I think I should warn you all now, this is going to be mostly fan-girling, shouting and to many of these !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Lauren James!!! What a magnificent author. Truly talented. I fucking love her!!!! I love her brand of Sci-Fi. She has such a distinct way of writing female characters, science, and diversity, that I think I could pick her books just by reading a couple of chapters. There are so many good things in this book that I might just going to make dot points.
– Female and male main characters but it’s told from female’s point of view.
– LGBTQ representation.
– A robot named Mitch, who isn’t able to communicate with his peers. He is my favourite character. So fucking wholesome.
– Partially deaf character.
– Very slow burn romance that in no way over shadows the themes of the story.
– Really strong familial bonds.
– Questions what it means to be human.
– Set in future London after humans have almost been wiped out.
– Have I mentioned science yet, in case you missed it SCIENCE. Lots of different aspects of SCIENCE.
Lowrie and Shen are the last two kids born on Earth, they are the last hope for humanity. After a virus caused infertility world wide, the world went into a state of shock, then chaos and then it became the new normal. Now only a small community is left, still trying to find a way to save the world. There are no more viable eggs, this is it. And when the adults start getting sick, Lowrie and Shen have to decide how far they are willing to go to save everything.
Well shit, Lauren James, could you have thrown our mc’s into a more threatening environment? I don’t think so.
Lowrie is our story teller and she is an exceptional character, as is Shen, her best friend. The world is peaceful now. There are only a couple hundred people left. Nature is doing it’s best to recover from the thrashing humans gave it. They spend their days exploring, treasure hunting, learning and preparing for the day that they are the last two. Their parents had them quite late in life so they don’t expect them to be around forever. The adults are still searching for a cure but no progress has been made. They can’t reproduce either, this is it. While their situation is bleak, they do a life of luxury. Robots still exist, they have all types, for most basic tasks. There is even an original model lifeguard who still walks the river banks of the Thames, just staring at the ground. It’s only when their lives are on the line during a random helicopter crash, that he seems to come out of his reverie. He saves their lives and follows them home. From that moment on he is Lowrie’s shadow. He is so old he can’t communicate with the other robots. He may be a robot but it is so obvious that he has feelings, can think and want interaction with his peers.
(Side note – As I was reading that back, it got me wondering, is our robot called Mitch as a homage to Baywatch?)
The story is played out over only a few days, yet the way the story is put together gives us this wild glimpse into the past, making it seem like we are with them for so much longer. James uses mixed media to tell her parts of her tale. From an ambulance call transcript, to social media posts, and a treasure log all skilfully interwoven with Lowrie’s narration, we are given a brilliant picture of the world. What it’s like now, how it became this way and the impact that all of these changes have had on society and humanity throughout.
We delve deep into what it means to be human. What will be next for humanity. Is the virus a way of mother nature wiping us out. Is what happened to the dinosaurs and many other species before us, now happening to us. Is it within human nature to give up.
Look, I’m really unsure how to review this book properly (is that even a thing?). Everything about this book made me excited. The story within never seems forced, it is smooth and exciting and the characters are incredibly realistic. Also just putting it out there… You know it is a real fucked up world when the virus wipes out everyone’s ability to reproduce, but haha girls are still stuck with their period. That’s like being slapped twice!!
The characters are flawed, scared, decent humans. They are in a horrific, unique position, yet they have formed this amazing friendship.
The pacing is fantastic, in the slow moments the book is full of warmth and feeling and at other times it has you on the edge of your seat.
I’m really excited to share this book with my daughter. It’s not her typical book, but I think she will really love it. I’m excited to share these diverse, flawed characters with her. I’m excited to have a book to give her that is so exceptional and different to everything else she reads. I’m excited to introduce her to a book where the girl doesn’t need rescuing. I’m excited to show her a book in which a relationship can be formed from friendship, respect, honesty and love. Where fear of failure can’t hold you back. Where you don’t have to fit into other peoples expectations.
In case you didn’t notice, I’m excited about this wonderful book and everything Lauren James has to offer.
On a side note – all her covers are amazing.
Title – The Quiet At The End Of The World
Author – Lauren James
Released – 7th March 2019
Publisher – Walker Books