Books are often an experience unique to each individual and made to be shared and talked about. This can certainly be said for Veronica Roth’s short story collection The End and Other Beginnings: Stories From the Future, as it takes you on a deep emotional journey via six short stories.
When opening the first few pages of The End and Other Beginnings, you’re instantly transported into another world, both through the text and visuals. Some images don’t necessarily make sense, but that is most likely the point. This collection of sci-fi tales each hold their own exploration into humanity and more specifically the theme of death. I was actually quite surprised how all stories had the main theme of death in some sort of way but as an overall collection and via completely separate stories. Roth’s message of humanity remains the same throughout and we see how humanity ultimately stays the same despite the distant years into the future.
There was the odd story that was easy to glance over and didn’t hold as much of an emotional impact as the last. This disappointed me a tad as it felt as though some stories had more attention to them. Saying this though, it could perhaps have simply been my own personal opinion on what stories were more interesting to me and in turn which stories I liked more.
Surprisingly, only two out of the six short stories are set in the Carve the Mark universe and weren’t overly connected to the duology series anyway. As someone who enjoyed the series, I will admit that I was a bit disappointed to not spend some more time with Cyra and Akos. A valid response to that though, would be that their stories were concluded and I can agree that sometimes it’s best to leave things as they are without dragging something on for no apparent reason.
Fans of science fiction in general with enjoy Roth’s various takes on science fiction worlds. Although short, these stories are sweet and despite emotional themes, leaves the reader with a sense of hope and longing to hear more from perhaps a few of the characters.