Cynthia Ayala ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
When life gets too tough to bear in Detroit, Daphne flees to her Uncle Floyd’s home, where she believes she’ll find solace in the silent hills of her childhood summers. But Daphne’s Greyhound bus pulls over in downtown Carbon County and it’s not silence that welcomes her. Her desire to start again in simple country comfort is instantly dashed as the townsfolk declare that the End Times are here, their raving backed up by incredible occurrences. Daphne does all she can to keep her head down and ignore the signs, but soon a startling discovery shatters her resolve and calls into question all her doubts and fears. A higher power brought Daphne to Carbon County for a reason, now all she has to do is find the strength within herself and believe.
This is a novel that has a lot of build, but as the length begins to thin, so does the ending. In fact, it’s unjust to call this novel complete because it’s not.
End Times by Anna Schumacher follows young Daphne as she escapes her home in Detroit after killing her stepfather in self-defense who tried to rape her. Published May 20th of this year by Razorbill, the novel gives young adult readers a contemporary take on the science fiction genre.
Within the novel, writer Anna Schumacher has given readers a strong protagonist who finds the will to survive and carry on, moving to a new place with family who won’t know anything about her accident and who won’t stare at her with unwanted pity. The downside of her character however is the fact that she puts herself down more than she should.
The way that the novel flowed was decent overall, but the build towards that ending, was a rehash of a scene that already happened earlier in the novel and really summed up how quickly the novel feel apart.
With each scene and development within the novel, it’s obvious that there is something important about Daphne and that the strength within her, coupled with her down to Earth attitude and humility really shows that she is a character that can relate to the audiences. As events start to unfold around her, readers can gauge just how important she is, not to the novel, but to those around her. But as the novel begins it’s close, it’s clear that Schumacher had no clear idea of how to leave the novel off. Of course, cliffhangers are the way that that writers move forward to leave doors open to continue without creating an over the top long and dull novel, but it has to be executed and tie off some loose ends. Schumacher unties most of the plot within the last thirty pages of the novel and does not attempt whatsoever to answer some questions.
Not only is her ending completely lacking the proper conclusion, Schumacher attempts to bring in other characters without giving them the proper attention. These added characters have no substance, their development nonexistent and their personalities static. It’s as though they are there for show, to show the world around the protagonists. Take Janie for example, she is a fragile character, but’s not until the reader is completely done with the novel that she is shown to having some depth, and then, out of the blue, the book ends. Then there are characters, like Luna, who get no attention whatsoever when it’s clear that there is something dark and sinister around them.
There is so much in the novel left unexplored and builds more questions, creating more open doors than actually focusing on plot development. While it has a solid foundation for most of the novel, the ending falls apart and leaves readers gapping confused. ★★ ½ (5 ☆’s | C-)