Book Review: A Hero at the End of the World by Erin Claiborne

20521670Sixteen year-old Ewan Mao knows one thing for certain: according to prophecy, it’s his destiny to kill the evil tyrant whose dark reign has terrorized Britain. Although he’s just a normal boy, deep down Ewan is confident that he has exactly what it takes to be a hero. But when Ewan’s big moment comes, he freezes. His best friend, the clever and talented Oliver Abrams, defeats the villain for him, and Ewan’s bright future crumbles before his eyes.

Five years later, Oliver has a job as an Unusual in the government’s Serious Magical Crimes Agency, the life he and Ewan always dreamed of. But a routine investigation leads him and his partner, Sophie Stuart, to uncover a dangerous and powerful cult… one that seems to have drawn his former best friend into a plot to end the world.

Rating: 9/10

Wow. This book is pretty awesome! I enjoyed every minute I spent reading it, and it didn’t take long since I couldn’t put it down. An acquaintance of mine mentioned that she had read this book and really liked it, and while doing some research for a grad project I discovered the publisher, Big Bang Press. (They are doing some cool stuff. You should look them up.) I saw this book on the website and realized it was the same one my acquaintance was talking about. I read the synopsis and had to have it. It proved to be one of the best purchase decisions I’ve made in a while.

The book is a light-hearted satire on the ‘chosen one’ motif that is so prevalent in YA fantasy and fantasy in general. Erin Claiborne masterfully shows her readers that while she pokes fun at this form of storytelling, it stills holds a very special place in her heart. A feeling that I believe many YA fantasy and sci-fi readers share. It’s healthy to poke fun at the things you love, and this book proves that this fun can be just as good as what inspires it.

The characters in this book are really lovable, flaws and all (because what lovable character doesn’t have those) and you find yourself rooting for everyone and hating no one. The dialogue between the characters was amazing and made me laugh out loud. I sometimes got weird looks for this, but I was having too much fun to care. I couldn’t help but be completely invested in their lives which made the story that much more moving and funny.

A Hero at the End of the World is both hilarious and sincere in its depiction of a broken friendship, the difficulties of having to live up to exceedingly high expectations, and the pain that follows when those expectations aren’t met. Many can relate to these characters on many levels. Who hasn’t failed at something and felt devastated after? Or conversely, let a success go to their head? It’s human. It’s funny. It’s touching. It’s everything you could ever want from a YA novel, or any fantasy novel for that matter.

I will recommend this book to basically everyone I talk to. I am really looking forward to reading more from Erin Claiborne, whether she writes in this universe again or not.

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