It’s Only the End of the World by J.A. Henderson

   It’s Only the End of the World by J.A. Henderson, Floris Books/Kelpies, 9781782505174, 2019

Format: Hardcover, 256 pages

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre:  Action Adventure/ Science Fiction

What did you like about the book? What can you do when AI tells you that the world will end and only you can stop it? Charlie Ray is in that exact position.  He is introduced to the AI unit when its “human” host, Daffodil McNugget, breaks into his house. Edinburgh is the non-assuming backdrop for the hijinks that ensue.  Using well-developed characters, the humor and action progress as the reader finds out more about Charlie, his special parents, Daffodil, and his extraordinary abilities.  Along with Frankie, the snarky AI, these fourteen year olds begin their plan to take down the evil Manticorps empire by breaking some convicts out of prison. Manticorps villains are written well; they are easy to hate. The story keeps the reader turning pages with witty humor and unexpected plot twists.  I had trouble putting the book down once I began. Not a negative, some of the terms are indicative to Scotland, American readers may need some vocabulary lessons.

Anything you didn’t like about it? There was enough violence that some may be turned off, yet it was tastefully described without a lot of blood or gore.  Characters were not realistic, some bigger than life, but that was part of their charm in this case.

To whom would you recommend this book? Readers in grades 5 and up who enjoy humor with their action books.

Who should buy this book? Librarians who need more AI fiction, or action books with male protagonists and snarky sidekicks.  

Where would you shelve it?  Action Adventure/ Science Fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  I feel that this title would reside near the top of a “to read” pile.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Elena Schuck, Mattacheese Middle School Library, West Yarmouth, Massachusetts

Date of review: February 22, 2019


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