Well now, here's an interesting one. End of the World? Yes. Zombies? No. Plague? Not really. Aliens? Hmmm, might be. Maybe? Possibly? It's not obvious what caused The End but the story kicks off right at the point of things turning nasty and we're off and running from the get-go.
This is quite a tough one to review because most of what I want to say is likely to be riddled with spoilers. I'll have to try and skirt round the spoils...
So, Rachel is 19 and wakes up early one morning to a town littered with corpses. It looks as though whatever caused the mass demise of the population happened instantly to everyone at the same time but what that 'something' is isn't clear. So far, so good. Very quickly she becomes aware that there is something unnatural happening to the bodies. Something creepy. Now, what I _want_ to do here is say what I think has happened to them all but that would be one of the spoils I mentioned having to skirt around so I'm just going to say that it all seems a bit 'otherworldly'.
The whole story takes place in just over 24 hours(ish) so there's a lot packed in but because Rachel has no clue what is going on we don't have a clue either. Part of the fun of this is speculating possible (probable) cause but with no answers forthcoming it's a bit frustrating too. But in a good way.
Luckily Rachel finds she's not the only survivor and as with all good apocalypse stories she teams up with the random mix of people she meets. I like the characters, it's a nice mix. Cop with firearms, crazy unhinged one, new friend on the same wavelength, stable older person... the usual stuff.
What I'm not fond of though, is that even at the end I can't seem to grasp what the corpses have become. Despite having it spelled out for me plenty of times I'm still not clear on even the basics - what they look like, how they move... I just can't picture them. The fault may lie with me because it's mentioned plenty throughout, but I'm just not getting it. I hope it's turned into a movie so I can get a better idea.
The best bit and the worst bit (for me) was right at the very end. How it ended was brilliant, a twist that makes me want more...but it made no sense. Why? How? I..he...but...huh? I will definitely read the next one, I have to find out what that was all about. It was a gut-punch ending.
The story was a good one and the guy can definitely write but I'm compelled to mention the narrative style. It really rubbed me the wrong way. It's a bit different to what I'm familiar with and sometimes different can be a good thing but it just didn't work for me here. There was a dis-connect for the first few chapters while I tried it on for size but even when I got accustomed to it I never really warmed to it. Third-person present. I'm not a fan. Reading tastes differ but it just seems weird and unnatural to me to read in that tense.
Don't let that put you off though there's a decent story here.
*Note - I received a complimentary copy of this title from the author*
This finish gets me 276 pages closer to 1 Million pages challenge. 77,374/1,000,000