The End and Other Beginnings is a masterclass in writing women.
When starting a book makes you tremble in fear, you know the author is good. Veronica Roth is very good…
Reading about such a diverse group of characters trying to save a galaxy, fighting to save a friendship, or simply striving to beat their own weaknesses while being unapologetic in their womanhood was absolutely stunning.
These five stories are connected by a common theme: the future, but they couldn’t be more varied.
Different characters, different genres, different settings, different galaxies,…if you are curious about Mrs. Roth, this is the book to start with.
The End and Other Beginnings Review
The first story in The End and Other Beginnings is Inertia.
Inertia bludgeons every one of your defenses into smithereens and leaves you to deal with the aftermath.
We can’t help but root for Claire, a young artist that feels she has to choose between her art and her mental health.
Not only this reminded me of how artists often fear that the cure will take away all that makes them creative, but it also felt like the most personal of all the short stories.
The writing was absolutely beautiful, with several turns of phrases that forced me to stop and appreciate what was in front of me and the characters’ interactions were also brilliant.
Funnily enough, and maybe because I’m rereading them, this reminded me of Twilight (*DON’T come at me!*).
In The Spinners, Aliens are now a common ocurrence and a common threat.
Despite being one of the more attention-grabbing stories, it was probably the least interesting for me.
Still, I liked the overall themes of family, grief, and the tragedy of growing up and how the male interest never obfuscated the main characters.
The Leeches reminded me of the Souls in The Host by Stephenie Meyer, only evil. Last Stephenie Meyer reference, promise.
In a ruined world, music is the ulimate power, able to divine all your secrets. Master it and bestow immortality.
Veronica Roth once again wrote about Art but instead of making it a hobby or something that eased life, she made it a dangerous weapon and I only wish I could read a few hundred more pages set in this world.
The characters and their family dysfunctionality were a pleasure to read, but it was Darya that grabbed all my attention with how insightful and attuned she was with her own feelings and shortcomings and how the people around her exploited that.
Vim and Vigor
If you like Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, this story is just up your alley. For those that are not familiar with it (if such people still exist) this is a story about the power fandom, something we know nothing about obviously ;).
Despite this being the story where the Sci-Fi was kept to a minimum, it was where Veronica Roth’s writing shone the brightest for me.
The way grief, female friendships and the feelings that come with growing out of people and things were explored along with the fact that Eddie, the main character, was a feminine girl that loves clothes, make-up and neuroscience (because you don’t have to freaking choose!!!!!) was what made “Vim and Vigor” my favorite.
Note: The next two short stories are part of the Carve the Mark universe which I did not read so you can still enjoy them if you haven’t either. (I decided to wait until I have the time to have my heart broken- I have been here before. I know how she rolls.)
I liked Teka well enough but what truly made me enjoy this story was how RAGE fuelled this girl is and how that was never hinted at as being a masculine trait.
Cyra’s physique being described as if she was a bodybuilder was the cherry on top of the “Great Female Characters” cake. (Have you tried that cake? I think it might be my favorite cake).
The second part of this story is told through Akos’s eyes and focuses on…who I’m I kidding? There was LGBTQ rep and I screamed. Bless you, Veronica Roth!
This was the second story in The End and Other Beginnings that I wish had been longer because once again, the culture and different traditions could not have been better devised.
Zoldan is a harsh planet and its inhabitants are just as hard so of course, the main character was an absolute marshmallow that we could not help but love and wanna protect at all costs. True evil thy name is Veronica Roth.
This was one of the saddest and more heartbreaking stories, with its focus on abusive parents, religious extremism, and social isolation but if you reading about different cultures then this might be your favorite story.
Have you tried any short stories collections or any Veronica Roth books? Let me know in the comments 🙂
Looking for more great reviews?
Check out my review of The Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie.