BOOK REVIEW: “The First to Die at the End” is thought-provoking and nerve-wracking

Zoe Essex, Editor, Arts

The First to Die at the End is a prequel to They Both Die at The End by Adam Silvera. I had expected the book to be about Rufus and Mateo – the two main characters in They Both Die at the End – but Silvera made the decision to bring in two completely new characters: Orion Pagan and Valentino Prince. The story begins on the night that Death-Cast – an online subscription created by Joaquin Rosa that can predict when you will die – is being released. The two main characters meet in Times Square and form an immediate bond. 

Everything changes when the first End-Day call is made by Joaquin Rosa himself. Orion hears a phone ringing, automatically assuming it is his own. But his screen is dark – it is Valentino’s phone ringing. Valentino is in denial. He just moved to NYC, and he is completely healthy… How could he die today?

The First to Die at the End is a thought-provoking, nerve-wracking novel. As the story moves along, heartbreaking decisions are made, and gut-wrenching events occur. I found Silvera’s writing to be slightly slow-moving, but the storyline is intriguing. The book is written from many different perspectives, which I think is a great way to develop different characters and storylines – and, it’s easy to follow. You get the perspective of smaller characters like Joaquin Rosa, who has been under public scrutiny for the last month. He believes that he is helping the world, but does the world agree? Valentino’s sister, Scarlett, is trying her best to make it to NYC before her brother’s time runs out. Will she make it? You get insight into heralds’ experience.  Can Rolando Rubio handle the mental stress that is being put on him by his job?

Silvera’s writing is interesting – you essentially know from the start how the book will end, but still want to continue the story. Whether it is the connection between different characters, the twists and turns, or the suspense-filled chapters, The First to Die at the End will leave you wanting more content from Adam Silvera. 

 

Recommended?

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes books that are written from the perspectives of several different characters – it is suspenseful, “edge-of-your-seat” writing with many twists and turns along the way. While the beginning of the book tells you that one of the characters is going to die, you are still wondering: could there be an exception? A malfunction? A glitch in the Death-Cast system? Adam Silvera’s writing leaves you wanting more.

I found this book to be very unique in its storytelling. You essentially know how the book will end after reading the first part of the book, but you still find yourself turning page after page to see what will happen next.