The Quiet at the End of the World by Lauren James
From Goodreads: 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 for artefacts from history and looking for treasure in their once-opulent mansion.
Their idyllic life is torn apart when a secret is uncovered that threatens not only their family but humanity’s entire existence. Lowrie and Shen face an impossible choice: in the quiet at the end of the world, they must decide who to save and who to sacrifice . . .
First up, thank you so much to Walker Books for a copy of this book. I actually got it waaaay back in December, when I attended the Walker christmas blogger event, but I’ve had so much to do recently that I haven’t gotten round to reading it until now.
This isn’t my usual genre, but I’ve always wanted to try one of Lauren James’ books. She actually went to my university, and she was part of my Creative Writing society a few years before I joined. So that’s pretty damn cool to me. Anyhow, I finally got around to reading The Quiet at the End of the World and it was really cool.
I liked how each chapter started with a log for a ‘found’ artefact. It added a little bit of depth to the characters and their hobbies, as well as showing readers something about the world. I think what I found most surprising is the amount of luxurious items that were listed– things we consider actual treasures which have no real meaning in Lowrie and Shen’s world.
Which brings me to the next interesting thing about this book– the world. I found it fascinating how one change had created such a ripple effect on the world and humanity. It had totally reshaped everything, and I enjoyed every page where the novel revealed something more about it. It is our world, recognisably so, and yet it is so different it just blew my mind. You can tell how much thought has gone into this world. I would have preferred just a little more of a glimpse at it though. I think my only gripe with the world building really is that it was often used as a bit of a deus ex machina [that’s not quite right but it’s the closest I’m going to get to explaining how the setting solved problems]. Lowrie and Shen have access to technology and transportation [and the ability to use it] at the drop of a hat. I understood there were time constraints placed upon the characters, but it sometimes seemed like the setting they were in helped to solve the problems a few pages too early.
Character-wise, this book was very cute. I liked Lowrie and Shen. They seemed like genuine people and I felt moved by their position. It must be hard being the last people on earth. Also, they are just the sweetest cinnamon rolls. I thought Lowrie’s POV was particularly interesting, since she obviously had quite a few issues with self-esteem and pressure, and I thought getting that glimpse into her personality was brilliant.
Also Mitch. God, I loved Mitch and his blinking lights. Robots in books are always great for me, but Mitch definitely stood out. He had such a strong personality, even though he never uttered a word. That’s a sign of good writing, people.
Overall, I’d give The Quiet at the End of the World 7/10 stars. I thought the world building was very thought-provoking and nuanced, but it led to problems being solved a touch too soon for my liking. The characters were great, and I loved Mitch the robot. It’s not my usual read, and I have no massive urge to pick up The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, but I will be putting it on my TBR in the next month or so, as I’d like to eventually get around to it.
Has anyone else read this book or plans to? What did you all think of it? Please feel free to share any comments in the section below ❤