A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World

A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World

When a beloved family dog is stolen, her owner sets out on a life-changing journey through the ruins of our world to bring her back in this fiercely compelling tale of survival, courage, and hope. Perfect for readers of Station Eleven and The Girl With All the Gifts.My name's Griz. My childhood wasn't like yours. I've never had friends, and in my whole life I've not met en...

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Title:A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World
Author:C.A. Fletcher
Rating:

A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World Reviews

  • Lisa Wolf

    I'll keep this short and to the point, because it would be way too easy to veer into spoilery territory, and this book is best experienced fresh and free from a whole lot of expectations. It's a wonderful story about love and loyalty, centered around a quest to retrieve a beloved dog, and filled with danger, unexpected alliances and moments of grace, bravery, and defiance. And yes, a little sadness too.

    The title says a

    I'll keep this short and to the point, because it would be way too easy to veer into spoilery territory, and this book is best experienced fresh and free from a whole lot of expectations. It's a wonderful story about love and loyalty, centered around a quest to retrieve a beloved dog, and filled with danger, unexpected alliances and moments of grace, bravery, and defiance. And yes, a little sadness too.

    The title says a lot about the basics of the book. The key point is that this is a world of after -- nothing is as we know it. And it's not because of a world war or other doomsday scenario. Instead, the world basically went infertile, except for a very small percentage of people who didn't. There was a last generation, and once they died out, the people who remained -- about 7,000 worldwide -- were left to live on in whatever fashion suited them. The world we know was essentially dead. Nothing new was made or created, and people survived through farming and scavenging (or, as Griz's family calls it, "viking" -- they'd go "a-viking" to see what they could find to reuse and repurpose on their own little isolated island).

    Told through Griz's first-person narration, the story takes us along Griz's journey, across the sea and through an abandoned and alien mainland... because a stolen dog cannot be forgotten. I loved the writing, both plain and unembellished, yet full of fun word play and cadences:

    I really truly loved this book. It's sad and frightening, but also lovely and inspiring. Griz is a terrific, memorable main character. The story wraps up well, neatly enough to leave me satisfied, but I still wish I could learn more about this world and the people left in it.

    Highly recommended. What a treat!

  • Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance

    This story was written in the last moments of a hopeless soul that’s lost it all, locked up in a prison cell of a post-apocalyptic society at the edges of a mainland near the Atlantic ocean on the North East coast.

    The world is empty after the Gelding with only a few remaining people that escaped, survived and spread wide and far. Resources are scarce and what is left resembles living peoples of the past void of technology. Vying for resources in a world without electrical p

    This story was written in the last moments of a hopeless soul that’s lost it all, locked up in a prison cell of a post-apocalyptic society at the edges of a mainland near the Atlantic ocean on the North East coast.

    The world is empty after the Gelding with only a few remaining people that escaped, survived and spread wide and far. Resources are scarce and what is left resembles living peoples of the past void of technology. Vying for resources in a world without electrical power and invention has left humans scattered and reinventing farming and tools to live. Traveling by boat, hunting and fishing are the main sources of acquiring foods and goods.

    Griz lives with his parents and his two siblings Ferg and Bar, and his two dogs Jip and Jess on the small island named Mingualay (formerly Scotland) off the Atlantic coast. They are the only human inhabitants there and share the land with horses. Telling stories and reading old books of past civilizations is how they entertain themselves and learn. Griz has an inventive mind and creates his own fantasies from scraps of evidence. This helps him with overcoming the grief and loss of his sister and caring for his mom, who has been silent in a catatonic state since that fatal day.

    One afternoon, a stranger arrives on a ship from another island. His name is Brand and he travels and trades commodities in search of remaining resources. The family invites him in and Brand shares Orange marmalade with the family. A delicacy they have never had and the atmosphere relaxes as they sit around the fire and talk into the night. The next morning, the family is sick and vomiting and Griz sees that Brand has taken off with one of his dogs, Jess. By natural reflex and without thinking, Griz takes off with Jip in the family’s small sailboat, the Sweethope.

