End Man

Fiction - Science Fiction
340 Pages
Reviewed on 09/28/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Susan Sewell for Readers' Favorite

The perception of reality is forever changed for a young man whose job is to secure proof of people's death in the science-fiction novel, End Man by Alex Austin. Raphael Lennon is a necrologist, also known as an End Man or a possum hunter, in the Department of Necrology of Norval. He is the best necrologist in the business of finding and exposing those who fake their deaths. When Professor Jason Klaes, a prominent scientist, dies Raphael is assigned to determine whether the Professor is actually deceased. While researching Jason Klaes' life, Raphael uncovers suspicious data that indicates the professor could still be alive. His superiors have taken a special interest in the high-profile case and want confirmation of Professor Klaes' demise before they launch a new product. Raphael is racing against a ticking clock and his bosses are pressing him for results. Why is Jason's mortality so important to Norval?

Evocative and thought-provoking, End Man by Alex Austin is an extraordinary science-fiction tale that paints a disturbing futuristic picture of a technologically advanced society. With a compelling protagonist and a riveting plotline, the storyline flows along at a quick pace, building to an astounding conclusion. Depicting mind-blowing technology in a dystopian world similar to today's current data encrypted lifestyles, it isn't too hard to relate to the crisis the protagonist, Raphael, experiences. Comprised of a fascinating story world and an intriguing plot, it is a captivating story that promises to engage and delight those who enjoy dystopian science-fiction novels that closely resemble reality.

Vincent Dublado

End Man by Alex Austin is one of those rare science fiction novels dealing with a plot with intense consciousness. Suffering from dromophobia or morbid fear of crossing streets, Raphael Lennon’s existence has confined him to the area enclosed by the intersection of four Los Angeles thoroughfares. Now twenty-six, he finds an online job at Norval, a company whose mission statement is to preserve and protect the online remains of the dead. Simply put, the company hoards every bit of personal data the deceased left behind and restricts it to their portals. Raphael’s job is to track down possums—people who are trying to pass themselves off as dead to evade the law and for many other reasons. His job gets exciting and intriguing when he is assigned to unearth the mystery behind the death of physicist Jason Klaes. As he gets deeper into his new task, Raphael will have to take a step out of his box, and find a connection between Klaes and Norval’s end game.

End Man could not have entered the scene at a more opportune moment. In a time where everyone leaves a footprint on the information superhighway, Alex Austin extrapolates where we are at present and what could possibly happen to our footprints by the time we are dead. It is estimated that social media will be littered with accounts from deceased people who have created a large amount of digital content, and issues of how this information is dealt with remains a complicated topic. Austin explores his ideas with sincerity, humor, and disturbing curiosity, which makes this novel all the more interesting. It is a good science fiction tale that offers an intriguing concept. End Man shows Austin’s ability to get a handle on what he truly wants to say about the digital possibilities facing the human race.