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A Hero at the End of the World

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  1,213 ratings  ·  252 reviews
Sixteen year-old Ewan Mao knows one thing for certain: according to prophecy, it's his destiny to kill the evil tyrant whose dark reign has terrorized Britain. Although he's just a normal boy, deep down Ewan is confident that he has exactly what it takes to be a hero. But when Ewan's big moment comes, he freezes. His best friend, the clever and talented Oliver Abrams, defe ...more
ebook, 308 pages
Published November 11th 2014 by Big Bang Press (first published November 10th 2014)
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Average rating 3.42  · 
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 ·  1,213 ratings  ·  252 reviews

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Lauren James
Imagine that at the last minute, Ron killed Voldemort instead of Harry. Imagine Ron went onto huge fame and success as a celebrity/auror, and a bitter Harry started working in a coffee shop. Imagine Draco comes along and talks Harry into joining the Death Eaters, and they fall in love and spend a lot of time giving each other 'soulmate gazes' along the way.

If that sounds like the best fanfiction ever, then it's no surprise. This is the first book from a new press which publishes original novels
Jan 01, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy, queer

I tried really hard to like this book, because I thought it was only fair to give it a shot- not least of all because I really want to try and support "indie" authors.

Unfortunately, I think it fails fundamentally on almost every level. It's not that it's the worst book I've ever read, far from it; it's just that it has not one thing which stands out as interesting to me. When it's not failing, it's being aggressively mediocre. And it's a real shame.

But before I got in on it, let's talk abo
Dec 09, 2014 rated it did not like it
I can't recall the last time I was so disappointed in a book. The anticipation was intense - a fandom dweller not only declining to hide her roots, but writing something actively, well, fandomy! It boded so well. The cover was gorgeous. The excerpt was witty. It all seemed golden.

The disappointment started with actually procuring the book. I waited for the release date with an impatience previously reserved for HP itself, and/or new Terry Pratchetts and Georgia Nicholsen books. When it arrived,
anna (½ of readsrainbow)
rep: gay Chinese British mc, mlm couple, Black mc

carry on could NEVER
Shaun Hutchinson
What a weird little book. It asks the question: what if the hero's best friend ended up saving the day instead of the hero. And then take a look at what happens five years later. Imagine if Ron (or Neville) had defeated Voldemort at the last minute instead of Harry. It's sort of like that. Also, what would have happened if Harry had fallen in love with Malfoy? It's sort of like that too. It's pretty much a thinly disguised HP fanfic. And yet, it's still kind of awesome.
Alice Oseman
Oct 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I don't even know what to say except that this is a masterclass in how to get people to ship your characters. By ship, I mean scream at the book for them to kiss. Repeatedly. Also, it's absolutely hilarious.
Eric Smith
Nov 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
I blurbed this book! AND IT IS AMAZING AND EVERYTHING I EVER WANTED. Seriously. Read this. <3 ...more
Martha Mitchell
Oct 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Claiborne has certainly created a fun romp and some delightful characters here, (particular props to the Gardener Hobbeses and a cake shop called "Gluten for Punishment"). However, the world-building fell a somewhat flat. I never got a grasp on how the magic was meant to work, nor why they were all using old PCs in elite government offices, particularly as the book seemed to be set in essentially a magical counterpart of today's London. I understand that this was meant to be a satire, but it nev ...more
Oct 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
I've wavered over giving this book two or three stars. There was nothing overwhelmingly wrong with it. But there was nothing I found particularly compelling either. Also, it was hard to care about the potential end of the world when all of the characters were unlikable dicks.
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Weird and funny and cute and a little awkward, like the sort of boy you might have a crush on junior year.
Dec 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
So basically, it's a book about 3 idiots and a not-so-idiotic sidekick (that's Sophie) saving the universe(s) from a crazy manipulative villain.
and it goes like:

Oliver: I'm the almighty Hero, you dare question me?
Ewan: Yes. No. You don't say?
Archie: I'm much smarter (and better looking) than Oliver. and my mum's a sneaky meanie. but I'm rich too.
meanwhile ..
Louise: I'm so pretty.. I'm so pretty and witty and briiiight.. I'll murder all.. I'll murder all and conquer the wooooorld..

