Endling book one: The Last

The Last The Last by Katherine Applegate

Author: Katherine Applegate

Genre: Fantasy

Age: older MG

POV: 1st person

Summary: Byx is the youngest member of her dairne pack. Believed to possess remarkable abilities, her mythical doglike species has been hunted to near extinction in the war-torn kingdom of Nedarra. After her pack is hunted down and killed, Byx fears she may be the last of her species. The Endling. So Byx sets out to find safe haven, and to see if the legends of other hidden dairnes are true. Along the way, she meets new allies, both animals and humans alike. Each have their own motivations for joining her quest. And although they begin as strangers, they become their own kind of family, one that will ultimately uncover a secret that may threaten every creature in their world.

Review:   For a kid book, Endling is dark at times. I will say it is up there with Redwall and Warrior Cats in terms of theme and maturity. I have read Katherine Applegate's other books The One and Only Ivan and Crenshaw. They both handle deep themes in a way that doesn’t talk down to kids. Byx witnesses her family killed. People and creatures die. The writing does not shy away from the main characters using swords to kill the bad guys.

All the characters are well developed. I like Tobble who is a wobbyk that Byx first befriends. He may be small but is so fierce and loyal. It is funny when someone meets Tobble for the first time they comment on how they want to eat him.

Khara is the leader and will protect Byx. She falls under the girl dress as a boy trope because men have an “advantage” more than women which is not that well display in the book. The trope that men are more equal them women is abundant in the fantasy genre and it needs to die.

I am kind of split on the pasting of this book. I find the story goes too fast for a fantasy however this is a kid book. The story needs to keep going for kids to be interested in it. I wish there could be more pictures, for I was a bit lost on what some of these creatures look like. Especially of the made-up creatures. By doing this the author doesn’t have to waste tons of words describing what these creatures look like. The reader can just look at pictures and have a general idea of what each creature looks like,

The main theme of this book is truth and lies. How we believe our own truth that are actually lies we tell ourselves. These lies we tell ourselves are a double edge sword. They can do us more harm or give us hope to keep going.

In the end, Byx stops looking for others of her kind. Having realized that if she finds more dairies then they might lead their enemies to them and endanger them. The ending is a little hopeful that maybe one day Byx can continue her quest in finding others of her kind.

Characters: 5/5

Writing: 4/5

Plot: 5/5

Bonus Points:

+1 – fantasy with unique and original animals

+1 – a mature kid book

+1 – a good story interwoven with deep themes

Total: 17/20

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