Title: School at the End of the World
Author: Chris Ward
Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Benjamin Forrest is a young boy who wakes up in Endinfinium, a wacky, weird world that seems to be an after-life or some post apocalyptic world or other dimension. What and where exactly Endinfinium is, is a mystery that gradually unfolds and not fully resolved in the first book.
The story centers on a group of young people who have woken up here and discovered they have to attend the school at the end of the world to learn to survive the dangerous world they have woken up in. As they navigate this mysterious institution, they encounter enigmatic teachers, cryptic lessons, and dark secrets that gradually unravel. The novel explores themes of survival, friendship, the power of knowledge, and the nature of education.
Some issues that crop up are an underdeveloped villain whose motivations are rarely touched upon beyond it’s a dark, evil force. The twist about the Dark Man was somewhat predictable for me. The ending and final showdown with the villain, felt abrupt, hence contributing to an uneven pacing as well.
The narrative around the characters can feel emotionally flat at times. Their thoughts, emotions and motivations could have used more elaboration.
It was a suspenseful plot which made it a great page-turner in the beginning, but it felt drawn out when nothing much was revealed till the end and not even then.
Nonetheless, the characters are interesting. And with its colorful prose, mysterious atmosphere and fast paced action with twists and turns, it proves to be an entertaining read. Highly recommended!