Crazyjamie's Reviews > The End Specialist

The End Specialist by Drew Magary
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Mar 28, 12

Read in March, 2012

The End Specialist is a sci-fi thriller initially set in the very near future where the cure for ageing is discovered. Initially only available on the black market, it doesn't make those who take it immune from disease or other causes of death, but it does stop them from ageing in any way. The book follows John Farrell, a young lawyer who gets the cure and then documents its effect on both himself and society in general through a period of many decades.

From the outset, the style of the book is worthy of considerable praise. It's primarily written in blog style, with John Farrell being the author, but is also broken up with news stories and such to give the reader a more rounded view of the world. Writing the book in this way verges on genius in the circumstances, and allowed me to become fully immersed not just in the plot, but in the world itself, from the very start.

It is perhaps expected that this 'miracle' cure is not the overwhelmingly positive force that it first appears to be, and as with most near future sci-fi stories of this nature things do take twisting turns for the worse. In this regard it always seems quite straightforward to imagine how society might initially be negatively impacted by a new piece of technology or disastrous event, but the challenge in the genre is always developing society going beyond the initial twist.

The End Specialist tracks society over a number of decades, to the point where the way the world works becomes almost unrecognisable in many ways towards the end of the book. But what is very clear is that Magary has put considerable thought and effort into constructing this new society as the timeline advances. Rather than coming up with a good idea and then milking in an almost one dimensional fashion from that point on, Magary has asked himself 'what if' many times over, and has clearly put a lot of work into the outcomes.

The end result is that the world of The End Specialist becomes completely believable, almost terrifyingly so at times, and I have to admit that it completely hooked me all the way through. There are two distinct plots in the book, that of John Farrell personally, and the wider effect of proceedings on the world in general, but both are woven together in a meticulous manner. All in all, The End Specialist is a book that at times is funny, sad, thrilling and horrifying, but it is the relentless progress of the plot, with an almost endless stream of interesting twists and ideas, that kept me reading until the end. I genuinely cannot recommend this highly enough; it is everything that a book of this nature should be.
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