But I loved t
Nov 07, 2014 marked it as to-read
Without knowing anything else the book and the author (aside from being a fanfic author), the summary immediately screamed HARRY POTTER to me. So when I google that--lo and behold, many others thought the same thing, especially after reading it.

I don't have an opinion on Big Bang, but I find it odd that their mission statement was something along the lines of 'fanfic authors can be original authors too!' ...and then the first thing they publish is basically laundered Harry Potter AU. I could te
Jan 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq, read-in-2015
Review to come
Farnoush Mellark
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
so, this review of a goodreads user was one of the main reasons I started this book:
"Imagine that at the last minute, Ron killed Voldemort instead of Harry. Imagine Ron went onto huge fame and success as a celebrity/auror, and a bitter Harry started working in a coffee shop. Imagine Draco comes along and talks Harry into joining the Death Eaters, and they fall in love and spend a lot of time giving each other 'soulmate gazes' along the way. "

but sadly this book was just a fanfiction and nothing
Oct 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Imagine if Ron or Neville killed Voldemort and Harry faded into obscurity. Pathetic, alone and working at a coffee shop. You would have Ewan Mao, who was prophesied to kill the evil Duff Slan, but instead his best friend Oliver Abrams beats him to it.

Claiborne brings us into a magical universe straight away,no explanations, just drops us right in. Maybe it was just me but I found the first few chapters confusing because I was so unfamiliar with the world she had created. But once I got the hang
Oct 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Hero At The End of the World isn't a bad book. It's amusing, and if you're in fandom at all, it'll probably delight you. It's a fun premise with the sidekick saving the day and the hero falling into bitter obscurity, and their explosive reunion years later. However, for all that the characters are likable and the dialogue snappy, it falls a little flat, the ending more so than anything. It felt rushed, almost, and the silliness kicked up like three notches for the last few chapters. More distrac ...more
Oct 30, 2014 rated it liked it
I wanted to love this book, I really did. It just seemed like everything I wanted in a neat little package, but nope, didn't work out that way. While I really liked the dry, sarcastic tone of the book, and it was genuinely funny at a lot of moments, the characters rather ruined it for me.

Ewan was so stupid you kinda wonder how he's managed to stay alive, and you do expect a modicum of intelligence in a protagonist. It got to the point where every single thing he did was stupid as hell, and you
Feb 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
Reviewing this book is going to be a bit heartbreaking because I wanted to like it so much. It has everything I should have loved, urban fantasy, parody, characters diversity... Also I've read and loved the author's fannish work, so I was pretty sure I would love this book.

The second star is all about the world-building, or the part I actually saw because I did not finish it. At the 70th page mark, I was still fighting to get interested in the story, so I finally gave up.

As I said, the world w
I feel like I just paid money for a fanfic. ...Which I essentially did.

This book makes a decent attempt to twist the Harry Potter world to their own, but it just wasn't enough. My mind could translate each character name, it was that much of a mirror. I needed to be fooled - like how no one could see Bella and Edward in Fifty Shades. The splash of multiculturalism was a welcome touch ...But that's about it. Harry was kind of a wet blanket in this version. Also a coward. And jealous. And fame-dri
Becca C
Dec 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
So yeah, it was funny, but also... enh.

