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A Beginning at the End

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  44 ratings  ·  35 reviews
"Compelling, realistic, and impossible to put down."—Booklist, Starred Review

"Sci-fi fans will delight in this lovingly rendered tale."—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"A brilliant, fragile path through the darkness."—Library Journal, Starred Review

How do you start over after the end of the world?

Six years after a global pandemic wiped out most of the planet’s
Expected publication: January 14th 2020 by MIRA Books
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Average rating 4.02  · 
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Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A fresh, and dare I say charming?, take on post-apocalyptic fiction! At first glance you may not think that end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it and heartwarming tale can exist in the same story to a satisfying end, but rest assured that they do! This book strikes the perfect balance of dystopian collapse from major medical event (who doesn't love rubbernecking at that train wreck?), and a fresh start for humanity. Fans of Station Eleven will really enjoy Chen's masterful vision of what real people ...more
Megan Collins
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A BEGINNING AT THE END offers something I haven’t seen from post-apocalyptic fiction before: the point at which society begins to rebuild, when people must move forward, try to cultivate a new sense of normalcy, all while living with the lingering trauma of everything they lost when their world collapsed. This book does an excellent job exploring the struggles of that kind of life, but what I really admire is that most of the characters’ biggest challenges are ones that we’ve all faced, ...more
Rec-It Rachel
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Diana Urban
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to read an early copy of this book, and it is AMAZING. Full review to come...
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
I received an ARC from the author.

This book was such a treat. It was simultaneously charming, endearing, heart-warming AND horrifying, heart-breaking, and suspenseful. The apocalypse has come and maybe not completely gone, but everyone left has to keep on living. It's a great character study in perseverance and love, especially in how vulnerable we must be to connect with others. I read it so fast; I forced myself to pace it and only read one "part" a day, but I could have easily binge read it
Nov 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

More like a 4.5

A Beginning at the End gives us the opportunity to shed who we were in the midst of the flames. When we are faced with our own mortality, scared of the end, who will we be? What pieces of our lives become most important to us? A Beginning at the End maintains this balance between a post-apocalyptic setting with a quest for hope and family. Sure the world is plagued with
Lou Jacobs
Nov 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is Chen's brilliant follow-up to his previous wonderful Debut time-travel tale: Here And Now And Then. This gem was devoured in two gulps … unfortunately I had to go to work in between. This amazing yarn highlights the notion than mankind will not be stopped and obliterated by such a "little thing" as post-viral apocalypse that claims over 5 billion souls. A vivid portrait of what truly is most important in life … family, friendship and getting involved in diverse relationships. This novel ...more
Rebecca Wilcox
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I adored this book. A BEGINNING AT THE END is very different from any other Post-Apocalyptic novel that I've read in recent years. There are no life or death struggles, no toppling of governments. Rather, the action is intimate and personal. It's the kind of science fiction that gives you hope for the future.

The story is told through the POVs of four very different characters, all fighting through their personal traumas to create new lives in the aftermath of a flu pandemic. Though each has
Amber (The Book Bratz)
The full review + more can be found at The Book Bratz

I still don't have enough words to do this book justice. Wow. Just wow. I love post apocalyptic books and books where society is trying to get back on it's feet after something horrible happens. A Beginning of the End is something fresh in the post-apocalyptic genre. Society is rebuilding from a flu epidemic that killed 5 billion people and left the living traumatized. It's about finding a family when there is no hope and even the darkest
Mar 25, 2019 marked it as 2020-releases

this sounds so cool
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
When it is hot as heck outside and there is nothing "cool" to do but reading sitting in front of the a/c as everything else makes you end up a sweaty mess, it is the perfect day for a speed reader. (Yes it is hot and humid in Canada!)

I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do .

How do you start
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As in his debut novel, Here and Now and Then, Mike Chen brings a refreshing new emotionalism to science fiction with his latest work, A Beginning at the End. This is a refreshing take on post-apocalyptic sci-fi. A flu pandemic devastates the world population—and takes with it the world economy and infrastructure—bringing an end to the world as we know it. As a physician, I found that aspect both realistic and terrifying. Chen does a great job in his near-future world-building, showing the ...more
Absolutely top shelf. One of the best books of this genre that I've ever read, up there with Earth Abides by George R Stewart. My only complaint was the length. I wanted more. It would have been interesting to get more of Moira's backstory, and that's all I can say without spoilers. This book is a great read. Although it won't be released until 2020, it's one of my favorite pieces of fiction read in 2019. Looking forward to his other book.
Erin Parisien
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book! A spectacular follow up to Mike Chen's Here And Now And Then. I loved the concept from the moment I heard it, and the author didn't disappoint. The characters are fantastic and the tension keeps you turning pages long after you told yourself you were going to stop. Definitely recommend (and if you haven't already, seek out Here And Now And Then).
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I will read everything Mike Chen writes
Oct 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts were not affected by the free copy.

