Book Reviews Science Nonfiction

‘End Times’ Review: A Smart Look at Potential Ends of the World

End Times is a well-researched account of the many threats facing the planet. We’ve all heard of some, others are less familiar, and a couple seem pulled from the pages of science fiction.

The premise is terrifying at times, hopeful at others, and, above all, enthralling to read.

Each section goes in-depth into its designated disaster, providing fascinating insights into mankind’s interactions with these given events or objects. In the asteroids section, we get a background on the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs in addition to the discovery of various objects on a collision course throughout our solar system. It’s mindblowing to understand the sheer force of an object like that and what it can do to a planet. The conversation is at times terrifying, but it’s reassuring to get the facts on these scenarios in place of quick shock pieces on every news station looking to fill a few minutes with terror. I appreciated the deep analysis and digging the author did to present such a coherent, well-formed guide.

As a science fiction reviewer, it was most interesting to read through the artificial intelligence and alien sections of the book. Admittedly, the likelihood of these extinction events occurring is slim to none, but the facts are presented thoroughly nonetheless. We get a history of our AI discoveries and the advances in robotics. We get a background on mankind’s monitoring of the universe for extraterrestrial life. There was a lot I didn’t know and I appreciated the learning opportunity.

As I’ve said, there’s a definite terror element throughout the sections, but it’s necessary to understanding just how important these various issues are. It’s important to remember how devastating nuclear war can be and what it would do to the world if it was unleashed on a global scale. It’s important to understand the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs and most of life on Earth, if only to peruse the countless articles and studies with a better sense of understanding. Above all, it’s important to understand that many of these are preventable if mankind could step up and create meaningful change on a global scale. Climate change, nuclear war, the global spread of disease or virus – all of these are real threats that could be eliminated if we could get out of our own way. 

Overall, End Times gives you a lot to think about. It’s a smart look at the things we fear as a species and the facts surrounding their probability. You’ll leave the book better informed about our history with catastrophe and what it would take to get us to a tipping point. 

End Times: A Brief Guide to the End of the World
By Bryan Walsh
Published by Hachette Books

NOTE: I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

Photo by Yosh Ginsu on Unsplash

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