I don't regret buying the book--I'm always here for fandom authors putting their original works out into the world!-- but at the same time, after I'd finished reading, I couldn't help but feel like I would have "gotten my money's worth" if the book's price point had been closer to $4, or $5. $10 is a bit of a stretch for a book that skates along on a paper-thin premise, never actually goes anywhere, never truly cashes in on the epic redemptive arc that was
georgia ☽
2.5 stars

this is a pretty clear case of 'it's me not you', because there were some things i definitely enjoyed about this book, but regardless, it just wasn't for me.

i can appreciate the intent and i think it was a fun trope-reversal, but it never quite managed to grab my attention. also, although i found some of the jokes funny, it wasn't really my type of humour so i couldn't connect to the story very well.

all of the characters were unlikeable (except for maybe archie, who was probably my favo
Oct 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
I'm going to write up a proper review when I get time but here's the gist of it: this book is lovely. So much fun, super easy to read, great for all ages but especially boys 12 and up. It's a little clunky to start but once it gets into full swing it's throughly entertaining. A hilarious and insightful look at the ever present "chosen one" narrative. The last third is FAB! I couldn't put it down. The only reason I'm giving it four instead of five stars is that there are not enough girls. I alway ...more
this was so cute!!!! i loved ewan and archie so much, and oliver and sophie grew on me as well. i want more of them!
Oct 20, 2018 rated it did not like it
A Hero at the End of the World doesn't do the work it needs to do to read like a novel and not fanfiction. The characters are not only unlikeable, which is hardly a requirement for my tastes, but they're uninteresting. Ewan and Oliver are both entitled in the dullest ways, and while their lost friendship should feel like a tragedy, I never quite understood why they liked each other in the first place.

When I say that Claiborne's writing reads like fic, I don't mean that Ewan reads as a Harry Pott
LG (A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions)
[This is an old review I'm just now adding to GR.]

I learned about this one via KizunaYueMichaelis' review of it. Although the review basically boiled down to “meh,” I loved Jade Liebes' cover art, so I decided to give the book a shot.

Imagine a world where prophecy states that a specific boy would be the one to defeat a tyrant. That boy spends years thinking that it's his destiny to be a hero, and everyone around him goes easy on him because, well, he's the prophesied hero. Then the time comes fo
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fandom, fantasy
This is, for obvious reasons, like reading very good Harry Potter fanfic. An enjoyable read.
So, I was excited for this book… I mean let’s face it, basically everyone on Tumblr was at least a little bit excited for this book.
It turns out this is mostly a disappointment, and not just because I had to resort to using Amazon to buy it.

I'm supposed to side with Ewan for his resentment over Oliver, but considering I've never been shown what his status as the Slayer of Duff Slan meant to him, he mostly comes of as a whiny person who can't admit to himself that he was simply too afraid to do w
Oct 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
First and foremost, this is a very funny book. It is also an engrossing adventure and offers up an interesting and unusual alternate world. ‘A Hero at the End of the World’ manages some very silly pieces of humour and some subtle and not-so-subtle digs at modern tropes without ever sacrificing its characters or plot, and this combination really helps the book to race along.

If the basic premise makes you wary, be aware this is *not* a parody book. Sure, there used to be an evil wizard (by the nam
Nov 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
If you don't like books that are similar to other books, this is probably not for you. It's (kind of?) a satire of Harry Potter, and with that comes from the inevitable parallels. I mean, I COULD describe it as 'what if Ron had killed Voldemort instead of Harry?' but it's also 'what if Ron had killed Voldemort instead of Harry and everyone realised all the ridiculous parts of fantasy books and Harry who isn't Harry at all ended up working in a coffee shop?'

Yeah. I LIKED IT A LOT. I read it in, l
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Reader, writer, general fangirl.

I grew up in the US but moved away as a young adult. Britain's been my home since 2010. In between, I also lived in Canada and South Korea. I have curly hair, a Masters in Medieval History, and a cat called Violet. Right now I'm very interested in the lives of superheroes.

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“Oliver’s expression darkened. “I know what you are,” he said, pointing at Ewan accusingly. “Since when are you a homophobe,” said Ewan. “What?” Oliver asked. “What?” Ewan replied. Oliver shook his head as if bewildered.” 0 likes
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