Thistle (thistle_chaser) wrote,

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Book #3 of 2018: The Boy at the End of the World

The Boy at the End of the World by Greg van Eekhout
Traditional or self-published: Traditional
Rating: Loved (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

I discovered this book was for preteen readers when I was already halfway through it, and I had to read the line a couple times to believe it.

Set in the future, humans had ruined the world and were wiped out (along with most animals). A few of them were saved in pods in arks (sort of, copies of them, "blank slate" humans). Some kind of accident happened, destroying an ark, and a caretaker robot started waking humans up to save them. He was only able to wake one in time.

Each human and animal in the pod was a blank slate; the waking up process imprints information into their brains. Intended to be one of a village of people, this boy was 'born' with boundless knowledge of fish and fishing. Thus he referred to himself as Fisher. Alone, with only the breaking-down robot for company, after he struggled to survive alone for a while he decided to try to find the other arks. He and the robot (Click), set off. They encountered an orphaned mammoth (sort of) calf, and the boy and it bonded, and so Protein joined their group instead of becoming dinner.

The world building was SO SO SO good. Not just the setting, but the dialogue of all the different "people"/group they met. The evolution of the world was completely believable, as were the characters.

While this is completely a book that an adult reader could enjoy, it is good for young readers as well. One of the main themes of the book was what compassion is. I wish I had highlighted the paragraph, it was so perfect. Fisher said something like:

What is this feeling? Animals should care for themselves first, for staying alive. Why did I risk my life for Protein? Why did Click risk his life for me?

It was such a lovely story, with a great ending. The writing was outstanding, everything about it was perfect.
Tags: 2018 books, book review, book: the boy at the end of the world
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