So This Is How It Ends (Avatars #1)

Title: So This Is How It Ends

Author: Tui T. Sutherland

Five teenagers with more or less normal lives are caught up in an instant in an event too bizarre to be explained. The world around them has changed—monsters roam, cities have been crushed, humanity has all but vanished. And voices call them onwards, urging them to a place where they can all come together . . .

I don’t read a lot of apocalypse stories, but this one intrigued me. The “how” of how the world ends seems really bogus until right before the end, when the mystery gets a few answers, and then it’s all great fun again.

This is the first volume of a trilogy, so as may be expected it can be a bit slow plot-wise, since most of the tension is in the worldbuilding for the new world. It’s an interesting one for the most part, though I found the availability of running water and electricity a bit on the unbelievable side, since society has by and large collapsed. On the plus side, monsters! I loved the crystal creatures that assault humanity, and Tigre’s journey through the biological horror show that is South America is equally fun.

I liked Gus and Tigre best. Tigre’s connection to animals, his uncontrollable runs, and Quetzie, of course, made his sections a lot of fun. Personality-wise, he’s probably the least-suited for this new venture, as his attempts to be friendly prove disastrous time and again. And Gus is caught in more than he could have guessed. An ex-stagehand running off with the superstar—only his choice to save her has him now as possibly the only normal person in a fractured future. (And then the end. Ouch.)

Part of the big reveal at the end is probably going to be obvious merely from the series title and the fact that some of them, like Kali and Venus, have rather obvious names. But watching the how and why of it as it all pulls together at the end, and the implications for the future, makes it worth the wait. It does seem like a few characters are missing, though. Unless I missed it, there were five listed, and since Gus is an anomaly, that makes one more who hasn’t shown up yet.

The end leaves on a cliffhanger, and the moral dilemma presented there will continue to drive the series forward. I’m curious now to see how things work out in future books, especially because the superpowers that only glimmer here promise to return full-force. I rate this book Recommended.

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