So This is How It Ends

Reviewer: Andrew Clough

Author: Tui Sutherland

Published: 2006

Reviewed: 2011-06-10

Publisher: HarperTeen

I wouldn't usually go looking for books to review from the ranks of
young adult books, but the cover of "So This is How It Ends" by Tui
Sutherland grabbed me. It seemed to speak of a melange of SFnal ideas
braided together with a coming of age story.

Coming of age stories are hardly unique, but everybody loves them,
right? There's the group of young people who are all special in some
way that isn't spelled out but which the observant reader will have a
very easy time guessing. They're catapulted forward through time past
some mysterious apocalypse, and then wander around and have journeys
and adventures and then at the end of the book meet for the first big
revelation (this is the first book of a trilogy). Nothing horribly
unique if you blur your eyes slightly, but for the intended audience
the parts that jaded old me found trite would still be fresh. And
despite seeing where the story follows well worn grooves I still
enjoyed myself! The arc of the story might have been predictable in
its outlines, but the characters that one met along the way,
protagonists, normal people, and creatures, all seemed interesting and
unique. Disparate elements are brought together in the books in ways
that are cool, but which hang together pretty well even with a bit of
reflection. Of the protagonists, the motivations of the girls lay
sharper on the pages, but the boys are perfectly credible, especially
by the normal standards of the young adult section.

I would certainly recommend these books to any teenager, and older
people can also pick them up without worrying that they might be
wasting their time.