Before I get into this, I want to make it clear I did like this book. It was well-written and the main characters were fleshed out to where they felt like real people. I liked the plot for what it was and the story was paced nicely. The thing is that this entire story could have taken place without it being in a post-apocalyptic scenario. There
Traveling Cloak
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Rob is a single dad and IT worker, Moira is an ex-pop star, and Krista is an event planner. Each is looking for a new start in San Franciso after a nearly-apocalyptic flu wiped out much of the world's population. In a world where looting is common and everyday people where medical masks to work, it hard to define "normal". In addition to constant fear of outbreak and gang activity, Rob, Moir, and Krista must all battle secrets from their past to survive in the new world.

A Beginning at the End is
Mary Lins
“A Beginning at the End” is the second book by Mike Chen I’ve read this year (“Here and Now and Then” was the first.) His writing style is well paced so his novels flow easily. I could see them being adapted for TV.

In 2019, 70% of the population died from a flu pandemic. It’s now 2025 and the survivors are attempting to sort out their post-pandemic lives. There was a mass quarantine that led to riots and massive destruction (particularly in cities across the country). Now the government’s focus
Oct 01, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
PW Starred: " This postapocalyptic slice-of-life novel from Chen (Here and Now and Then) delivers big emotions by keeping the focus small. Six years after a disease known as MGS killed 70% of the world’s population, humankind begins rebuilding. Among the survivors are three San Francisco acquaintances: Rob Donelly, a single parent whose daughter may be taken from him by the Family Stability Board; Moira Gorman, a pop star who was famous before the outbreak but now attempts to live under the ...more
Nov 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I read a digital advanced readers copy that I received through NetGalley.
A pandemic has struck the world killing millions. People were forced into isolation and those who survived are trying to start over. Many live in metro areas but some have chosen to strike out on their own in 'reclaimed" areas. There are also gangs surviving by their own rules. Moira used the disease outbreak to escape her controlling father, Krista escaped a dysfunctional family situation. Rob is grieving the death of his
Kim McGee
A post-apocalyptic look at love and loss. A young pop singer whose father controls her fame and future, a young woman who plans happy events but really isn't happy and a man who must now be a single parent to his spunky young daughter but can't get over the loss of his wife. Grief and opportunity for a fresh start after a global flu virus wipes out much of the population is the central theme of this story. This is a great choice for readers who usually don't get into dystopic fantasy because the ...more
Tin Minute
Dec 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mike Chin has successfully created a melodrama based in a not-so-far-future that. It's not only a worthwhile read, but heartwarming. Rob, Krista, Moira, and Sunny, each come alive, telling their own intertwining stories from their unique points of view. Taking place after a catastrophic flu kills off a large amount of the world's population, each character is dealing with their own version of PASD (Post Apocalyptic Stress Disorder). The scariest part about this book is how realistically it ...more
Dec 09, 2019 rated it liked it
A lack of background hampers this post apocalyptic novel, but the writing rises above it.

I know. You're thinking "what do we need background for? There was a pandemic, here's the survivors, get over it." But all of their actions are rooted so deeply in what happened before and during the pandemic and in the years since, that trying to piece it together from the bits of information we're given is very frustrating.

The story itself is wonderful, though, a thoroughly character driven look at the end
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well paced, futuristic tale about four strangers whose lives merge. The story starts after an epidemic wipes out much of the population and people are starting to re-build. There are issues with too much government control and the usual resistors.
The main characters are trying to go through life, but "normal" issues arise - moving on after death, looking for the perfect job, just trying to get through the day.
An interesting look at what kind of society we would create if we had to start over.

Nov 05, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
First I would like to say that I LOVED Here Now And Then and was SUPER excited to be approved for this Arc from Edelweiss. Thank you!

This is not another time travel book. This is an end of the world disease where the end is on pause. There is mad max stuff happening and government controlled "regular life" where the rules are almost Handmaid's Tale. You get three people to read about with pretty cool backgrounds, popstar, alcoholic parent, and dead wife. This is a very unique end of the world
Nov 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in one sitting. It's set in a near future where a flu pandemic has wiped out most of humanity and people are trying to start over and rebuild.

Four of these people are brought together by circumstance. Rob, Sunny, Krista and Moira are all well written. As we learn their backstories their actions and reactions make complete sense.

I think this could have been two books but Mike Chen did a decent job bringing it all together. Great book to curl up with and read all afternoon!
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Mike Chen has this amazing ability to write heartwarming science-fiction centered around a father/daughter relationship. In Here and Now and Then it was time travel. I believe I have a review of that up as well. In short I loved it.

A Beginning at the End is a unique post-apocalyptic book. It's not about the world falling apart, it's about the part where we rebuild. It's about family and hope and getting through the impossibly rough times to come out safe and relatively happy on the other end.
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Beginning at the End by Mike Chen has Society rebuilding after a flu epidemic that killed billions of people. The struggle to rebuild and to return to normal is depicted rather than turbulent repercussions of the pandemic. Characters are relatable with interesting backgrounds and personalities. A story of finding hope in the darkness of tragedy.

Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley for the opportunity to preview the book.
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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 culture websites (The Mary Sue, The Portalist), covered the NHL for mainstream media outlets, and ghostwritten corporate articles appearing in Forbes, Buzzfeed, Enterpreneur, and more. A member of SFWA and the Codex Writers group, Mike calls the San ...more