    Brand’s boat with signature red flags is much faster of a boat than Griz’s. It takes him a while, but he finally catches up and encounters the man. This is where Brand’s true colors show and after an altercation, Griz finds himself and Jip on an island with a burned down boat and no way to go back home. But Griz is not even considering a way home yet. Not until he finds Brand’s home and rescues his dog, Jess. What lies ahead is an arduous long journey through a world left behind after a disaster; a wildly overgrown landscape with wild and dangerous animals. On this journey, he meets a woman on horseback that has come from France and has escaped the “pest”. The two of them strike up an unlikely friendship without words as they can’t understand each other. With sign language and a dictionary more or less to communicate and miscommunicate as they travel on for weeks on a perilous journey west. Their little “pack” together is what saves them in many risky and tough situations through sickness, hunger, and despair. What awaits them is the end of the road. The end of life.

    Imprisoned, Griz writes about his travels and makes his final entry in his notebook. You can read it when you pick up this book.

    ***

    C.A. Fletcher is undoubtedly a master storyteller.

    is divinity in its kind; rare and special. A reader’s journey for the mind and heart.

    The writing in this novel composed a pure and honest orchestra fusing tethered notes and tones into an intricate and tight plot, reflecting a flawed world and characters stripped of pretense left raw and savage in the face of the unknown. It is a masterfully executed composition that leaves the reader in a toiled state of emotion conducted at will.

    Like a child befallen in awe by a fairytale, I was positively surprised and captivated by this book. A mixture of adventure, good spirit, hope and endurance with bursts of action and fast-paced plot are balanced by hardship, endurance, turmoil, despair and long passages filled with descriptive landscape portraits and the reflection of time passing by slow. A well-metered plot if you will, crafted with highs and lows, long and short passages.

    This is one of those books you can get lost in, shut out the rest of the world and be right next to the main character. At times I felt like I was 12 years old struggling with Griz, with the absence of his courage. A book that could be enjoyed by teens as well, I think.

    Albeit the title refers to a dog, I felt it wasn’t so much about the dog itself really, as it was more about Griz’s journey. The loss of his dog Jess was a driving force for Griz’s adventure and Jip played a part along in his travels, but it wasn’t a plot centered on a dog, as I had suspected. I was happy for the story to take me along in an unexpected and unique way with an ending I completely unanticipated as the pages were drawing close to the end. I had no idea where this was heading. I contemplated a very tragic ending crushing me and evoking some anger for bringing me to the edge like that. Silently, in my mind, I almost cursed at the author for my turmoil and how dare he do this to me as the reader.

    I could not possibly spare you the emotions and give away spoilers about the final ending right now. Instead, I’ll just let you go on this journey with

    and let you experience it all by yourself.

    Enjoy!

    I received an Arc from Orbit in exchange for an honest review. I am very grateful for the chance to read and review it. Thank you, CA. Fletcher, Orbit and Jenni Hill for making it possible. All opinions are my own.

    More reviews of mine here:

  • Petrik

    With countless books being published every single day, the cover art quality of a book published by an author I haven’t heard of is very crucial in grabbing my interest; that's not exactly what happened with this book. Don't get me wrong, the cover art is certainly pretty but what grabbed my attention immediately was something of a rarer o

    With countless books being published every single day, the cover art quality of a book published by an author I haven’t heard of is very crucial in grabbing my interest; that's not exactly what happened with this book. Don't get me wrong, the cover art is certainly pretty but what grabbed my attention immediately was something of a rarer occasion: the title of the book. After that, I heard that the novel is perfect for readers of

    and

    , I haven’t read the latter but I’ve read and loved

    last year, and I just knew that I have to read this book as soon as I can. Plus, I find it adorable that there’s a warning on spoiler stated at the beginning or the back cover of the ARC. No need to worry, just like always, I’ll make sure to take extra care in my review to make sure it’s spoiler-free.

