If you are looking for a fast-paced terrifying thriller about a plague, look no further. This is definitely your book!
If you cannot bear the idea of reading about a virus killing over half of the world’s population right now, then this is definitely NOT your book.
I’m someone who has always enjoyed reading about viruses and diseases (in fact, I’m taking microbiology for fun this fall!), and was completely engrossed in books about Ebola in the 1900s.
Despite my interests, some of this book was just a bit too discomforting to read because of its parallels to the COVID-19 pandemic plaguing our world right now. As I read the book, I kept thinking “man, I guess COVID could get worse,” which isn’t something I want to imagine given COVID-19’s already devastating impact.
As for the book and storyline itself, I really enjoyed it. I am sure this will be made into a movie at some point. It reads more like a script or screenplay than a book, which isn’t a bad thing at all. You really don’t want to put it down because of the way it is structured.
The book has numerous female leads sharing what it is like to experience a plague that wipes out men, including infants and children, indiscriminately. As an archaeologist and historian myself, I really liked the perspective of the woman who was a historian documenting what was taking place. There’s another character who is working for the government in intelligence, making decisions about how to protect her country while those in security forces are dropping left and right (because soldiers are predominantly men). And there’s a female scientist working hard to devise a vaccination against the plague before the entire world’s population is unable to replicate itself.
The author did a good job of imagining how a plague that only affects men might change and reconfigure society, as frightening as that may sound. This is one of those books you could easily read in a day because it is so well written and engaging.
Thank you to the author, Christina Sweeney-Baird, NetGalley, and the publisher, Doubleday Canada, for an advanced reader copy of The End of Men.