Updated: Mar 3, 2021
Author: Kelly McWilliams
Publisher: Little Brown
Agnes loves her home of Red Creek -- its quiet, sunny mornings, its dusty roads, and its God. There, she cares tirelessly for her younger siblings and follows the town's strict laws. What she doesn't know is that Red Creek is a cult, controlled by a madman who calls himself a prophet.
Then Agnes meets Danny, an Outsider boy, and begins to question what is and isn't a sin. Her younger brother, Ezekiel, will die without the insulin she barters for once a month, even though medicine is considered outlawed. Is she a sinner for saving him? Is her sister, Beth, a sinner for dreaming of the world beyond Red Creek?
As the Prophet grows more dangerous, Agnes realizes she must escape with Ezekiel and leave everyone else, including Beth, behind. But it isn't safe Outside, either: A viral pandemic is burning through the population at a terrifying rate. As Agnes ventures forth, a mysterious connection grows between her and the Virus. But in a world where faith, miracles, and cruelty have long been indistinguishable, will Agnes be able to choose between saving her family and saving the world?
“An unforgettable story of courage and self-discovery.” J.M. Buckler, award-winning author of the Seeker of Time series
I went into this book with zero expectations and left entranced by McWilliams exquisite writing. The story is told in third person and switches between the sisters' POV, which adds depth to the intricately woven plot. The story continuously moves forward and keeps the reader guessing. There were scenes that left my heart pounding, and others that left it broken.
McWilliams’s characters left a lasting impression. At times, I wanted to yell at Beth or give Agnes a hug. The side characters added to the emotional connection I felt to the duo while reading. The dialogue and pacing flowed effortlessly. I appreciate books with meaningful takeaways, and this one had plenty of life lessons. If you are looking for a standalone novel with a strong female lead who’s willing to risk everything for her family, then check out Agnes at The End of the World.
Readers: Excellent for readers who love standalone stories of survival, powerful female leads, heart-racing scenes, and creepy imagery.
Writers: Excellent for writers who are looking to elevate their craft. Pacing, a variety of sentence structures, believable dialogue, and escapism factor are strong suits of author McWilliams.
Warnings/Triggers: minor adult language, disturbing imagery, heavy religious references
Escapism Factor: 4/5
Emotional Connection: 5/5
Character Development: 5/5
Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Completed read: 09/18/2020