    follows Griz as he takes on a journey to save his stolen dog. It’s a post-apocalyptic story that centers on survival, courage, hope, love, humanity, family, and most importantly the importance of being grateful. Just like

    , even though it’s a post-apocalyptic story and the setting can be considered bleak and lonely, the tone and the messages delivered was hopeful and heartwarming. Fletcher shows that even though the world has pretty much ended, it doesn’t mean that we have to lose sight of what truly matters. On contrary, maybe somewhere along the way, we have lost sight of them due to the constantly hectic lifestyle and situations that life forced on us.

    teaches us to pay more attention to our surroundings. Don’t wait until the end of the world for the small things to shine again. Even the simple act of listening to music, reading, drinking tea, or walking around with your dogs and friends shouldn’t ever be taken for granted. I, for one, highly appreciate this kind of story.

    Regarding characterizations, although there wasn’t a lot of characters in this book, every character—dogs included—has an important role to play in Griz’s journey. For the entirety of the novel, Griz was the only character with a POV to read. Due to the fact that the novel was mostly told in a diary/book written by Griz about his journey, it did results in quite a lot of self-introspection, especially in the first half of the book. Admittedly, there was one section in the second quarter of the book where I found the book to be a bit too slow because Griz was pretty much alone. This means that there was close to zero dialogue or interactions with other side characters. However, this was only a minor con which was soon redeemed in the halfway point of the book when Griz met another side character.

    Fletcher’s prose was one of the most important strengths in providing the compelling nature of the story. The prose was simple, beautiful, and full of meaningful passages. It's written in a first-person narrative but added with a little touch of second person narrative. He did a great job in writing how much the world and its inhabitants have changed or how they still stay the same.

    is a powerful melancholic story that that shows how incredible loyalty and friendship can be. Displaying humanity at its best and worst, the message “simplicity taken for granted” was absolutely well delivered and this wonderful tale of survival and friendship in a bleak setting shouldn’t be missed. If you love a post-apocalyptic story that gives a feeling of joy, calmness, well-placed tension, you can’t go wrong with giving this book a go. Was it a poignant read? Well, the title speaks for itself. I'll conclude with saying that reading this book did leave a smile upon my face several times and I consider it a MUST read for any reader who love reading about the friendship between human and dogs. I’ll leave the rest for you to read and find out on your own.

  • Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)

    This review can also be found at

    .

    I ended up really enjoying this book. As soon as I saw the title and read the description for this book, I knew that I absolutely had to read it. I looked forward to reading this book for months. Unfortunately, I had a really hard time getting into this book. I really think that this had more to do with my life than the book but I did have some doubts. I did hang in there with the book and am so glad that I did but this was a book th

    This review can also be found at

    .

    I ended up really enjoying this book. As soon as I saw the title and read the description for this book, I knew that I absolutely had to read it. I looked forward to reading this book for months. Unfortunately, I had a really hard time getting into this book. I really think that this had more to do with my life than the book but I did have some doubts. I did hang in there with the book and am so glad that I did but this was a book that I couldn't put down before it was all over.

    I love a good end of the world story and I also love stories that involve dogs. This book had both of those elements so it had a whole lot going for it before I even got too involved in the story. I loved this take on the end of the world. It was a little different than other books that I have read and I thought that it was one of the most realistic explanations that I have seen. I really felt like this could happen which really added to the impact of the story.

    Griz was a great character and I found him really easy to relate to from the start. I didn't always understand everything he was doing but I was behind him on his main quest. Without a doubt, I know that if someone took my dog, I would do whatever was in my power to get her back and Griz felt exactly the same way. It was really interesting to see Griz navigate parts of the world that he has never seen as he tracked down his beloved Jess. I loved his descriptions of what was left of the world and found that I was easily able to visualize what he was seeing.

