“The idea behind this book is pretty simple, but it’s hard to actually tell you what happened because it quickly became repetitive. We basically follow Charlie, who’s the Harbinger of Death, as he travels the world to visit people before Death does. Sometimes he’s a warning and sometimes he’s an omen. Sometimes he arrives in time for someone to change their life and to dodge death. Sometimes he doesn’t.
It’s a cool concept, and I was excited to begin with. I liked how it’s just an accepted part of life and thought that added an interesting slant to it, and it forces the reader to ask themselves all sorts of questions about life and death. It almost felt a bit like Neil Gaiman in places, and I thought for a while that it would make a good Tim Burton movie. Then I changed my mind and thought that Quentin Tarantino would do a better job of it.” – Dane Cobain, Social Bookshelves
“I loved the premise of the novel, and its witty writing should appeal to Terry Pratchett and Nicola Barker fans. The more fantastical elements are generally brought back to earth by unremitting bureaucracy – I especially enjoyed a scene in which Charlie is questioned by U.S. Border officials.” Rebecca Foster, Bookish Beck
“I don’t normally read a great deal of science fiction or fantasy novels but the contemporary setting and light humour surrounding the petty bureaucracy and other inconveniences Charlie has to endure on a daily basis made this more appealing to me than I initially expected. As North said at the event for bloggers last weekend, making extraordinary events domestic is a way of making them more human and Charlie is an endearing character who comes across as essentially a good person trying to find his way through life (and death).” Clare Rowland, A Little Blog of Books
“North intersperses her chapters of action with chapters of pure dialogue, giving the impression of a crowded, chatty bus or train or restaurant. Those interrupted, overheard conversations, simultaneously absurd and poignant, are there to show the reader what the human condition really is: short-sighted, short-memoried, primarily interested in what’s for dinner, and yet still capable of surprising charm and appeal. It’s a book about living and dying; North wants us to know that the very banality of living doesn’t make it any less serious an undertaking.” – Eleanor Franzen, Elle Thinks
“I will look forward to reading North’s other novels having read The End of the Day which I enjoyed. It is ambitious in scope and original in execution with an ordinary hero we can all love. I appreciated the judges shortlisting of a literary genre thriller with mass market appeal for this prize too. It’s an interesting, even brave choice – I wish other literary awards would broaden their horizons similarly.” Annabel Gaskell, Annabookbel