contains:
  • Profanity
  • Traumatising content

No one ever knows the whole story. 


Nestled deep in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, something is emerging. Kept in absolute secrecy, it seeps into a fading town, quietly shared from person to person. For Alden Bensen, a directionless high school graduate, this discovery could mean an escape from his empty existence. To Rachel DuValle, perpetually underestimated and dismissed by the world, magic represents a chance to become something much greater than herself.

In the face of an unsuspecting world, their decisions shape the growth of a budding society discovering untold power. This potent force offers anyone the power to change humanity forever—or send it cascading into swift and total annihilation.



The Last Science is an ongoing science-fiction / low-fantasy web novel series. New chapters will be posted on Fridays—plus bonus chapters on Mondays—for as long as it takes to tell the whole story. Each chapter is pretty long (average ~8000 words), so find somewhere comfy to read.

Content Warning (by request): This series delves into some topics and situations which may be upsetting for some readers. In American rating parlance, the narrative would be rated PG-13 (except for language), but some have noted the story can get pretty dark on occasion. Please use your best judgment, and don't be afraid to take breaks and come back later. I'll still be here!

This story will also be published weekly at my website ( There will be no differences in content, but slight differences in formatting. Feel free to read at whichever site or app you prefer. If you're enjoying the story, consider dropping me a vote over on Top Web Fiction, or come say hi on Discord. Thanks!


Need more to read? Check out my other story, Epilogue — a post-fantasy psychodrama. Now complete!

This story is a participant in the Write til the End pledge. It will be completed, no matter the cost.

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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Book I — Awakening (Table of Contents) ago
Book I — Awakening — Cast of Characters ago
Book II — Convergence — Cast of Characters ago
Chapter 1 — The Last Train to Rallsburg ago
Chapter 2 — Rachel DuValle ago
Chapter 3 — Making Connections ago
Chapter 4 — The Council of the Awakened ago
Chapter 5 — Apathy ago
Chapter 6 — An Impossible Marketplace ago
Chapter 7 — Misdirection ago
Chapter 8 — Tidings of Fire ago
Chapter 9 — First Lessons ago
Chapter 10 — The First Summit of the End of the World ago
Interlude I.I — A Year in the Life of Hailey Winscombe ago
Interlude I.II ago
Interlude I.III ago
Interlude I.IV ago
Interlude I.V ago
Interlude I.VI ago
Interlude I.VII ago
Interlude I.VIII ago
Chapter 11 — Foreigners ago
Chapter 12 — Deputies, Detectives and Deities ago
Chapter 13 — Fugitives ago
Chapter 14 — What It Means ago
Chapter 15 — The Heart of a Leader ago
Chapter 16 — Angels and Devils ago
Chapter 17 — A Gentleman and a Doctor ago
Interlude II — Selling One's Soul ago
Chapter 18 — Breaking the Rules ago
Chapter 19 — Wolves at the Gates ago
Interlude III — Family ago
Chapter 20 — Consequences ago
Chapter 21 — Waking Up ago
Chapter 22 — The Importance of Flying ago
Chapter 23 — Regrouping ago
Chapter 24 — The Second Summit of the End of the World ago
Chapter 25 — The Greatest Magic Ever Assembled ago
Chapter 26 — Monsters ago
Chapter 27 — To Kill a God ago
Chapter 28 — Ashes ago
Transitions ago
Book II — Convergence (Table of Contents) ago
B2: Prologue — Dust ago
B2: Chapter 1 — The First Day of School ago
B2: Chapter 2 — The Goddess of Kent ago
B2: Chapter 3 — Chasing Ghosts ago
B2: Chapter 4 — Comes the Hero ago
B2: Chapter 5 — Rules of the Game ago
Interlude IV — Secrets ago
B2: Chapter 6 — Over the Border and Through the Woods ago
B2: Chapter 7 — Identity ago
B2: Chapter 8 — Making a Difference ago
B2: Chapter 9 — Flying Blind ago
B2: Chapter 10 — Allies of Coincidence ago
B2: Chapter 11 — The Emerald City (Part I) ago
B2: Chapter 12 — The Emerald City (Part II) ago
B2: Chapter 13 — The Emerald City (Part III) ago
Interlude V — The Sister ago
B2: Chapter 14 — Finding Family ago
B2: Chapter 15 — Making Friends and Influencing People ago
B2: Chapter 16 — Rebirth ago
B2: Chapter 17 — Career Path ago
B2: Chapter 18 — Old Friends, Forgotten Friends ago
Interlude VI — Fame and Fortune ago
Transitions II ago
B2: Chapter 19 — End of the World, Redux ago
B2: Chapter 20 — Retreat ago
B2: Chapter 21 — A Return to Form ago
B2: Chapter 22 — In Her Image ago
B2: Chapter 23 — Like Father, Like Daughter ago
B2: Chapter 24 — Two Interviews ago
B2: Chapter 25 — Confidential Public Relations ago
B2: Chapter 26 — Picking a Side ago
Interlude VII — Call of Destiny ago
B2: Chapter 27 — A Voice In Her Head ago
B2: Chapter 28 — Staying in the Spotlight ago
B2: Chapter 29 — The Battle of Lakewood ago
Interlude VIII — A Day in the Life of Jessica Silverdale ago
B2: Chapter 30 — Four Days Later ago
Interlude IX — Magnanimity of the Modern Man ago
B2: Chapter 31 — Across the Pond ago
B2: Chapter 32 — Paranoia ago
B2: Chapter 33 — Self-Made ago
B2: Chapter 34 — Rook Takes Knight ago
B2: Chapter 35 — The Court of Public Opinion ago
Transitions III ago
Interlude X — Necessary Evils ago
B2: Chapter 36 — Confessions ago
B2: Chapter 37 — The Ripple Effect ago
Interlude XI — The Seven Thirty-Six Train to Seattle ago
B2: Chapter 38 — The Very Long Night of Hailey Aurora Elizabeth Winscombe ago
B2: Chapter 39 — The Day They Learned Her Name ago

