cover image The End and Other Beginnings: Stories from the Future

The End and Other Beginnings: Stories from the Future

Veronica Roth. HarperCollins/Tegen, $18.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-06-279652-3

In this combination of reprints and original stories, Roth (The Fates Divide) explores, as she expresses in a letter to reviewers, “that pivotal moment when something ends—often painfully...creat[ing] space for new beginnings.” To that end, the six pieces collected represent a mix of settings, themes, and tones. In “Inertia,” a young woman uses technology in the wake of a car accident to share in her former best friend’s last memories. “The Spinners” focuses on a teenage bounty hunter driven by a death to hunt parasitic aliens. In “Hearken,” Darya must choose between hearing music that defines someone’s life or their death. “Vim and Vigor” examines the impact on a group of friends after they lose one of their own. And both “Armored Ones” and “The Transformationist” tie into Roth’s Carve the Mark universe, showcasing characters at critical moments, including Teka, who plans to kill the dreaded Cyra Noavek. In these stories, Roth invokes romance, action, family, revenge, and loss. Mostly standalone save for the last two, they serve as an introduction to Roth’s work and a showcase of her versatility, though existing fans will get the most out of these offerings. Ages 13–up. Agent: Joanna Volpe, New Leaf Literary & Media. (Oct.)