Monday, February 18, 2019

Middle Grade Monday and Audio Review: Endling: The Last by Katherine Applegate

The Last by Katherine Applegate. Endling Book One. Unabridged e-audiobook. ~7 hours. Read by Lisa Flanagan. HarperAudio, May, 2018. 9780062841452. (Review of e-audiobook borrowed from public library. Own the hardcover.)

Little Byx, the youngest and smallest of dairnes, disobeys her parents to wander away from their home. She gets caught up in the rescue of a wobbyk, and nearly loses her life. When she finally returns home, it is to discover that her entire clan has been slaughtered. She is the last, the endling, but there is a legend of a pack that are hidden away and with the help of the wobbyk, Tobble and a human, she sets off on a quest to find them.

I must admit upfront that, eager as I was when I learned that Applegate had a new book dropping, my eagerness waned when I saw the cover and read the synopsis. Oh! Me of little faith! This story is absolutely gorgeous! The world building is vivid, help along by the occasional illustrations (in the book) to mark the parts. The characters were engaging, some endearing, some scary. The story was also surprisingly and sometimes scarily violent. But there were also moments of poignancy and subtle social connections to our present climate. 

New-to-me narrator, Lisa Flanagan delivered a fine range of voices but it was the emotional performance that stood out. I felt totally immersed. 

Endling is highly recommended and I cannot wait for the next installment, The First, due out May 7. 

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