    This book is told by Griz as he writes in his journal. I think that I had a bit of difficulty with Griz's voice at the start of the book but eventually warmed up to it. There were a few times were words were spelled as Griz heard them instead of the proper spelling which I would have preferred but I think that this was really the best way to tell this story.

    I do recommend that readers go into this book as blindly as possible. There were a few twists that I didn't see coming which made this book really enjoyable. I do highly recommend this book but strongly suggest that readers avoid any possibility of coming across a spoiler.

    I had a really slow start with this one. It took me forever to read the first 30% or so of the book and I found myself constantly being distracted by other stories. But once this story started clicking for me, I flew through it. This story is told as if the main character, Griz, has written it in his journal and I just had trouble connecting with the character's voice but as things became more interesting the storytelling style started working better for me. I liked the world building and thought it was a really unique take on the end of the world. There were even a few jaw-dropping moments before the book came to a close. I really ended up enjoying this one in the end.

  • karen

    NOW AVAILABLE!!!

    i have never seen this on an arc before:

    usually, i am very mindful to avoid potential spoilers in reviews of ARCs.

    BUT THIS EXPLICIT, POLITELY-WORDED REQUEST MAKES ME FEEL SO MISCHIEVOUS! THERE IS NAUGHTINESS STIRRING WITHIN ME!! WHAT WILL HAPPEN???

    *************************************

    THIS IS WHAT WILL HAPPEN

    *************************************

    i’ll write a general review first, for the booknerds, and the

    NOW AVAILABLE!!!

    i have never seen this on an arc before:

    usually, i am very mindful to avoid potential spoilers in reviews of ARCs.

    BUT THIS EXPLICIT, POLITELY-WORDED REQUEST MAKES ME FEEL SO MISCHIEVOUS! THERE IS NAUGHTINESS STIRRING WITHIN ME!! WHAT WILL HAPPEN???

    *************************************

    THIS IS WHAT WILL HAPPEN

    *************************************

    i’ll write a general review first, for the booknerds, and then i want to say a few words about SEEEKRITS which will not be the giving away of seeekrits, but more of a slurry of thoughts about ‘em, which may or may not be interesting or useful or even a smart use of my time.

    this is a solid post-slowpocalypse novel, in which humanity has dwindled down to nearly nothing after all but 0.0001% of the population underwent the Gelding - an epidemic of sterility/barrenness of unknown origin. those who have managed to survive see few, if any, humans outside of their immediate family over their lifetimes, knowing only what that family knows about the larger world.

    this is certainly the case for griz’s family: teenage griz, siblings ferg and bar, their parents and their two dogs jip and jess. they are further isolated by living on an island off the coast of former-scotland, with only one other family within sailing-distance, getting by through scavenging and farming, and certainly having suffered their own losses along the way.

    and then a man arrives on their shores - brand is tall and charismatic, a vikinglike adventurer with stories of his travels and a ship full of treasures to trade - who charms his way into their hearth and home and then takes off in the night with jess, a beloved family pet but also a valuable commodity; female dogs being nearly as rare as fertile humans.

    and griz is just not gonna stand for that, setting off into the unknown with jip to get jess back, completely unprepared for the threats and truths of the world beyond those islands.

    it’s a good contribution to the post-apoc genre, and i love that griz is a total booknerd whose favorite thing to read is…books about apocalypses and dystopias;

    and i love how many aftermath books survived the aftermath for griz to read.

    the situation is inventive, the voice is appealing and a believable combination of knowledgable and innocent. there’s a thoughtfulness in the character’s worldview that i very much enjoyed — ordinarily i get frustrated with…

    , i guess i’ll call it, in aftermath lit, because once the world ends and all that’s left are predators and prey, you’d better adjust right quick because nature won’t coddle things that don’t fight back. those things are called “food.” but while griz’s reluctance to fight is naive,

    , it makes sense given the circumstances - with so few people left in the world, it seems wasteful to kill any of ‘em. but me personally - you steal my dog, apocalypse or not, you best run fast and far ‘cuz i will fight back.

