Title: End Of Story
Author: Louise Swanson
Genre: Thriller, Dystopia
First published: March 23rd 2023
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Finished reading: March 10th 2023
Pages: 320

“If you tell a story well enough, it’s true.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***


What better way to celebrate that it’s my birthday today than with a review of a book that I already know will appear on my list of 2023 favorites?! Oh yes, Louise has done it again!!

I usually write reviews soon after finishing a book, but here I am three days after finishing End Of Story, and I’m still unable to write down a proper sentence on paper. I guess the phenomenon I like to call the Beech-effect has crossed over to her shiny new pen name Louise Swanson, and I’m now officially suffering from the Swanson-effect. Basically, this newest book blew me away completely, and it is without doubt one of her strongest stories to date. Never mind the fact that I’m usually not that big of a sci-fi/dystopia fan, and never mind the fact that I hardly ever read books set in the future… This book is a true masterpiece and the structure of the plot is brilliantly clever. What a read!

Basically, the dystopian situation as described in End Of Story will horrify anyone who loves to read, and it’s certain to give you nightmares for days. Imagine a world where fiction is illegal and you are no longer allowed to own or read any books unless it’s non fiction… Authors are now criminals who have to lie low and follow the rules or face the consequences. This dystopian world truly comes alive through the descriptions and the main character Fern’s thoughts she writes down in her (illegal) diary, and it’s a terrifying world indeed. It’s also one of the stronger aspects of this story, and one of the reasons End Of Story will stay with me for a long time.

I’m going to keep this review short because I don’t want to give away too much about the plot. Trust me, this is one of those stories where you will be well rewarded for going in completely blind! What I can say is that the structure of the plot is brilliantly clever, and it gives the final part of the story even more impact. While I did have some idea about some of the twists, this didn’t take away from the fact that the developments in the final part completely blew me away. I never expected this story to take the direction it did… What was already a 5 star read for me before, managed to bowl me over up until the point that I was left staring speechless at my kindle after reaching the final page. Even days later, I’m still unable to properly write down my thoughts… Oh yes, End Of Story was THAT good.

As for the characters… Fern Dostoy is the star of the show, and she makes for such a fascinating character. I was intrigued by her background and story from the very beginning. The plot structure where we read about what is happening through the diary entries is a brilliant touch, and I really enjoyed learning both Fern and the dystopian world better. There are so many questions along the way, and together with an atmosphere of danger and foreboding you won’t be able to stop reading. And after certain things are revealed, you will only come to appreciate the rest of the story even more.

I have loved every single Louise Beech story I’ve read so far, and her new pen name Louise Swanson doesn’t change that. End Of Story is one of her strongest books yet, and one I cannot recommend enough. Even if you don’t tend to read a lot of sci-fi, I would still suggest you try this story… To be blunt: just read the damn book. Trust me, it will be absolutely worth your time! It’s not like anything I’ve read before, and the plot twists are beyond clever and simply mindblowing.

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