cover image The End

The End

Mats Strandberg, trans. from the Swedish by Judith Kiros. Arctis, $18.95 (384p) ISBN 978-1-64690-006-0

Scandinavian noir meets YA in a jam-packed novel that’s part whodunit, part romance, part end-of-the-world narrative. With only a month to go before the approaching comet Foxworth renders life on Earth extinct, Swedish teen Simon attempts to reconnect with his ex-girlfriend Tilda. Meanwhile, Tilda’s former best friend Lucinda, having discontinued her cancer treatment, transcribes her thoughts into an app intended to leave behind a human legacy for potential alien explorers. When Tilda is murdered, her body found behind a factory, prime suspect Simon teams up with Lucinda to clear his name and find the killer. As their investigation runs up against humankind’s impending deadline and people’s true natures, Simon and Lucinda must decide what matters most. Adeptly translated by Kiros, Strandberg’s (Blood Cruise, for adults) introspective mystery captures the heightened circumstances and resulting existential concerns. The meandering narrative occasionally gets stuck in its own sense of futility as it attempts to encompass the full range of reactions to the crisis, but the teen protagonists’ complex stew of emotions and grief prove moving as they navigate love and loss up to the last minute. Ages 14–up. Agency: Grand Agency. (Oct.)