Title: The End of the World Running Club
Author: Adrian J. Walker
Release date: June 27, 2014
‘You’re bonkers, Stred!” the other readers yelled from across the silent digital library.
‘Reading an apocalyptic-end times novel while a pandemic rages is bonkers! He’s lost the plot,’ they shouted in unison.
I don’t think so, but who ultimately knows. I’ve certainly passed on reviewing some books lately due to the direct plot of a pandemic virus wiping out humans. But this book, this came with high praise.
There are a handful of reviewers who I implicitly trust and one of them is the Grimreader. Adrian (not the author!) has been recommending I read this since we first connected four or so years ago. I bought this a couple years ago and it slowly worked it’s way up my TBR. When it arrived, I decided not to push it aside. I knew it wasn’t a book based around a Covid-19 type virus, so I had faith going in that this would be an emotionally charged, survive at all costs books.
I was bang on.
What I liked: One of the things I absolutely loved about ‘The End of the World Running Club’ was that we got to see the before, during and after. Many ‘incident’ books focus on the during or the after and allude to the before. This one starts off the morning of and we get to see the events play out.
I found Walker’s writing to be so engaging that I rarely wanted to set this book aside. Ed, our main character, starts off with many faults and I adored that we got to see how he tackled these issues head on as the story unfolded. The cast of characters that Walker introduces are all superbly well done, minor-main characters to a degree, with each one feeling alive and real. When bad things happen you ache and hurt.
The ending on this was perfect. Perfect. In the author interview included in my edition, Walker discusses the various reactions and interpretations of the ending, but in this particular readers brain, the ending worked so well. I loved where Ed ended up and how we know what his next steps would be, should he pursue them.
Saying that – there is a sequel and frankly, I’m not 100% I can bring myself to read it, should it become available on Kindle here in Canada. I would love to see what comes next, but at the same time this book was such a fantastic experience, I don’t know if I want to see what comes next. I think how it ended was spot on and I loved it.
What I didn’t like: There’s a section about three quarters in where the group ends up in a town and is essentially captured by the woman in charge. I really didn’t like this section. It was necessary and showed how some were responding to the events in the world, but I just wanted to see if they could make it in time and this felt like a barricade or barrier that was far too obvious of a plot point.
Why you should buy this: Look, I know even those who read horror regularly are avoiding end-of-world scenarios right now, but this book is a survival drama centered around the aftermath of a cataclysmic meteor event. I was absolutely riveted and was rooting for this group of survivors as they made heart wrenching decision after heart wrenching decision. This book worked to remain rooted in realistic circumstances and there was very few coincidences which allowed for events to happen without the typical necessary suspension of belief.
Walker really delivered with this one and I’m so glad I decided to dive in and discover this world. While I may not look into reading the sequel at this time, I’ll definitely be looking at buying his newest book ‘The Human Son.’
Loved this one.