Book Title: The Quiet at the End of the World
Author: Lauren James
Genre: Science Fiction / Post-Apocalyptic
My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Amazon UK, Goodreads
Plot Summary: 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.
What did I think?
This is one of those books I read in one go, not wanting to stop, too curious to see how it ends. The premise is a soft apocalypse, and the world doesn't go out with a bang but slowly, silently with infertility.
Lauren James takes her time to explore what humanity would do with tech at their fingertips once people can no longer have children. At first, they hope it's a blip. It'll all be over soon. How could it not? Then, they throw their entire budget at science, trying to rectify the issue. Finally...I won't give it away, but I thought it was so well done.
To be honest, I simply did not expect the direction this plot took. Throughout, I wondered if what Lauren James describes is realistic, but it doesn't matter. It's science fiction, and this thought experiment is an interesting one.
Overall, this is cozy. Light in tone, hopeful, filled with love.
Lauren James' writing style is perfect for this sort of book. It's conversational, contemporary, and talks about science in an accessible way.
The pacing is good, and it's not a long book. Perhaps the start is a bit slow, but I didn't mind. The characters are sweet, and the relationships between them well developed. This novel offers a lot of diversity, which is always nice to see. It's not a big plot point, and perhaps doesn't even really matter, but it's there. Like it should be.
Lauren James splits the book into the now, Lowrie and Shen, the youngest people to be alive, and the before, back when it happened via social media posts Lowrie uncovers. I must admit I was more intrigued by the before, than the now, but the author manages to bring both together.
The ending is immensely satisfying.
I'd recommend this one to people looking for an end of times type of book without war, cannibalism and slaughter. Perhaps fans of Station Eleven would like this.