    it’s not a very long book, but there’s a lot packed into it - backstory, currentstory, coming-of-age musings, action sequences and even WOLVES! the pacing is also really fast even when there

    action sequences, because this is one of those books that likes to hint forward - i thing i know i have lambasted before (

    &etc), but this book does it well, and it makes you want to keep turning the pages to find out what those hints are foreshadowing.

    it is a very good book. this huge, nearly empty world is beautifully realized, with equal parts dark and light, ultimately optimistic, with definite sequel potential.

    that warning, though. this is

    all over again.

    if you tell me there are SEEEKRITS, then i will know that there are SEEEKRITS and i will most likely figure out your SEEEKRITS before you want me to. which i did, in this case. now, thankfully, this book is way better than

    and is more than *just* its twist, but once i clocked it, i couldn’t help but wonder if the book really even needed this extra move, and the whole time i was in that readingspace of knowing

    without knowing

    , i was apprehensive about whether this was twist for twist’s sake or whether there was going to be a good reason for it.

    aaaaaand - inconclusive.

    i’m on the fence about it. sometimes a twist changes everything for the viewer*, forcing you to think back over and reinterpret everything you were shown through the filter of this new information: it was eeeeearth all alooong, he was deeeeead the whole tiiiiiime, yadda. and sometimes the twist only

    changes things for the characters - i am your faaaaather, these are not the genitals you were expeeeecting, etc. here it doesn’t really do... either. it’s less of a twist and more of a fact. there’s a

    for the secrecy, but it doesn’t change the way you read the book— the

    would have been the consequences with or without springing it on the reader in this way. all of this is just me being fascinated by authorial choices in general - benefits of choosing first-person over third, chapter titles v numbered chapters, basic structural decisions interest this brain ‘o mine. and maybe the point here is just that - an extratextual point being made about how little it matters. i am being cagey here, because i was so ordered, but yeah - i don't know why the THING was a THING, but i do know that no one should ever announce that there will be a THING if they want people to be surprised by a THING.

    * i’m using films because there’s a larger body of commonly-known twists to work with. apologies if i’ve just spoiled the empire strikes back for anyone.

  • Faith

    An unidentified disaster, referred to as the Gelding, has rendered most of the humans on Earth unable to reproduce. The population has dwindled to almost nothing and the people who are left lead a very isolated existence. Dogs also have trouble reproducing because few females are born, so they are a valuable commodity for their companionship. The story is told in the form of a journal written by a boy nicknamed Griz, who lives with his parents, siblings and dogs. He directs his writing to an unk

    An unidentified disaster, referred to as the Gelding, has rendered most of the humans on Earth unable to reproduce. The population has dwindled to almost nothing and the people who are left lead a very isolated existence. Dogs also have trouble reproducing because few females are born, so they are a valuable commodity for their companionship. The story is told in the form of a journal written by a boy nicknamed Griz, who lives with his parents, siblings and dogs. He directs his writing to an unknown boy in a photo that Griz found. Griz has never ventured away from home until a stranger shows up one day and steals Jess, one of their female dogs. Griz and another of their dogs pursue the thief, but their pursuit doesn’t go as planned.

    I liked the beginning and end of this book, and I didn’t see the big twist coming at the end, but the middle got a little repetitive. Griz encountered numerous dangers, however I never really felt a sense of urgency about his troubles. The book held my interest, but I think it might might have more appeal to a fan of YA fiction. The twist at the end raised my rating from 3.5 to 4 stars.

    I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

  • Celeste

    Actual rating: 4.5 stars

    I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this book. I knew it was going to be post-apocalyptic and involve a dog, but that’s really all I knew.

    Actual rating: 4.5 stars

    I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this book. I knew it was going to be post-apocalyptic and involve a dog, but that’s really all I knew.

