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A Beginning at the End

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  127 ratings  ·  78 reviews
How do you start over after the end of the world?

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
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published January 14th 2020 by MIRA
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ Campbell

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DNF @ p. 121

I think if I stuck with this it could maybe wrest another pity star from me, but I'm really not feeling the book right now. On the one hand, I do appreciate what Mike Chen is trying to do with A BEGINNING AT THE END, a dystopian set in San Francisco after a plague has wiped out 70% of the population.

I have read a lot of dystopians and pandemics are a favorite way to kill all the humans in these sorts of books. Rather than
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
Longer review to come later.

**review copy sent to me by the publisher but all opinions are my own
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
Update: This book is out now!!

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
Diana Urban
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to read an early copy of this book, and it is AMAZING. Full review to come...
Lou Jacobs
Nov 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 04, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs-tbr, upcoming, sci-fi
This is a story about what happens after the “end of the world”. We follow four characters and their intertwining stories: Moira (or MoJo) an ex pop star trying to escape her past and stay hidden from her father, Rob, a widower figuring out how to move on with life after the tragic passing of his wife, Krista, a woman trying to make something of herself and forget her terrible childhood, and Sunny, Rob’s daughter, a kid growing up in a post apocalyptic world.

The story started fairly strong. I
Rebecca Wilcox
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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).
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
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I will read everything Mike Chen writes
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
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-s, sci-five, ebooks
Review coming soon!
Paige Green
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: A Beginning at the End

Author: Mike Chen

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 5/5

Publication Date: January 14, 2020

Genre: Dystopian

Recommended Age: 18+ (violence, some mature scenes, death, plagues, CPS, the usual)

Publisher: MIRA

Pages: 400

Amazon Link

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

Six years after a global pandemic wiped out most of the planet’s population, the survivors are rebuilding
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Traveling Cloak
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 wear 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
Wendy Heard
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A gorgeous and fascinating look at the space after a massive outbreak takes out most of the population. Really, this book is about rebuilding after loss and family clinging to each other across the expanse of time and danger. Another emotionally gripping and innovative genre-blend by Chen. Can’t wait to read his next one!
Mar 25, 2019 marked it as 2020-releases  ·  review of another edition

this sounds so cool
Dec 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

So I guess my new favorite sub-genres are hopeful post-apocalyptic and light dystopian? Apparently? And this hits the marks and I am SUCH a happy reader right now. Like most great science fiction this book is about the people, the journey through what it means to be human, more so than the events or the the other trappings that make up science fiction.

We experience this world
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight

I genuinely don't know how to do this book justice via review. It was my best book of 2019, and I straight up still think about it. Especially when the world seems bleak, and I wonder what will become of us, I can't help but wonder who I'd be in the face of the apocalypse.

And that's the truly brilliant part of this book: It feels like itcould be you and yours at the end of days. The
Actual Rating 4.5 Stars

I really liked the story, this is an original take on a usual spin.
I really hope it will continue. Is more hopeful than is usual for the genre.
Read my spoiler-free review and an exclusive excerpt on my blog, illbefinealone reads.

This is one of the best science fiction books I’ve ever read.
Reading A Beginning at the End feels like once in a lifetime experience. It was fresh, endearing and heartwarming, while being suspenseful and thrilling at the same time.
The writing and the world building were excellent. They captured my attention from the beginning and kept it throughout. I loved the characters as well, the more I read the more
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed Here and Now and Then so much because of Chen’s brilliant characterization. And his use of tech and science is a way that posits the characters at the center of every decision, not a misplaced wire or expired solenoid. He achieves the same result in this book. I can see it very easily compared to Station Eleven, a book that so many enjoyed because of the focus on the positive human emotions of hope and moral justice.

I kept reading because I cared about these flawed characters. The
Lauren Kelsen
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, and a honest review and then some it shall receive! I cannot tell you enough how much I enjoyed reading A Beginning at the End by Mike Chen. I loved the world he built with the attention to detail to show what life in the US was like after the first global flu pandemic hit, and how believable it was. I’ve never read an apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic novel that isn’t focused on death and destruction with crazy human mutations, zombies ...more
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The world has been devastated by the flu that has wiped out much of the population. Six years have passed and people are half-heartedly trying to rebuild, reconnect, and live, all with varying degrees of success. Some people have chosen to live in Metro areas, which are government-controlled, some off the grid in Reclaimed Territories, and gangs roam unclaimed areas. Most of the story takes place in San Francisco, except for flashbacks to the lives of the main characters.
Moira, Krista, and Rob
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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