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A Unique Perspective On Magic

First, I would like to appreciate that the author has constructed a narrative that is quite lovely and is strikingly original, in a time where many things seem to not be. I hope to eventually achieve such originality in my own work, but that is probably not to be discussed in a review.

Magic is a topic of literature that I've nearly always had a passion for. I've seen its origins and use through numerous types of fiction, and have been quick to learn what I can about it through that fiction. I find it to be a good sign when a fiction begins discussing it quickly within the pages, so that more can be learned and built upon as soon as possible. The Last Science does this very well, and I was enveloped almost immediately. I'd never seen magic done with such physical based power! It was refreshing to see, to say the least. I look forward to seeing where it's origins come, beyond being located within Rallsburg. It's already developed quite a ways.

The narrative itself has been quite fast paced, perhaps a little more than I was ready for. I quite enjoy the character switching aspect, as it allows the author to tell the story from more than one perspective, thus giving a more universal view of situations. Perhaps two or three chapters from Alden's view before jumping into another person's perspective would have been better for me, but I can understand where the author would jump quickly to another person to set, well, the setting.


I'm not much of a person to look into Grammar. Everything I've read has been spelled correctly, and written correctly as far as I can tell.

The characters are, as should be, the star of the story. The beginning narrative, seeing our first experience with magic within this fiction through Alden's, and witnessing these small town perspectives as magic begins to exist within this universe have all been quite stunning. The amount of emotion and description the author has put into the characters has been wonderful to witness. The connections between all of the communities of Rallsburg has also been nice to see.

I am currently catching up, and will write another interview when everything is out (which I am definitely looking forward to!)
Thank you for your time, and I hope you appreciate this book as I have.

James Maguire
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The Last Science focuses on a fairly hard-magic system that has been slowly but progressively explored throughout the series. It shows clear planning and direction and explores hard-hitting topics at every turn. Every character is defined by their fears and their motivations, and no actions are without consequences. As far as I've seen on the website, The Last Science does the best job balancing a broad scope with clear and thoughtful writing.


The series is well written, and I've seen no more than a couple of typos (it's a long series, too). Pacing is done well, and the author manages to juggle perspectives in a way that continuously progresses the story. Likewise, The Last Science is littered with occasional intermissions that give meaningful information and narrative depth to the story, contextualizing side characters that have no other PoV chapters.


As mentioned before, The Last Science is largely character-driven, with an ensemble cast of very diverse characters, in terms of identity and thought. Off the top of my head, I reckon somewhere around 30% of the characters in the series are LGBTQ+, ranging from important to a character's identity, to completely incidental, which is neat. Even the most reprehensible characters are sympathetic, and not even the most beloved protagonists are beyond reproach. The Last Science offers some exploration of mental health, particularly trauma.


The Last Science is character-driven, and a big aspect of that is juggling moral dilemmas. To name a few:

  • Moral ambiguity in a conflict between individuals all working in pursuit of a community's best interest.
  • Freedom versus public safety, in a world where an individual's actions have ramifications for an entire population/community.
  • Trust and distrust in the face of moral ambiguity, secrecy, and betrayal.

