Book Reviews, Received for Review

ARC Review: A Thousand Beginnings and Endings by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman
Genre: Fantasy | Short Stories | Young Adult
Length: 336 pages
Published on 26th June 2018 by HarperCollins
Purchase: Amazon | TBD
Ellen Oh: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Elsie Chapman: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
ARC recieved from Harper in exchange for an honest review

Star-crossed lovers, meddling immortals, feigned identities, battles of wits, and dire warnings: these are the stuff of fairy tale, myth, and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries.
Fifteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate.Compiled by We Need Diverse Books’s Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman, the authors included in this exquisite collection are: Renée Ahdieh, Sona Charaipotra, Preeti Chhibber, Roshani Chokshi, Aliette de Bodard, Melissa de la Cruz, Julie Kagawa, Rahul Kanakia, Lori M. Lee, E. C. Myers, Cindy Pon, Aisha Saeed, Shveta Thakrar, and Alyssa Wong.

A mountain loses her heart. Two sisters transform into birds to escape captivity. A young man learns the true meaning of sacrifice. A young woman takes up her mother’s mantle and leads the dead to their final resting place.

From fantasy to science fiction to contemporary, from romance to tales of revenge, these stories will beguile readers from start to finish. For fans of Neil Gaiman’s Unnatural Creatures and Ameriie’s New York Times–bestselling Because You Love to Hate Me.

sefaefaWhen the email came through from Harper about books we could request I asked for two and honestly didn’t expect to get either. But I did!

I picked up A Thousand Beginnings and Endings as soon as I got back from YALC as I knew it would be the perfect book to read along side a few other books I was reading.

I highly recommend ATBAE! Its made up of 15 short stories by Asian authors as they retell/reimagine myths and folklores from their countries. Some broke my heart and some filled me with warmth.

My favourite aspect of this anthology is that after each short story the author then has a page or two to say what the inspirations were for it, and why they chose to adapt them in the way they did. This really allowed us to gain a better insight into how its relevant.

It really was a great to see that plenty of the stories contained sentences or five in the native languge relevant to the story with no translation! It made it feel very homely and authentic to the story.

Its because of that, the representation, and the setting that it was also impossible to not recognise how important this book is for every Asian reader out there wanting to see themselves in a story. Wanting that piece of home. Wanting others to know more about their myths or beliefs.

They, we, and the industry, need more books like this.

It is the diverse book everyone needs to read. I adored it.

If you don’t want any type of spoilers for the book now is your time to look away as I’ll be going through some of the stories and saying what I liked about them in a sentence or two.


Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Choksi
This was such a beautiful and cautionary tale about the Godess Maria Makiling. This was a beautiful love story, but also a good reminder to act only when you know the full story and see the full picture.

Olivia’s Table by Alyssa wong
This was about cooking a meal for ghosts so they can have their fill and feel more human on the night when their world and ours are closests. But also a story about dealing with your own loss.

Steel Skin by Lori M. Lee
I loved this viewpoint of androids and reality. If they look so human, how do you know who is? Who can you trust? – I only wish we had a more finalised ending.

Still Star-Crossed by Sona Charaipotra
A contemporary take on reincarnation and love throughout years! Super cute once the its fully explained, but also shows a darker side to regular

The Counting of Bermillion Beads by Aliette De Bodard
A tale about two sisters who are trapped and use different methods to escape without giving up or loosing faith in each other!

The Land of the Morning Calm by E.C Myers
This was my favourite story! It incorporates ghosts, death of a parent, and video games! This was a really powerful story and I cried a little.

Code of Honor by Melissa De La Cruz
OMG I LIED EARLIER OK. This was my favourite one! Vampire witches searching for their roots? Sign me up! I need more about these girls ok.

The Crimson Cloak by Cindy Pon
The authors note really made this one for me.Cindy Pon told the story her way and gave the godess a voice – her own story, her own way. This is a story of love, of growing old, of painting skies.

Kitsune by Julie Kagawa
This one broke me a little, but not as much as the Kitsune’s heart was broken. This is a great story about being kind to those around you as they might end up saving your life. Or raining down destruction on your enemies.

5 stars / 5 stars
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21 thoughts on “ARC Review: A Thousand Beginnings and Endings by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman”

  1. I love Asian folklore and fairytale retelling – I guess this counts as that too. <3 I should definitely keep an eye on the ebook and get it either when it's on sale or when I get my paycheck :D

  2. I’e heard nothing but great reviews about this book! I hope I could read it soon!! Amazing review love

  3. Great review, and thanks for breaking down each story – makes me want it even more! Kicking myself for not picking it up at YALC but then my back is thanking me slightly… But yeah, no, you made me want this even more. :’) *heads to Amazon*…

  4. It sounds like you absolutely loved this collection and I am glad you could. We do need more diversity and having some Asian authors together is great for people who try their work and then decide to go on and read more. I love that you get to hear about their inspiration as well ^.^

  5. I just finished reading this book this morning! I really enjoyed it! Some stories I liked more than others, but it was so refreshing and wonderful to hear some new folk tales and to experience different cultures. Diversity is so important and I feel like this book is important too. Thanks for a great review :)

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