cover image A Beginning at the End

A Beginning at the End

Mike Chen. Mira, $26.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-7783-0934-5

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 radar; and Krista Deal, a consultant helping people to move on from the tragedy. Thrown together by circumstance, the three grow closer as they navigate the imposing new government in a grim, fragile future. As the government warns of another pandemic and panic spreads, Rob’s daughter runs away from home and the three friends set out to track her down. By foregrounding family, Chen manages to imbue his apocalypse with heart, hope, and humanity. Sci-fi fans will delight in this lovingly rendered tale. Agent: Eric Smith, PS Literary. (Jan.)