Six years after a global pandemic wiped out most of the planet’s population, the survivors are rebuilding the country, split between self-governing cities, hippie communes and wasteland gangs.
In postapocalyptic San Francisco, former pop star Moira has created a new identity to finally escape her past—until her domineering father launches a sweeping public search to track her down. Desperate for a fresh start herself, jaded event planner Krista navigates the world on behalf of those too traumatized to go outside, determined to help everyone move on—even if they don’t want to. Rob survived the catastrophe with his daughter, Sunny, but lost his wife. When strict government rules threaten to separate parent and child, Rob needs to prove himself worthy in the city’s eyes by connecting with people again.
Krista, Moira, Rob and Sunny are brought together by circumstance, and their lives begin to twine together. But when reports of another outbreak throw the fragile society into panic, the friends are forced to finally face everything that came before—and everything they still stand to lose.
Because sometimes having one person is enough to keep the world going.
I’m always up for a post-apocalyptic book. This one is being compared to Station Eleven, a novel I really enjoyed, and I’ve seen some rave reviews for this author’s first book.
Don’t go into this expecting something like a zombie apocalypse or a meteor crashing into Earth. Much like Station Eleven, it’s a quiet book that focuses more on the journeys of the survivors during the aftermath of a global virus and how they come to terms with their losses. Everything about this world is plausible – cities struggling to rebuild and restore some degree of normalcy, looting and gangs, groups living in Reclaimed Territories not under government control, and survivors dealing with grief in different ways.
The characters really make the story. Rob is a single father trying to do right by his young daughter, Sunny, who is on a mission to see her father happy again. Moira had the most intriguing backstory for me, and is hiding in plain sight after escaping her past. Then there’s Krista, determined to keep people at a distance and not care about anyone other than her cat. Each of their stories are riveting and occasionally heartbreaking, and I liked how their lives gradually become intertwined. The climax of the story is compelling, and I couldn’t read fast enough – I had to know what happened to these characters I’d come to like so much. Although the ending is slightly uncertain, I was happy with the way the author left things.
If you enjoy character-driven stories that inspire hope in the midst of disaster and loss, I highly recommend A Beginning at the End. Today is release day, and I’m excited to be a part of the blog tour.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Mike Chen is a lifelong writer, from crafting fan fiction as a child to somehow getting paid for words as an adult. He has contributed to major geek websites (The Mary Sue, The Portalist, Tor) and covered the NHL for mainstream media outlets. A member of SFWA and Codex Writers, Mike lives in the Bay Area, where he can be found playing video games and watching Doctor Who with his wife, daughter, and rescue animals. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @mikechenwriter
Author website: https://www.mikechenbooks.com/
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-beginning-at-the-end-mike-chen/1131202168
Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/a-beginning-at-the-end/id1459367026
Google Play: https://books.google.com/books/about/A_Beginning_at_the_End.html?id=nq-RDwAAQBAJ