Honestly, the fact that there is room for thematic discussion says that the author has produced something worth more than an idle read.


The Last Science ranges from neutral to dark in tone and explores panic, trauma, death, loss, and identity. They are presented in a way that offers some real nuance, but they can hit uncomfortably close to home for some readers. Know what you're getting yourself into, and don't feel bad about taking breaks. Etzoli put a content warning in the description, which I appreciate!

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A Magical Drama/Mystery Worth Exploring

The Last Science is a bit of a genre-mixer that defies ready classification. Despite the fantasy tag and the magical elements, the story immediately shrugs off the expectations of a stereotypical "teenager gains magical powers" story. Instead, The Last Science is a rich drama/mystery story which uses magic as the foundation for a compelling plot and characters and provides far more than simply a story "about" magic.

In fact, to some extent the magical elements of the story contrast starkly with the grittiness of the plot and the normalcy and relatability of the characters. The focus of the story is not on exploring the magic itself but rather the implications of such power when injected into a quiet college town and the lives of its inhabitants. In this sense the story reflects many of the themes typically found in technology-based or science fiction stories (justifying the sci-fi tag), which is reinforced by the way the story's magic is shown to have its own consistent mechanisms and limitations which the characters are continually attempting to explore and understand.

When I say the characters are "normal" I mean that they are not superheroes or stereotypes, but real people with their own hopes, concerns, and intermixing relationships and all of the complications that ensue. It is not to mean that they are mundane or boring. Quite the opposite, each character in The Last Science seems to carry their fair share of mystery and intrigue which leaves no doubt that each one has a story of their own to be revealed in time. The Last Science manages an excellent balance of weaving rich layers of mystery and intrigue through each character and location the reader encounters, while also revealing enough information as the story progresses to let you know that it isn't just a tease. The plot incorporates and expands on each mystery it establishes and makes clear that there's real substance to everything it hints at.

I hadn't originally meant for this review to be quite so glowing and I would include criticism if I had any at the moment, but the truth is that I'm hooked and frankly I have a hard time thinking of reasons why others wouldn't be as well. I strongly encourage anyone interested to give it a try.

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So I came straight from the author’s other work, epilogue, and all I can say is wow are they consistent.

The characters all have their own motives and flaws, making for interesting interactions. Each seems to be well thought out, making them believable and real.

The story itself is awesome. With the novel being based on magic, it is executed with an originality that seems to be the authors expertise. The idea of how humanity would react to the appearance of magic is perfectly executed with different factions working with their own ideals and motives.

I don’t really know what to say but read this serial, it’s fantastic!! Then only flaw that I can point at is that I have to wait for the first chapter of book 2 at the moment!

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This story has taken magic and put it in a new context. It is hard to do this and do it well. On that note the magic in this story seems like it has a more personal touch that doesn't happen to often in fantasy. The author does a great job of using the small college town environment to their advantage, making it so everyone knows mostly what's going around. I look forward to new chapters and see wherever this story goes.

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Slow but steady wins the race

Who cares if it's slow when it's this good? 

The characters are realistic and detailed, the plot is interesting, the setting is so real I want to move there (except I don't because it's probably going to get blown up), and there's a crazy amount of potential for more here. Author's really got pacing down in the recent chapters too, you can really tell it's building up to something crazy. 

Everyone should be reading this.

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What a debut. I came here from the author's site because I need everyone to be reading this. And this is only book 1? More, right now! The writing is pitch-perfect and the plot is only getting more ambitious. I haven't ever seen this idea tackled like this. I need more. Keep going, Etzoli, and we will follow!

Andross Guile
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Well written but boring

It's a surprisingly well written story but somehow the author manages to make a mystery in a small town in the middle of nowhere boring.

It has the feeling of a bunch of clichés and a mashing of genres that in this case don't mesh. It could be a lot bette and filled with more hooks.

As of yet this story is bland and it's difficult to improve since what's bad aren't the characters but everything around them.


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I rather like the Idea but the story is really slow, and the fact that we are spending so much time on the second POV is really tiring.
While the second POV is nice for worldbuilding and all it really is more of a shore for me to read.

And while one can say that the story is paced, as it is there doesn't seem to be much to look forward too, the magic itself seems just so underwhelming.
The MCs potential for great thing seems very far away as well, where I would expect no real magic from him for months or even years for the really impressive things. Which either means the magic itself is not that important and it is more about social drama (which I don't find that interesting) or there needs to be a major ex Machina moment where he suddenly gains a lot of power.

Right now I'm at chapter 10 and I'm really struggling to keep going.

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Love how it's started. Drew me in and I hope to see where it goes :)