The Word Traveler

These pages take me places....

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  • Erin Haggerty

Birds and Darkness.

Hey all. Back once again with a new review for you all. Where The World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean was given to me by Flatiron books to read and host a giveaway to give another reader the opportunity to be engulfed in this unique and dark read. So be sure to head over to Instagram and watch for the giveaway because this story.... was one that will stand out in my brain for a while without a doubt. So without further ado.... Let me tell you about it.

So... Where the World Ends.... let me say while this book is truly inspiring in a lot of ways... it is a fairly dark read as well. There are a lot of more adult topics that are touched on or briefly mentioned as well as some graphic and heartbreaking moments through the story as well. But... and it shocking cause I am hardly ever at a loss for words...but I am having a hard time forming my feelings about this story into words.

This book surrounds a group of boys and men between the ages of ten to forty who go on a normal trip to fowl on an adjacent isle from their home. They go for a month... but no one comes back for them. This is a story of survival and the desire and grit of those who can hold onto faith and hope. It was an emotional for me as while you read... you watch the characters lose their minds slowly and try to cling to their sense of normalcy. The young boys grasping to understand what is happening to the men as they try and figure out why they have been abandoned... It was a harsh eye opening read as you see these children face everyday problems such as bullying amongst each other. We follow Quill through most of the story... who keeps a even head through most of the book conquering being called a witch and being banished from the group but continues to give all the boys hope with his stories. He holds on to the memory of a girl he loved back on their main island and the wonder of her. And all of it is soul wrenching. McCaughrean builds these characters personalities so you feel their sadness, their confusion and the drain of their hope as days past. You can feel like cold air and sense the change time as seasons pass. You become immersed into a world of peril and wonder as the group survives day by day.The book keeps a very accurate account of problems they would face like frostbite, sickness and broken bones since it is set in 1727. And how those problems never truly leave a person in this day and age. And the author even portray a character ready to give up on the world and to attempt suicide and the ability for one person to save each other from the horrors of hopelessness.

This book showcases the good in the world as Quill even while panicking inside holds much of the groups sanity together by providing distractions. The power of helping one another is made clear and how each character has a strength to bring to the table as Quill knights each boy with the title of Keeper of.... to give them a sense of purpose even in a world of despair and darkness. We see how a human can morph and change based on the world around them and see the characters process the events ahead of them as the window of hope seem to close every moment. Holding onto reality and hope can drive a man mad but there is always the chance of being saved.

While this was a super powerful read in general the set up of the book takes you day by day and paints the picture in detail of the characters time in peril. And while their were moments of extreme intensity... there were moments where it felt like the days or chapters lasted for years. Which I genuinely can't say is a good or bad thing since it made the story feel real and authentic in such a moving way. I gave this book a four and half star rating because even with it not being what I would have picked up for myself.... this book bought out a side of me that caused me to reflect a bit and that is mark of writing that gives you a reason to break things down and take stock. I highly suggest this read for anyone who loves historic reads as well as likes to feel deeply changed after reading it!

I wanna take a moment and thank Flatiron for this book and story because I would have never gone to the store and picked this novel for myself. And because of that I found a book that really just pulled at all of me.

These pages take me places! And I cannot wait to see where I go next.

All the best!




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