Claire North does it again

I knew. I just knew. From the second I finished The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August I knew that Claire North was one of my favourite authors and The End of the Day has solidified that even further. This is only the second book I’ve read from her and yet again I sped through it in one day, barely able to put it down.


In this novel we follow Charlie, a recent grad who’s just gotten a job working as the harbinger of death. Pretty standard stuff. He goes before death, wherever he is needed all over the world. Sometimes he is a courtesy, sometimes he’s a warning. We follow him for both.

This is such an interesting concept, having Death have a human assistant who goes before him for important cases, who gives Death a face, who talks to people. I’m sure it’s been done before but I love the way that North has carried it out here. We see people from all walks of life who have a variety of responses to the harbingers presence, from anger and denial, to attempting to persuade Death, to calm acceptance. All of the individual stories are handled incredibly well and bring a new perspective on life to the reader.

Not only do people die, but ideas too. Whether that is an old racist finally dying away, an abandonment of a tradition or an escape into a new life, Death honours each and every one of them. This personally made me think more about times in my life where something has died, whether it was a dream never to be achieved or a mindset I overcome. Everything has its time.

There is also the impact is has on Charlie. It would have been easy for North to not even cover this, to gloss past it as though it would never happen. Instead she puts it front and centre, this sort of work would take its toll on a person. It isn’t easy. This really adds an actual human aspect to a character who could have easily become as dehumanised as Death themselves and adds another punch to the book.

If you are at all interested in fantasy’s which are heavily set on reality, where for all others life continues as normal, apart from the select few who live this extraordinary existence, then I 100% recommend picking up anything by Claire North. The End of the Day would, ironically, be a great place to start.

Claire North is a pseudonym for Catherine Webb, who has also written under the name Kate Griffin. I’ve not read any of her works under the various names yet but it’s definitely something I intend on doing in the future.

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

This. Book. Needs. More. Love. *clap emoji*

This is an absolutely amazing book ❤️❤️ I genuinely have no idea why this book isn’t more popular or well known in the online book community because it’s amazing 😍


Okay, so moving on from my fangirling just a little. This book was picked up on a whim, when I saw it in the Works for £4 and really liked the cover. I never expected this to become one of my favourite books ever… but here we are. I had presumed from the cover I have that this book was a YA, and therefore set certain expectations. But it definitely isn’t a YA read and the book surpassed all these expectations with ease, being deeper, grittier and less cliche than I was expecting.

The world building for this book was done incredibly well, with the fantasy side beautifully integrated into the “normal” world. The vastly different social etiquette in place due to the drastic lifestyle differences and knowledge that they possess is incredibly interesting to delve into and experience, especially with the differences shown between personality styles and experiences.

The tension, the drama, the edge of your seat feeling is just absolutely done perfectly and I would kill for a sequel just so I can dive back into this world again and live there for a while. I’m so sad that there isn’t one or even a TV or film adaptation, as I think not only does this story need to be heard by more people, but that it would also transition so well onto a screen.

I really don’t want to say too much more because this book is absolutely fantastic and I want you to go into it and experience everything brand new! No spoilers, nothing. Because that way you won’t know what to expect, and isn’t that just the way to do it sometimes?

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August is definitely now within my list of all time favourite books! Pick it up if you want a sci-fi fantasy book with timey-wimey elements!