FeaturedUrban Fantasy

The Hotel at the End of Time


Loved it! 😍

Original Urban Fantasy about people with special powers on the run from a team of identical baddies after escaping from the titular Hotel.

The Hotel at the End of Time is a brilliantly original UF novel about a group of people with special powers on the run after escaping from imprisonment. I very much enjoyed James’ previous book, Aliens & Ice-cream, and although a different genre, this was just as good. I received an ARC through the Reedsy Discovery Programme.

Vain and Roman are best friends with a unique bond - she can drain pure energy from him and manipulate it at will, an ability bestowed upon them by mysterious villain Arthur, who kidnapped them, and removed their memories, forcing them to work to power his Hotel, until they escaped back to earth with a valuable stolen artefact. Arthur wants his “property” back, so sends the relentless Wyatts to hunt them down. Finding themselves magically separated and in different cities, Vain sees the Wyatts tracking a new victim, bookish student Emma, and tries to help her, but soon discovers that Emma might be the saviour of them all.

I do like genre-bending stories and unusual protagonists, and this cleverly mixes sci-fi, fantasy, comedy & thriller elements into a highly readable adventure. UF can often be very formulaic but this has magic without wizards, people being drained without vampires, and male & female leads who adore each other without sex or romance. I confess I wasn’t sure about it in the first few chapters, because you are rather thrown into the deep end, with no clue what’s happening - but after a few chapters things started to make sense and then I was hooked. It’s labelled as the start of a series, and I definitely hope there will be more, both because I loved the characters and because there’s plenty more to find out about Arthur, his gofer Trick, and their monstrous hotel. This is however a complete story and ends properly without resorting to a contrived cliffhanger ending. 

Vain and Emma are both awesome characters - Vain is wilful and overconfident, revels in violence, insists on doing things her own way, egotistical and probably very annoying to be around, but defiantly loyal and brave. Emma undergoes a radical transformation from Bookworm to Badass as she learns to wield her new psychic powers. There are also lots of hilarious minor characters on both sides, great world-building and sly sarcastic humour all the way through. Recommended to anyone looking for something non-serious and completely different!

Reviewed by

I’m English but have lived in NZ for 19 years. I’ve always been a serious reader, and have been reviewing on GoodReads for years, but in the past few years have developed my reviewing through NetGalley and now Reedsy. I mostly read mysteries and thrillers, although enjoy other genres in between.

Vain attempts to rob a bank.

About the author

Michael James spent his formative years writing, and when he wasn't writing, he was writing. The Hotel at the End of Time is not his first book, but it is the one with the most Hotels in it. view profile

Published on February 04, 2021

80000 words

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Reviewed by