Sci fi, urban fantasy, thriller, crime? That’s a lot of genres all packed into one book. The End of the Line makes a solid attempt at combining all of these, resulting in a dark gritty novel that questions how far you will become your own demon in order to kill another (literally).
Title: The End of the Line
Author: Gray Williams
Publication Date: 8th July 2019
Publisher: Canelo Adventure
This is certainly a unique setting; a present-day London where magic is outlawed, crime is violent and magicians are useful for criminal gangs. One gang tries to raise a demon, thinking that they can control and bind it, only to quickly find that no one has that ability and that they now need to destroy what they’ve made. Enter Amanda Coleman, Abra (magic-user) murderer, magic hater and damaged woman, alongside her band of mis-fit criminals.
The whole novel is dark, gritty and blood-thirsty. It opens with a grisly death and more evidence of how focused and determined Amanda is to reach her goal, no matter the cost.
The majority of the story is told on a long (and very traumatic) train journey to Siberia (not the present and magic London, as promised) as, just because the demon is in chains, doesn’t mean that it can’t exert a terrifying and psychological control. And, trapped in a carriage, a confined space, with an unspeakable terror watching your every move – that’s a strongly chilling setting.
The narrative is told through different characters’ POVs, when it suits the story, and through a series of disjointed flashbacks that, although they add to the thriller component, do make it harder to follow the main story (which is both psychological and slow).
The horror was strong in this one, (and there are more trigger warnings than I can list) but so was the repetition. It almost felt as though some of the flashbacks had been included for the sake of completionism, rather than because they added anything new to the story or the characters. And I know that every character is hurting, in so many different, bloody and cringing ways, but I didn’t need reminding of that every sentence.
The story, however was clever, and I genuinely didn’t know which way this one was going to fall – and I really did appreciate that.
3.5 stars rounded down to 3.
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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