End of Crows

Fiction - Dystopia
212 Pages
Reviewed on 05/31/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Lex Allen for Readers' Favorite

Seventeen-year-old Willow holds tight to her imagination, the one thing Dominion can’t control, and she holds dear to the stories her Mom and Dad have told her about freedom in America before Dominion took over. Her parents' faction, the Crows, has strongholds across the country and one of these is very close to the Dominion stronghold that has kept her incarcerated for her entire life. An escape plan is in progress and Willow hopes that once her family escapes, her free life will begin in End of Crows.

The comparisons of Willow to Katniss Everdeen of Hunger Games fame are clearly evident as Willow's talent as a fighter and her determination to win come to the surface. Without training of any kind, she displays great skill in the use of a variety of weapons as well as her bare hands. But, Willow possesses more than these physical abilities and as the story unfolds, her supernatural gifts become more evident and specific to the plotlines. Also like Collins, R.A. Lingenfelter writes tight, straight-to-the-point sentences and paragraphs that propel the reader through each event and scene without undue and unnecessary detail.

In particular, Lingenfelter's ability to build characters simultaneously to the ever-increasing tension of the primary plotline is evidenced by her multiple appearances at the top of Amazon's bestseller lists. End of Crows, while standing on its own, is also the perfect lead novel in the four-book series. Highly recommended for readers who enjoy fast-paced action/adventure stories with hints of the supernatural and powerful lead characters like Willow!

K.C. Finn

End of Crows is a work of fiction in the dystopian, action, and adventure subgenres. It is suitable for the general reading audience and was penned by R.A. Lingenfelter. The book follows rebellious teenager Willow as she holds on to the parts of herself that the Dominion can’t take away. With America having fallen to the Dominion and the freedoms enjoyed by her parents taken away, Willow and her family flee to a safe area outside of the Dominion’s control where the rebel Crows hide. With dreams of the Crows' destruction plaguing her every night and suspicion growing against her, Willow must fight to keep her newfound freedom.

It’s an excellent comparison to make between the wilfulness of teenage rebellion and the passionate but desperate nature of a freedom fighter’s rebellion, and R.A. Lingenfelter doesn’t waste an ounce of the concept's potential in this exciting and tense story of acceptance and the will to fight back. I adored the world-building on show on every page with the Dominion being a constant source of low-level anxiety between run-ins in exactly the way that living under a regime of that nature would be. I particularly enjoyed how for much of the story they were able to be a threat despite not being physically present, such was the terror invoked by the idea of the Dominion that even discussion of them became intimidating. End of Crows is an outstanding work of dystopian fiction that captures both the oppressive nature of living under a hostile regime as well as the spark of resistance that lies in people no matter how much they fear for their lives.

Faridah Nassozi

In End of Crows by R.A. Lingenfelter, for all her life, seventeen-year-old Willow had only known life under the Dominion. She heard tales of freedom and happier times from her parents but could never truly imagine such a life where one would live on their own terms. For as long as she could remember, her family had one goal, and the day to put the plan in motion had finally arrived. To the Dominion who watched their every move and listened to their every word, this was just another family going about their daily duties within the brutal confines of the Dominion law. To Willow and her family, it was now or never. This was a do-or-die plan; failure was not an option but success seemed like a farfetched dream.

End of Crows by R.A. Lingenfelter is such a compelling story that, despite it being set in a dystopian future, is incredibly relatable. R.A. Lingenfelter structured the story in a way that immediately draws you in and keeps you captivated to the very end. Mentioning the seventeen-year plan at the very start of the story was a genius move that right away made me eager to know more and the way the details were gradually revealed kept me intrigued all the way. Amidst all the challenges and the struggles the Crows faced at the hands of the Dominion, there was hope and there was love and that is what made End of Crows such an amazing read. End of Crows is the perfect introduction to R.A. Lingenfelter’s Small Sacrifices series and I cannot wait to read the next book in the Trilogy.

Stephanie Chapman

The first book in the Small Sacrifices Series, R.A. Ligenfelter’s End of Crows approaches the topics of government control and freedom. All Willow had ever known was living under the control of the Dominion. The Dominion controlled every aspect of life, from what house a person lives in to the work they do. Now, Willow faces her family’s decision to join the rebellion group called Crows. The Crows were the people who embraced freedom and the original constitution. Such a dangerous move could cause a slow death. The family gets past the border gates and enters the safety of the forest. They join with the Crows and Willow feels something is amiss. She discovers her skill in combat, and Finn teaches her how to fight. One afternoon, Willow explores the woods and hears voices. She hides and discovers there are Dominion spies plotting to destroy the Crows. Will she be able to prevent the deaths of her family and the Crows?

R.A. Lingenfelter creates the perfect theme for government control becoming tyrannical. With current events showing a challenge to the 2nd Amendment and vaccine mandates, I found this book is a great example of what Americans face today. If the Bill of Rights and the Constitution change, what happens? Would we end up like Willow’s family, who must run to embrace freedom? What would you choose? I like how Willow’s perspective narrates the behavior of the surrounding people. I felt confused with Willow about Finn’s actions. The false trails add suspense to the story, making me question who the spies were. This story’s pace is fast and drew me in with constant action happening on every page. The cliffhanger ending caused me to crave more. I want to know what happens between Finn and Willow, and how the Crows will retaliate against the Dominion, or if they retaliate. The End of Crows is a book embracing freedom and human rights against tyranny. I encourage everyone to read this book and see what could happen if the elimination of our rights occurs.

Emma Megan

End of Crows is the first story by R.A. Lingenfelter in the Small Sacrifices series. It follows Willow Danner and her family as they try to escape the Dominion, where the government had enslaved its people for seventeen years. Willow fears that the Dominion will discover that she and her family are members of the Crows and they will not make it to the Free Zone. She also fears that soon she will turn eighteen but hadn't yet discovered her talents. Once in the Free Zone, Willow meets a boy, Finnian Sennett, who will help her take charge of her life. Willow is about to taste freedom for the first time, discover that she and her family are still not out of danger as there are spies among her faction, and prove to the others that she is not an ally of their enemy.

End of Crows by R. A. Lingenfelter is a fascinating dystopian novel and an absolute page-turner about finding a way to remain free despite overwhelming odds. The most striking and thus memorable thing about this novel is that it explores the high personal cost of living under ruthless control for so many years. The author skillfully describes how hard it is to escape and fight the oppressors and that you can only attain freedom once you're mentally free and not just physically liberated. Willow, the protagonist of this book, left a deep and lasting impression on me. She proves that freedom means being able to make your own choices, figure out who you want to be, and determine your path. This is a gripping dystopian tale that everyone should read.

Leona Y Beiriger Emerson

The suspense she leads with with in all her books keeps you reading and unable to wait for more. The kind of books I love to read, the ones you just can't put down! My favorite out of all she's written is her Small Sacrifices Series. I yearn for more tantalizing, riveting, writing by one of my very favorite writers R.A. Lingenfelter!