Review Blog

Jan 06 2020

The end and other beginnings: Stories from the future Veronica Roth

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Harper Collins Children's Books, 2019. ISBN: 9780008347765.
(Age: 14+) Highly recommended. Veronica Roth is amazing! Her Divergent series was hugely successful and her youthful understanding of young people is again demonstrated in this collection of short stories set in future worlds and imagined scenarios of beginnings and ends. This book contains six short stories that are equally compelling and potent in their exploration of what might be expected in the future. The scenarios are set in an array of different earth or space-inspired locations, all with some similarities to our present world but with a variety of warped situations or circumstances or technological advancements. The characters though are all battling recognisable challenges or internal conflicts, and the short story genre gives a relatively quick (but certainly not saccharine) resolution to each complication. This is a brilliant short story collection to recommend to lovers of science fiction or dystopian fiction and the skill of Veronica Roth in creating new Sci-fi vernacular or possibilities is note-worthy. Despite the genre implications of 'new worlds', there is something very familiar about the young teen characters who contend with the internal challenges in the world of the future.
This is certainly something to recommend to younger readers, but the Short Story genre is well handled by an author who is creative and sometimes unnerving in her view of what the future could look like. I am sure there will be many readers who wish that Roth had extended each story into a longer novel.
Highly recommended for readers aged 14+ and for lovers of sci-fi and short stories. Themes: Short stories; Futuristic fantasy; Science Fiction; Dystopian worlds; Extra Terrestrials.
Carolyn Hull

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