Friday, June 16, 2017

Review: The End of The Day by Claire North

Charlie was looking for a job where he could travel. Landing the role of the Harbinger of Death comes as something of s surprise to him. He has no special qualifications, just a love of people and music but the previous harbinger sees something in him. Death is well meaning and sends a harbinger sometimes as a curtsy and sometimes a warning. Initially all goes well and Charlie meets interesting people and experiences things he never could have imagined but that all changes due to unforeseen events. Charlie falls in love and the travel becomes burdensome with something to miss and he also becomes exposed to the darker side of humanity.

The three previous books under the author's North pseudonym all had a similar concept; a protagonist effected by an unexplained condition that the majority of the population was unaware of.  I was concerned that she would be unable to breakaway from this theme and am very glad to see that she has. I love character-driven novels and Charlie is wonderfully drawn human being flavored with a touch of awkwardness. His development and growth is really the crux of this novel.

In a world where the four horsemen of the Apocalypse are real entities (Death even has his own firm to look after Charlie's travel needs) I found the support characters reaction to them highly inconsistent. I was also disappointed in the finale which just sort of fizzled out.

Overall Claire has delivered a wonderfully character driven novel that proves she is not just a one trick pony, although with all new things you can't expect to reach perfection the first time around. 8/10.