It’s been forever since I read They Both Die at the End. I still remember going to that book launch and so I knew I had to read this prequel. The First to Die at the End was incredibly emotional. Silvera has a signature type of heartbreak and this is it! Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
It’s the night before Death-Cast goes live, and there’s one question on everyone’s mind: Can Death-Cast actually predict when someone will die, or is it just an elaborate hoax?
Orion Pagan has waited years for someone to tell him that he’s going to die. He has a serious heart condition, and he signed up for Death-Cast so he could know what’s coming.
Valentino Prince is restarting his life in New York. He has a long and promising future ahead and he only registered for Death-Cast after his twin sister nearly died in a car accident.
Orion and Valentino cross paths in Times Square and immediately feel a deep connection. But when the first round of End Day calls goes out, their lives are changed forever—one of them receives a call, and the other doesn’t. Though neither boy is certain how the day will end, they know they want to spend it together…even if that means their goodbye will be heartbreaking.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
The First to Die at the End straddles genre boundaries. It feels very much has a futuristic feel to the world with Death Cast while also feeling grounded in our world and NYC in particular. If you were interested in the history of Death Cast, this should be an automatic read. This multiple POV feels masterful in the amount of planning that had to go into it. Because while one might say that we know the end – I mean look at the title – Silvera has us obsessed with how it comes out.
The First to Die at the End is a lesson in the importance of the journey. Grounded in NYC, it feels like a love letter to the city and to the possibility of dreams in the face of the end. In general, I am continuously intrigued in the concept of Death Cast. Of wondering what the true purpose of Death Cast is. If it’s about the chance to say goodbye, but all the ways it changes meaning for each person. Especially at the beginning of Death Cast, it’s impossible not to wonder if it can be real. If one really can’t change our fate.
And yet one of the reasons I loved The First to Die at the End is how universal and thought provoking it feels. To be honest, a lot of the ‘thoughts’ it provoked were very similar to how I felt while reading They Both Die at the End, but I don’t know how one can avoid that. It’s a prequel, but in many ways it feels like an echo of the first. A new aspect which is entirely due to the prequel was the ways in which the world has to come to terms with the idea of Death Cast – like what do we do if we find a Decker amidst us? As a doctor? How do we approach Deckers?
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In The First to Die at the End, there’s a wonderful sense of seeing the branches of other perspectives and stories weaving in and out. To witness this sense of scale, of all these forces, places, and people coming together in something that feels a little like fate. As a whole, The First to Die at the End asks us about the balance of living life like it’s our last, while also not being overly reckless. And the importance of our individual choices. If you want to revisit how you felt while reading They Both Die at the End and see some fun pieces of the ‘past’, then you have to read The First to Die at the End. Find The First to Die at the End on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org & The Book Depository.