This is a spoiler free review of At The Edge of The Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson, a standalone realistic fiction novel with sci-fi elements.
I gave this novel 5/5 stars, and I highly enjoyed it.
“Life’s truest horror is a door that slams shut that can never be opened again”
At The Edge of The Universe follows seventeen year old Oswald Pinkerton after his boyfriend Tommy Ross vanished.
But Tommy didn’t just vanish, he disappeared from history and Ozzie is the only person who remembers that he ever existed.
Now Ozzie is trying to navigate life in a world without Tommy, a world in which the universe is shrinking rather than expanding, and a world in which the answers he seeks come from unexpected places.
“Just… don’t get so focused on where you’re going that you forget the people you’re traveling with. There’s no point reaching a destination if you arrive alone.”
This is the third book by Shaun David Hutchinson that I’ve read, and I have loved them all. The story was very captivating and left you wanting to continue to read more all the way through to the ending.
Something I really liked in this novel are the connections to We Are The Ants, which is my favorite novel and is also by Shaun David Hutchinson. The two books are set in neighboring Florida towns, and there are two instances in which the stories connect. One of these scenes even included two characters from the We Are The Ants, while the other was a mention of the book itself.
Characters And The Ending
“Phones are doors into our lives, and the government keeps copies of all the keys”
This novel, like all of Shaun David Hutchinson’s others, is filled with diverse characters, which I really enjoy reading about.
The characters were all very compelling, and even the side characters felt fully fleshed out. The friendships and many of the challenges within these relationships felt realist for the situations that the characters were in.
My favorite character was probably Calvin Frye, a student from Ozzie’s physics class that he is assigned to work with on a roller coaster making project. Throughout the novel, Calvin become a major presence within Ozzie’s life his past becomes intertwined with Ozzie’s future.
The ending of the novel was done especially well. It tied up enough of the story for it to feel complete, but left enough of it undone for the reader to fill in and imagine the rest. Throughout the novel, I was not fully sure of how the ending would be done, considering the plot and the situations of some of the characters, but it closed off the story and ended in a very good way.
“I didn’t even need to check my phone to know that the universe had shrunk again, and that the stars had vanished.”
Shaun David Hutchinson is quickly becoming my new favorite author, and this book only added to the fact. If you enjoyed any of Shaun’s previous work, or like reading emotional contemporary novels, I would completely recommend this book.