    Griz is one of the very few members of Earth’s dwindling population. Over a century before we meet him, an event called the Gelding had taken place, rendering all but a scant few members of the population incapable of reproduction. No one ever figured out the catalyst for the Gelding, whether it was a biological weapon gone wrong or simply Mother Nature deciding that enough was enough. Whatever the case, the world’s population went from billions to thousands as people began dying of old age. Griz and his family live on a little island with their dogs, and they’re mostly happy. Until a visitor appears that will change the course of Griz’s life forever.

    Not in post-apocalyptic setting, but in the idea of man both battling against and find a way to peacefully exist with nature. This book brought me back to stories like

    and

    and

    . In those novels we see kids suddenly thrown into solitude in the elements, whether by choice or happenstance. Seeing these young people find new strength within themselves in the face of adversity always brings out loads of emotions within me.

    That being said, even though I enjoyed returning to something from my childhood, I didn’t connect with this book on an emotional level for the majority of the book.

    I appreciated that Fletcher took the themes I loved as a child and crafted a story that felt more adult. I loved the closeness Griz had to his dogs, and his family, and the books that he had discovered and treasured over the course of his life. As a side note, can I just say how much I adored the literary references? Authors that I love were mentioned with great care, and books that I haven’t read yet suddenly became even more appealing because of Griz’s love for them.

    While I enjoyed the book from the start, it didn’t blow me away until around the last fifty pages of the book.

    Looking back, I still can’t see any hints of that twist. Those twists are what rocketed this book from 3.5 stars to 4.5 stars. The author included a note at the beginning of the book asking that readers try not to spoil the story for others, and I think that’s an incredibly wise inclusion.

    If you’ve been sitting on the fence regarding this book, I encourage you to give it a read. If this is a book you’ve been anticipating, I’m so excited for you to get your hands on it and have your mind blown like mine was.

  • Nils | nilsreviewsit

    4.5 stars.

    ‘Dogs were with us from the very beginning. And of all the animals that walked the long centuries beside us, they always walked the closest.

    And then they paid the price. Fuck us.’

    ~

    A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C.A Fletcher was a book that really caught my eye by its title alone. I love books that have a coming of age story, heartwarming animal friendships, and I also love a lonely setting, so this quickly became a must read. After delving into merely a few pages, I knew

    4.5 stars.

    ‘Dogs were with us from the very beginning. And of all the animals that walked the long centuries beside us, they always walked the closest.

    And then they paid the price. Fuck us.’

    ~

    A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C.A Fletcher was a book that really caught my eye by its title alone. I love books that have a coming of age story, heartwarming animal friendships, and I also love a lonely setting, so this quickly became a must read. After delving into merely a few pages, I knew I was in love.

    🐕

    Griz, our main protagonist, lived on an island with his mother, father, his sister Bar, his brother Ferg, and his two dogs, Jip and Jess. The author specifically asks at the beginning of the novel to not reveal any of the books ‘secrets’ therefore I’m not going to tell you much about the plot other than we follow our main protagonist Griz as he goes on a mission to rescue his dog. This short read packed in a lot of events, and I loved how it had me gripped right until the very last page.

    🐕

    The book is set in a post apocalyptic world where the human race has dwindled to almost extinction. Humanity has turned back to the old ways of living off the land and making the best use of what is left from the ‘Before’ world where technology thrived.

    🐕

    Firstly, what I most adored about this book was Flether’s incredibly beautiful prose. There was a sad, melancholic, and pensive tone throughout that really immersed me into this story. The book is solely narrated in first person by, Griz. He tells his story in the form of a diary, which I felt worked perfectly. Even though we are presented with a young protagonist he has very mature voice; he tells us his flaws, he has an innocent trait but he also displays a lot of intelligence by realising the mistakes he had made and details what he could have done differently. At the end of each chapter there is much foreshadowing used, and it just made me eager to find out more.

