This was one of those free books on Prime Plus. The description and reviews of the book said it was an end of the world comedy featuring a dog POV so I was all about it!
This was not quite what I wanted, but it was certainly original. One of the two POVs in the book was in fact, a dog. I love dogs. However, in fantasy and in much of general fiction, dogs don’t make it to the end of the book. I was hoping this meant that he would make it through to the end of the book like so many of the animal companions don’t in much of fantasy.
I had a huge hangup for the first third of the book. The human main character is one of the least sympathetic and relatable characters I’ve read in a while. He was such an ‘average’ person, but in certain ways he was insufferable. He watched as his neighbors were rounded up as “undesirables”, primarily black and brown people. In this world a racist tyrannical regime has taken over the pre-established British government, and are running internment camps much like Nazi Germany.
While all of this was going on around him this guy just went on living his life the way he wanted to. He said he slept soundly during the end of the world, despite watching atrocities happen all around him. There was a little girl who’s father was drug behind a truck and turned into a pulp… she was alone in the world and cold and outside alone at night….ya, he left her outside to die.
I kept going with this audiobook because I was cutting the grass and doing yard work and didn’t feel like wandering over to my phone which was inside to turn it to another audiobook. I gardened angrily as I listened to this guy say that these racist fuckbags were the bad guys… but not doing dick shit about it.
He DOES eventually start like… becoming a human being again. He was given a tragic backstory to explain his odd behaviors and intense aversions to becoming attached to other people. I somewhat bought into it, I somewhat started to hate him less and my fury at him died down as he started to try and redeem himself. Did he make me do a 180 on my feelings and like him by the end? Eh. Not really, but he was significantly improved.
The dog was okay, it was an interesting perspective to say the least. He was very loyal and loving to his human, Reggie, but even he doesn’t really understand why sometimes. There are a lot of scents used when it’s his POV, lots of short sentences, and ball sniffing. His chapters are also fairly crude, talking about girly dogs and what not… What was interesting to me is when he wound up separated from Reggie and ended up in the hands of the baddies… it goes into some uncomfortable truisms about how regular people turn violent. If you have a person who feels purposeless, who doesn’t have a ‘home’ or somewhere to belong… and you give that person a purpose… suddenly committing atrocities doesn’t feel as bad as it should have under different circumstances.
The pacing was a little slow at first, I was definitely wondering where all of it was going since it looks like the fall of Britain had already happened when the book started. It was more of a personal story than overthrowing the baddies or trying to save the world.
The writing was okay. I didn’t find it particularly funny, I can’t recall actually laughing once through the whole book. A lot of the humor relied on the dogs crude remarks about genitals and fornication, lol.
- Tropes: End of the world, animal companion, redemption arcs, healing from loss
- Tags: short reads, dual POV, non human POV, tyrannical government, resistance fighters
- Genre: urban dystopian
- Plot: 10/15
- Characters: 12/15
- World Building: 11/15
- Writing: 11/15
- Pacing: 10/15
- Originality: 12/15
- Personal Enjoyment: 5/10
Final Score: 71/100