The Quiet at the End of the World – Lauren James

The quiet at the End of the World book cover in the garden

The Quiet at the End of the World Synopsis

Note: This review is spoiler-free!

How far would you go to save those you love? Lowrie and Shen are the youngest people on the planet after a virus caused global infertility. Closeted in a pocket of London and doted upon by a small, ageing community, the pair spend their days mudlarking and looking for treasure – until a secret is uncovered that threatens not only their family but humanity’s entire existence. Now Lowrie and Shen face an impossible choice: in the quiet at the end of the world, they must decide what to sacrifice to save the whole human race…

Why did I pick it?

I’ve heard this author talked about a lot and this new title came up on my radar. It was then the recommended read for my local reading group so I picked it up.

What I loved about it

As I was reading this during the Covid-19 Lockdown this was a pretty relevant book. Lines like this were really close to home;

“No one knows exactly where it came from – whether it mutated from animal disease or was somehow caused by pollution – but within weeks it had spread across the planet. The symptoms weren’t even that bad, nothing worse than a mild flu”

I loved the switching between present day and the “past” (even when that past is in today’s future!). The use of social media and news outlets in the “past” sections, to start to introduce teasers and further insight into the main story, was a great idea.

This book is a lot shorter than the ones I would usually pickup, but it made a refreshing change to read something “lighter”. It also meant that the story got going pretty quickly.

What I loathed about it

This “shortness” did have a negative side though. It’s one of those books where for the first two thirds not a whole lot happens, then in the last third, boom lots of action. This was great but I felt it came to a pretty abrupt conclusion. Maybe I’m just used to it taking 300+ pages for the protagonists to even reach their goal, let alone finish the book. I guess it’s a sign of a good story where I’m left wanting more.

Thoughts

A very apt read during lockdown with plenty of twists to thought-provoking cultural references to keep things interesting.

When and where can you can get it

You can purchase The Quiet at the End of the World on Amazon today

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