Saturday, December 27, 2014
The Girl at the End of the World: Book 2 Collected by Adele Wearing
If you like: fantasy * monsters * badass girls
The Girl at the End of the World: Book 2 is the second part of a collection of stories about kickass girls doing what they need to do to survive. (See my review of Book 1 here.) These women know how to fight for themselves. They are focused on taking care of business and surviving, with or without the others around them. In many of the stories, we see an end, or a means to an end, of patriarchy. They respect themselves and have no intention of being used as a vessel. They love their companions, but they also know what it takes to get things done. In this second half, the stories feel darker, the worlds a bit harsher. The choices that the women must make seem harder, and the threats greater.
The female protagonists in The End of the World are stuck with many impossible choices. So many times, women are viewed as objects needed to continue the human race. Whether it be a part of the society or the hopes of a few lonely men, they are desired not for their skills, but for their biological purpose. It is difficult to be a woman and not be viewed objectively. However, these women have the wit and intelligence to work around this and achieve their own goals. They do not allow themselves to be forced into an ideal that they don’t abide by. They acknowledge that this is the norm and use that knowledge to escape it. They understand the power structure of their new societies and either use it or subvert it to their own advantage. In some cases this means seeking love outside of the acceptable social structure, or not seeking love at all. At the end of the world, sometimes you are just better of alone.
This is a collection of rare and powerful female characters. These women are intelligent, astute, powerful, and beguiling. They are explorers, leaders, healers, planners, and achievers. Having a collection of female driven short stories could be seen as a gimmick, but this collection is anything but. These are stories you should read because they will take hold of you and leave you wondering just how well you would fare at the end of the world. For women, the end of the world means more than just life and death; there is always more at stake. The stakes of capture and forced subservience to fulfill someone else's biological and recreational desires are much higher for women. This necessitates a savvy that makes the stories much more enchanting. The demons, plagues, and monsters are not the only creatures to be fought at the end of the world. Desire is just as destructive as any tidal wave. the desires of the women play a role, as well. In their survival, they seek a way to find peace, safety, and a group that they can feel a part of. They are trying to find a way to rid their minds of all the horrible memories as they fall asleep at night. Some want to become something, not just have their dreams become a footnote to their lives. The end of the world may realign goals, but it never takes away the hope that these women have defeat whatever obstacle, small or large, that stands in their way. The world may have ended, but these women are not done yet.
If you would keep a level head in the face of danger, read The Girl at the End of the World: Book 2.
Collected by Adele Wearing. The Girl at the End of the World: Book 2. Fox Spirit Books, 2014. Review copy provided by Fox Spirit.