Audiobook Review – The End of Men

Title: The End of Men

Author: Christina Sweeney – Baird/ Narrated by Rebecca Perfect, William Hope, Penelope Rawlins, Debra Michaels, Julia Locascio, Sasha Alexis, Robert Bradley, Sara Lynam, Aysha Kala, Cathleen McCarron, Denica Fairman

Genre: Sci-Fi/ Dystopian

Goodreads Rating: 3.91

My Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Source: ARC

Synopsis:

Set in a world where a virus stalks our male population, The End of Men is an electrifying and unforgettable debut from a remarkable new talent that asks: what would our world truly look like without men?

Only men carry the virus. Only women can save us all.

The year is 2025, and a mysterious virus has broken out in Scotland–a lethal illness that seems to affect only men. When Dr. Amanda MacLean reports this phenomenon, she is dismissed as hysterical. By the time her warning is heeded, it is too late. The virus becomes a global pandemic–and a political one. The victims are all men. The world becomes alien–a women’s world.

What follows is the immersive account of the women who have been left to deal with the virus’s consequences, told through first-person narratives. Dr. MacLean; Catherine, a social historian determined to document the human stories behind the “male plague”; intelligence analyst Dawn, tasked with helping the government forge a new society; and Elizabeth, one of many scientists desperately working to develop a vaccine. Through these women and others, we see the uncountable ways the absence of men has changed society, from the personal–the loss of husbands and sons–to the political–the changes in the workforce, fertility, and the meaning of family.

In The End of Men, Christina Sweeney-Baird turns the unimaginable into the unforgettable.

My Review:

I would like to thank NetGalley and Harper Collins UK for approving me for an ARC of this book.

I did try reading this back in March of this year but as the UK was back in another lockdown it felt a little too close to home then. I also struggled to keep track of all the character so I set it to one side but I was determined to give it another visit.

When this one popped up as an audio I thought that might make it easier to understand, especially with the number of narrators it had.

The first thing that struck me was the pandemic world the author had created. Considering that this was written before COVID-19 even existed her portrayal of pandemic life was scarily accurate! The reactions of the characters and how it all unfolded brought back a lot of memories from the early pandemic life in the UK.

Of all the characters I absolutely loved Dr Amanda MacLean. She wasn’t afraid to call a spade a spade even if she looked mad in the process. It’s just a shame that more people didn’t listen to her from the start. Her journey through the whole book was very interesting and there were certainly moments when I wanted to shout hooray because she had finally been proven right.

What I hadn’t expected with this story was the amount of emotion it would stir in me. Having lived through a pandemic you almost feel numb to it all. The more I listened to Catherine’s story the more emotional I became. This was probably due to her having a son the same age as my eldest and knowing how I would feel if I was in her shoes.

With a full cast of narrators I soon found myself absorbed in this brilliant, thought provoking read. Christina Sweeney – Baird has written an exceptional debut that will only cause its readers to reflect on their own journey through this pandemic.

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