The two stars are for: fairly decent writing, it wasn't a rabib page turner, but it was relatively easy going for the most part.
The second star is for such an interesting idea: a cure for death - or more specifically, a genetic cure for the aging of cells.
The story leaps right into this concept and the mental struggle the protagonist, John, faces with the prospect of living forever (or until something else kills him).
The possibilities of this concept are endless…but it felt like this book struggled to grapple with these ideas and, for me, just failed to follow through.
For instance, there's a key character (you'd be lead to think) that appears right at the start, that captures John's intrigue (and frankly I thought they were related to "thriller", but apparently not). This character then isn't mentioned at all for the majority of the book, and then around 85% of the way through when they suddenly reappear and John suddenly declares his undying love.
She sighed. “I told you. I’m tired of men falling in love with me.” “I don’t give a shit.” I moved to her and began kissing her.
Oh for heaven's sake. She just suddenly does a 180 on her own feelings and goes for a full shag before leaping off to a nuclear winter.
The story spends a solid half of the book on John and his family and surrounding and the (local) effect of the cure. No thriller in sight, and certainly no End Specialists. I can't tell if this was more of a drama or just a lot of character building, but it really didn't feel like I got into the meat of the book until much, much further along.
This book comes with an alternative title of "Postmortals" (I read The End Specialist), which would frankly makes a lot more sense. As for being a thriller - I don't think so.
Also with this kind of massive change in humanity, the worldwide ramifications would be huge, and though John does try to portray these in his documentary-like updates (a blog?), it really feels quite local to Amuricka.
Sadly the book deals with an excellent concept, but fails to deliver.