    🐕

    Through Griz’s account of the world he experiences during his travels, we see the stark contrast of the ‘Before’ and ‘After’ the Gelding, which was what caused the destruction of humans. He sympathises with his imagined population that used to inhabit the world before it became a barren, savage and hollow place. And in doing so it really made me think of all the things we take for granted, from the simple act of being able to listen to music, to having antibiotics to cure infections. To see a read about a world where these things have stopped existing was quite haunting. I love that Flethcher’s poignantly reflects on what we should appreciate more.

    ~

    ‘I wonder if it would be sad for you to think that the wild is well on the way to winning back the world you and your ancestors took and tamed. I can imagine it might be, especially when I see the amazing stuff you all built.’

    ~

    However, Fletcher never represents this world as completely hopeless, or without any joy. He shows even when the world may seem desolate, there is always a reason to strive for, always beauty to find and always moments to appreciate. In this case to Griz, saving his dog and exploring beyond his island grants him many life experiences, that shaped his character.

    ~

    ‘I was strangely cheered by the fact that people had once camped out here in the sky, listening to music and drinking. It seemed a life-enhancing thing to have done, presumably while the world was dying around them.’

    ~

    🐕

    I did feel the book was slightly less emotional than what I was expecting. There was undoubtedly a strong connection between Griz and his dogs, but I think this could have been written a bit deeper with maybe some flashback scenes with Griz first forming his friendship with Jip and Jess. However, towards the end as the plot reached a dramatic climax, my heart strings were definitely pulled at, and I felt a stronger emotional impact.

    🐕

    At its heart, A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World is a story of adventure, courage, and never losing hope. Griz’ companionship with Jip and Jess reminds us that there are some bonds so deep and strong that can never be severed no matter what life presents us with.

    ~

    Thank you to Orbit for this review copy. A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World is out now!

  • Whispering Stories

    Book Reviewed by Stacey on

    Just as the author requested at the beginning of the book, to keep reviews spoiler free, I will give you a short introduction into the book.

    Griz lives with his parents, his brother Ferg, and his sister Bar, oh and their two dogs Jip and Jess, on a remote island called Mingulay off the coast of Scotland. They are the only occupants on the island, in fact, the whole world is sparsely populated due to something called the Gelding. No-one really kn

    Book Reviewed by Stacey on

    Just as the author requested at the beginning of the book, to keep reviews spoiler free, I will give you a short introduction into the book.

    Griz lives with his parents, his brother Ferg, and his sister Bar, oh and their two dogs Jip and Jess, on a remote island called Mingulay off the coast of Scotland. They are the only occupants on the island, in fact, the whole world is sparsely populated due to something called the Gelding. No-one really knows what caused the Gelding, but people stopped having children, well all but 0.0001 percent of people did.

    The family rarely see any other people, so when a stranger called Brand sails up to their island they invite him in and listen to his stories of what the world is like. After eating the marmalade that Brand brought with him the family take ill and fall asleep. In the morning Griz realises that that Brand has left without a goodbye or trading any items, he soon realises it’s much worse than that though, the man had stolen Griz’s beloved pet dog, Jess.

    Not thinking straight, Griz grabs a weapon and his dog and jumps into the families boat and chases after Brand. This is the story of what Griz learns about the world, the past and himself whilst trying to get his dog back.

    A Boy and his Dog at the End of the World is a post-apocalyptic novel following Griz as he tries to rescue his dog Jess from a stranger who has stolen him. The way the world has come to have such few people is nothing new in the post-apocalyptic novel world, in fact, I read a book early this year which used infertility as to how the world was coming to an end, and Dan Brown used it in one of his books too.

    The book is told from Griz’s point of view as he looks back over what happened to him and what he learned on his adventure trying to get his dog back. He is mainly talking to a photograph of a boy he found in an abandoned house, but it does feel like he is talking to the reader as he mentions what it must have been like before the Gelding. Afterward, the world not only lost people it also went back in time as technology disappeared and food became sparse and people had to hunt for their food.

