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The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza by Shaun David Hutchinson
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Shaun David Hutchinson tends to situate his protagonists at the brink of apocalypse, often placing the fate of humankind in their hands. This is also the case with Elena Mendoza who faces an especially dire dilemma: is she willing to perform miracles even if she dooms others in doing so? However, besides the magical realism frame of the story, do not expect to receive answers to why the world might be ending. Once one has read several books of the author one sees through the pattern and realises that it takes such apocalyptic extremes for the characters to make a decision regarding their lives. Hutchinson fans of previous books will be in for a treat, seeing that the novel contains several Easter eggs which may or may not hint at the future of already familiar characters. Unlike the previous three books, The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza is slightly less heavy and more uplifting. The female perspective is also refreshingly new.

Elena has a balanced life of loving people (be it her mum, siblings, best Friend Fadil or elderly neighbour) and people who are a nuisance (her stepdad and people at school). I liked the differentiating portrayal that people can have more than one side to them. They can be both caring for their loved ones and be cruel to others. I immensely enjoyed Shaun’s whimsical humour – I mean a talking tampon box and baby Cthulhu?! While character dynamics developement, e.g. Elena’s relationship towards Javi and her complicated relation to Freddie were a success, I thought the pending involvement of the authorities and of another ominous party and their taking action not until the very end seemed to me a bit implausible; yet this was only a minor factor. Moreover, the reader gets in Fadil another diverse and multi-layered character.

As always, Shaun does not shy away to depict the darker truths of life, often disillusioning and taking on picture-perfect lives and relationships shown in other books, films and TV. The book reflects on love, heteronormative society and raises questions like “How many chances does a disgraced person deserve and when is it OK to cut them out of one’s life for good?”

David became one of my autobuy authors and I am looking forward to read “The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried” in 2019.
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Reading Progress

June 7, 2018 – Shelved
June 7, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
June 9, 2018 – Started Reading
June 10, 2018 –
page 121
27.63% "Haha :D"
June 10, 2018 –
page 146
33.33% "Another Easter egg 😊"
June 10, 2018 –
page 180
41.1% "This feels like a treasure hunt 😁 so much fun!"
June 12, 2018 –
page 232
52.97% "No way! Omg! Crossover :O"
June 12, 2018 –
page 294
67.12% "Shaun, I love you <3"
June 13, 2018 – Finished Reading

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