July 23, 2024

Novel Lives

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4.5 Star ARC Review: A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World

In a world where people are few and clinging to memories, those that are around you, and your pets; you can keep hold of what should matter most. Where in today’s world we have lost site of all these things. We know the cost of everything and the value of nothing. Secondly, we know my feelings about The Girl with all the Gifts. That is a high bar to set. A comparison not to take lightly. Well done, Mr. Fletcher. Well done.

A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World: A Novel

Thank you Orbit and NetGalley for an Arc in Exchange honest Review


Disclaimer: Anyone who has followed this blog knows one thing:

These three fools for all I make make fun  of them, mean the world to me. And god help the person who tries to hurt them (as my brother recently found out when he threatened that if I didn’t put them on the street, he wouldn’t help me through a very and current crisis that I wouldn’t tell him to go to hell) and I’ve suffered, struggled and nearly ended up in danger numerous times since then because of it but the four of us remain together. With that I give you the achingly, brilliantly, dystopian tale that reminds us all of what is truly important.
I should warn you now that this review will be short. Like most dystopian books the less you know going in the better the experience will be. This is true to even more of an extreme with A Boy and his Dog at the End of the World by C.A. Fletcher. However, I will give you as much as I can to help you grasp the story. Told mostly (but not entirely) in a journal format and completely from Griz’s point of view, Griz and his family live on an island alone with his dog Jip and Jess.
Griz’s family have relocated to an island just off Scotland. The world, though loosely explained, has come to a point where they neither care nor are trying to figure out what caused the apocalypse. They never venture to the mainland and have a system that provides for everything they need on the island.
What they do know is that most of the population are no longer able to have children and that they are few children still surviving. This makes Griz and his family very fortunate due to the fact that his parents don’t only have Griz, but other children as well. One sister passed away before Griz’s journals begin, so we don’t know why she died.
Soon a man shows up on the island shores calling himself a trader. All the redflags, bells and cries of DANGER! DANGER WILL ROGERS went off in my head. But this family that went to the extremes of going to their own island, not returning to Scotland offer him kindness. Were they weary, yes. But still they bring him on the island and show him hospitality.
And while I was irked by this obvious flaw in the family and, to me, in the story the cascading domino of events more than made up for that error in judgement. The stranger takes many of the family’s resources, and of course one of Griz’s dog. And just as I would, should stranger take one of my boys, I went full bent, end of the world or not to find this man and get his damn dog back. This is where I must end.
For Griz keeps up his journal as his searches for his dog in solitude and the effect of this solitude is what leads to so many of the twists and turns, and then the twisted ending I surely never saw coming.
C.A. Fletcher writing throughout the book is beautifully executed, as it has to be with Griz  so often on his own, writing in his journal to who? No one really, not at the time, but of course to us, the reader. It isn’t easy to create an end of the world reality that drops you in the middle of the apocalypse. People want the excitement of how it started, why it started. You don’t get that here. You get an apathetic world that has given up on the how and why. Yet Fletcher makes it work. Sometimes you just can’t go back and whether true or not the world seems to have accepted this fate.

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