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A Thousand Beginnings and Endings

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman is a collection of short stories celebrating folklore and mythology from East and South Asia.

Ellen Oh along with We Need Diverse Books has brought together some of best Asian authors to reimagine tales or folklores, myths or legends, that they grew up with.

Star crossed lovers, robots who think their human, modern day celebrations and more–this collection of short stories crosses genres in so many ways. Fantasy and science fiction, realistic and contemporary fiction, even some romance thrown in there. This is a collection of stories with a little bit of everything.

In all honesty, I tend to shy away from short stories. There’s just not generally enough meat for me and although I am usually entertained, I’m not normally wowed. And unfortunately, I have to say the same thing here, though maybe for more than that reason alone.

First, there were a few tales here that I really liked. But I wanted them to continue. I wanted the background. I wanted the buildup. I wanted the full story, not just a taste. But that has nothing to do with the writing or the stories themselves; that is just my personal taste.

The stories themselves were fun and inventive and if I had more background in Asian culture, then maybe they might have meant more to me. Which leads me to my second issue… there were times where I just wasn’t sure what was going on or I didn’t really get where the myth collided with the story. Most likely due to my ignorance and the afterword of each story did help, but I think I would have liked to read the myth behind the story first.

As a collection, this was great and I am sure many, many people will be thrilled to have a collection of such diverse authors. I am glad I read it, even if it wasn’t completely the read for me.

This one gets 3 stars from me.

That’s all for now!


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