Monday, 3 May 2021

The End of Men by Christina Sweeney-Baird BLOG TOUR @ChristinaRoseSB @BoroughPress @RandomThingsTours #EndOfMen #BookReview


GLASGOW, 2025.  Dr Amanda Maclean is called to treat a young man with a mild fever. Within three hours he dies. The mysterious illness sweeps through the hospital with deadly speed. This is how it begins.

The victims are all men.

Dr Maclean raises the alarm, but the sickness spreads to every corner of the globe. Threatening families. Governments. Countries.

Can they find a cure before it’s too late? Will this be the story of the end of the world – or its salvation?

Compelling, confronting and devastating, The End of Men is the novel that everyone is talking about.

The End of Men by Christina Sweeney-Baird was published on 29 April 2021 in hardcover by The Borough Press. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour 

Christina Sweeney-Baird wrote and submitted The End of Men during 2018 - 2019. It was finished in June 2019. I am positive that she had no idea that her book would be published during a worldwide pandemic. There's something a little creepy about that. Reading the book is quite something as we find ourselves just beginning to come out of lockdown, being the author of something that almost became reality must be staggering. There are people who will choose not to read anything about pandemics and disease and devastation at this time, and that's fine. However, I was totally gripped by this story, reading it over two days and becoming more and more invested in the characters. 

The year is 2025, and the disease within this story is referred to as The Plague, and it only kills men. Women are carriers, but only men die. The Plague first came to light in a Glasgow hospital when a young, seemingly healthy man arrived with flu-like symptoms. Within hours his temperature soared to over 45 degrees. The clinical staff could do nothing. He died. 

This is just the beginning. Dr Amanda Maclean immediately knows that this is going to be devastating, she identifies the female carrier within the hospital, yet her warnings are dismissed by the higher authorities. She's a hysterical woman, with a history of mental health issues, why on earth would they listen?

The author tells this gripping story from the point of view of a cast of female characters. I'll admit that there were times when I had to remind myself who was who and how they fitted, but once these characters embedded themselves, I was so engaged. It's a chilling and unflinching story of world survival, as the infrastructure that keeps the world turning begins to break down, the horror increases. Not only do women have to move up and take over the running of countries, they are also mourning the loss of husbands, sons, fathers, colleagues and friends. The grief felt by the characters is overwhelming at times, yet the pure determination to ensure their survival is brilliantly portrayed.

I am not a scientist, or a biologist or a vaccine specialist. I cannot say whether these things could happen, but I can say that this author has imagined a nightmare. It is especially poignant as we look around and see the changes that COVID have made to our own lives, and believe me, The Plague is far worse. 

The End of Men is a persuasive and wonderfully written novel that creates so many questions, and highlights the ongoing inequalities of the human race. The characters are flawed, yet flawlessly created. A chillingly entertaining read that I'd recommend. 

Christina was born in 1993 and grew up between London and Glasgow. 

She studied Law at the University of Cambridge and graduated with a First in 2015. 

Christina works as a Corporate Litigation lawyer in London. 

The End of Men is her first novel.

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