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Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Book Review: The End by Mats Strandberg

The End 
by Mats Strandberg
October 6, 2020
384 pages
Publisher: Artis
ISBN: 9781646900060
As a meteor races toward Earth, two teens search for the truth behind the murder of a friend, even as they face down their last days. Dry meets Sadie.

When will the world end? With Foxworth, a massive meteor, hurtling toward Earth, humanity now knows the exact date.

Seventeen-year-old Simon wants to spend his last weeks with the people he cares about most, especially his goal-oriented swimmer ex-girlfriend, Tilda, who dumped him shortly after the news broke. Since Lucinda was diagnosed with cancer, she’s retreated into herself preparing for the inevitable. Suddenly facing down a death that makes her the same as everyone else, she longs to connect again but doesn’t quite know where to start. Reaching out to her former best friend Tilda seems like a good first step. Then Tilda is found dead and accusations start circling that Simon is the killer. As the days tick down, Simon and Lucinda only want to know the truth, but the more they uncover about the final days of the girl they both cared for deeply, the clearer the things that really matter become.

Probing the question How would you spend your last days if you knew exactly when they’d run out?, The End is a taut and riveting pre-apocalyptic thriller underpinned with sharp social commentary, that blends the urgency of Neal and Jarrod Shusterman’s Dry with the dark tension of Courtney Summer’s Sadie. 

Those on Earth discover their days are numbered. A giant meteor, Foxworth, will reach Earth in 3 ½ months, destroying it and all on the planet. For Simon, all he wants to do is spend his time left with his girlfriend, Tilda. But Tilda, not able to compete in her swimming meets, her future no more, suddenly wants to live life, which means without Simon as she spends time with other guys and dipping into drugs and drink. Meanwhile, her friend, Lucinda, who had dropped out of school and drifted away from her friends, including Tilda because she had developed cancer, has stopped chemo. She writes on the TellUs app--a journal to be left for aliens about life on Earth. 

Tilda is found dead—suspected murdered, but police no longer have resources or time to find her murderer. Lucinda decides to find out who might have done it. With the help of Simon, who many say killed her.

I was surprised to find myself hooked with this YA pre-apocalyptic thriller novel that has teenage angst (especially with Simon) and a mystery. I wanted to see if Lucinda and Simon solved the whodunit and followed the story to the end, which I knew would be the end of the earth and all life. It’s a dark storyline, but a damn good story.

I gave The End 5 sheep

Reviewed by Pamela K. Kinney

About the Author:
Swedish author. Lover of horror, tv, film, books and random stuff. Gay and married. Feel free to ask me anything. Horror novels BLOOD CRUISE (Färjan) and THE HOME (Hemmet), THE ENGELSFORS TRILOGY with the truly awesome Sara B Elfgren (sarabelfgren on tumblr), children's books THE MONSTER IN THE NIGHT, THE MONSTER AT THE CIRCUS, THE MONSTER AND THE HUMANS. Currently working on a several projects. In the words of the great Boy George: I'll tumble for ya.

I has always loved horror. As a kid, I preferred the Grimm fairytales over the Disney versions, and when I was ten years old I discovered Stephen King. I devoured his terrifying stories with much gusto (even while breaking out in stress-related hives).

The love of horror has stayed with me. Also my love of books. I write for children, teens and adults.  To me, it isn’t really that different. It’s all about characters, and what happens when ordinary people find themselves in extraordinary situations.

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