    I don’t really want to give any more away than what I have. What I will say is that the book is an adventure. There aren’t many characters in it, just like there aren’t many people left in the world. It has plenty of poignant moments and moments which might make you look at your own life and the world we currently live in.

    The book is extraordinary. You can tell how much heart, blood, sweat, and tears went into creating this story. It is quite simply beautiful. It is not so much about life in a post-apocalyptic world but more about Griz, his dog, and the people and places he encounters. If you are an emotional person you might want to keep tissues at the ready throughout too.

  • Holly (Holly Hearts Books)

    WHAT?! You want to run that by me again.

    Okay at least you’re self aware.

    A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World is a dystopian scifi that starts wi

    WHAT?! You want to run that by me again.

    Okay at least you’re self aware.

    A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World is a dystopian scifi that starts with a lot of promise and I thought for sure the dog elements would have given me a sense of companionship and adventure,

    but ultimately left me feeling bored. The story opens up immediately with the reason for the end of the world and something called the Gelding happened and it’s basically caused..well, people to stop having babies. No one getting it on in this book. No berry white in the bedrooms. The population went from 7.7 billion to 8 and a half thousand in just 70 years. We’re not really given any more explanation.

    This story is being told by a young boy named Griz in a journal like format which I feel like is common in dystopian stories. He’s recounting what happened like he’s talking to you personally. He lives on an island with his family; his parents, brother and sister and his two dogs. We are pretty quickly given information about how the family gets by and the many tragic events they have had to go through which are very heartbreaking. The first chapter definitely sets a vibe for the rest of the book like “oh man, this is tough.” Which I don’t ever expect less from apocalyptic stories and this one hits hard in the feels. Plus it being centered around dogs does not help.

    Getting visitors is such a rarity that it’s become a big event for the family so when a stranger shows up to the island in a boat, they are immediately wary but to show hospitality they invite him in and the stranger has gifts and but also strange stories along with them. After some events that you’ll have to read to find out yourself, Griz realizes this stranger has stolen one of his dogs and man, you’d think that wasn’t such strong turning point in the story but the author makes it feel dire. The stranger also stole some very important resources from the family as well. Griz, without thinking, grabs his other dog, hops in a boat and chases after the stranger which leads him to the empty mainland where he finds out he’s chasing something different entirely.

    “Solitude is its own kind of madness. Like hope Itself.”

    Like I said above, this is in a diary/journal perspective. Something I would normally gobble up and though it is pretty short, it took me a lot longer than I thought to finish it because it’s all just long descriptive paragraphs. Even the conversations. There are no quotations that indicate the dialogue. Since it’s a diary format, I think it would have really benefitted with pictures or drawings the character would likely add to a real diary. It would have helped break up the stiff writing and made it more interesting for sure.

    The voice of the main character is very dry. He’s supposed to be maybe 13 or 14 but it actually feels like your being told a story by your grandpa. He runs into a roller coaster and complains about it but sees a casino and thinks it looks exciting. He gets tired easily and needs to rest. He’s just overall a very flat character. There’s no personality there.

    Here’s an example of the most dullest confrontation ever:

    “Just give me my dog, I said.

    I own her, he said.

    No, I said. You stole her.

    I want my dog, I said. You stole her.

    You keep saying stole, he said.

    I do, I said. You’re a thief.

    Give me my dog. And the fish. And my dad’s coat.

    It’s a good coat, He said. But it’s mine. I traded for it.

    You did not, I said.”

    THAT IS A LINE FOR LINE SEGMENT FROM THE ARC (subject to change hopefully.) Aren’t you thrilled?

    About half way through, I became exhausted and like I said before, bored. I need action in my stories and this one felt like one big run on sentence. I get what the author was trying to do. Paint a brutal landscape of a world that has fallen apart but I found it to be tedious and not something that moved the plot along whatsoever. There’s really like maybe 5 actual events that happen here. Everything else is just forgetful descriptions.

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