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I read a lot of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic books and not a lot of things surprised me in them anymore. Most of the stories follow the same x plus y equals z kind of format. The Beginning of the End didn’t seem to follow that formula exactly but didn’t stray too far from it to be weird or too different.
Cooper really understand the audience and writes this book in a way that seems to speak to the prepper and the everyday person alike. Written from the point of view of a group of friends who are prepared but not as much as they would have liked to be, Beginning of the End tells the story of what would happen if you understand how to prepare and what to prepare and because of this intimate knowledge you are able to save yourself before everyone else goes out in a panic.
The author was able to write a lot of details into this book without it feeling overwhelming (or long). There were parts that some people might say weren’t realistic, but if you’ve ever watched fear and temptation creep into someone’s eyes during a crisis (think Hurricane Katrina) then what happens in this all feel right and appropriate. Every day is not going to be a new adventure. Some days are going to not work out the way you expected them to. People are going to fail, things are going to stop working, and you have to move on.
Overall, the story was entertaining and didn’t leave me feeling cheated at the end of it. Sure it’s a little short and people probably like a longer story with more in it, but I thought that Cooper was able to add a ton into this without overwhelming the reader. I’m not 100% sure exactly where the story arc is going to go from here, but I think I’m interested.
Some of my only issues where the lack of details around the disease (Ebola) and the reasoning/fallout/more details around it. I’m a sucker for a good story that involves a scientific plague or disease like that at the center of the story — but this story was much more about the interaction of the people and their need to survive.
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