Until The Beginning Book Review

Until The Beginning: Book Review by Dinh.

3.5 stars out of 5 stars

Until The Beginning Book Review


When Juneau’s clan disappeared, she lost more than her friends and family; she lost her entire world. She discovered her life was a lie-her people weren’t living in the wilderness because they were the sole survivors of a nuclear war. They were in hiding, hoping no one would find them and learn their secret: they never get sick, they hardly age, and they have the power to communicate with nature.

Juneau is closer than ever to finding them, and she couldn’t have gotten this far without Miles. Although he originally pursued her with the goal of turning her over to his father, he has become her greatest ally. Even as an outsider, Miles has helped Juneau realize she is far more powerful than she’d ever believed.
But now the same people who took Juneau’s clan are after her too. Somehow she is the key to unlocking the mystery of her people’s gift. To rescue her clan and protect their secrets, Juneau must push past the boundaries of what she was taught, to discover what she is truly capable of.

Synopsis is from hardcover book, 321 pages, and published in 2015 by HarperTeen.


Until The Beginning Book Review


It’s not a surprise that I picked up Until The Beginning  by Amy Plum right after I just finished the first book After The End. It wasn’t the cliffhanger that pushed me to read this book. It was because of the fast pace adventure that I liked. (See After The End Review).

So did the sequel disappoint?

On reflection, I have to say no, and here’s why.


Continuity of Pace

What I liked in the first book, After The End, was the speed and consistency of the pace of the book. With the sequel, it also continued with the action packed pace.

The second novel has the same set up as the first book. Short chapters, with lots of dialogue, and continuous action make a it a page-turner. I really enjoyed that it was so easy to read.




Juneau’s strong personality is still pervasive in this book.  I liked that her focus and drive is never questioned. She has tunnel vision- only in trying to find her clan.

I like that Miles has changed into a better person. I was expecting that to happen and my prediction came true. Bad boys always change once a girl is involved.

“You make me want to be a good person, Juneau. I see how you are and it makes me want to be strong.”

Okay, what Miles says is a bit cheesy but with romance there’s always these sort of lines. It’s expected and a taken so it doesn’t bother me.

We see Juneau’s and Mile’s growing relationship in After The End, and with the sequel, the budding romance continues. Miles becomes besotted and wants to do everything in his power to help Juneau.


Until The Beginning Review


Was there anything I didn’t like?



I liked that the plot got a bit more complicated with additional characters and finding Juneau is the key for the drug Amrit. But what I didn’t like was how Miles suddenly is able to harness all the powers that Juneau had been learning all this time.

Mile’s life was saved by Juneau. She performed the rite that only her and Whit (Clan Sage) knew how to perform. In doing so, Juneau opened up Mile’s connection with the Yara.

It’s fine that he was saved but it’s not really believable that he can conjure so quickly.

In the scene where he’s trying to help Juneau by going to the ranch where her clan is held, Miles detonates a light bulb just by using his connection with the Yara. Isn’t that a bit unrealistic? Come on now…


The Ending

I like happy endings and this book did have it. However, I wasn’t satisfied with the way it was done.

After saving her clan, Juneau and Miles just end up walking away from the mess and leaving the clan to clean it up. Okay, she only 17 years old but she went on this long journey to find them and then just walk away when she saved them?

I would have liked for Juneau to get some closure by understanding why the clan elders made the decision to live in Alaska hiding away.



Until The Beginning a novel by Amy Plum


My Final Thoughts:

Although I didn’t like the unrealistic part where Miles was suddenly able to use his powers and the ending, overall the book came together and it didn’t make me wish I didn’t read it.

The book was a page-turner and the story line had surprises which kept the interest going. It was not as good as the first book but it’s the conclusion of the story so it’s nice to have the finished the duology.


Get a copy of Until The Beginning here. Like audio book? Check out Amazon’s Audible trial and listen to it for free.

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Do you like Young Adult genre? After reading Until The Beginning review, did it pique your interest? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

13 thoughts on “Until The Beginning Book Review

  1. This still sounds a little to me like something M Night Shyamalan would write if he were writing a book. Like he’s trying to tell you “things aren’t what they seem to be” (like in The Village). That ending sounds like it was a little annoying. I recently saw a movie where that happened (totally can’t remember what it was) but at the end, after all of the drama and action, the person just walked away. I was like, “What??? How can you just LEAVE???” LOL Have you read The Host by Stephenie Meyer? The love story in Until the Beginning as you describe it reminds me of that book.

    1. Hi Teresa!
      The story of After the End series does sound like an M. Night Shyamalan movie/book at the beginning and it does have a good twist. I can see how it would remind you of The Village.
      The ending was a bit poor in the final sequel but it was enjoyable to read nevertheless. 🙂

      I have read The Host quite some time ago. I really liked the Twilight series and so when Meyer came out with The Host I read that immediately. I enjoyed that book too.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I think this series is something I could give a try. I like how there are only two books, and not tons because after awhile I get bored, so I know I would be able to finish these two. Why do you think the author wrote the ending in the way she did, that the main character just left the clan and didn’t get many answers? That seems like it would be anticlimactic and I would imagine finding her people could lead to more stories, or at least more chapters.

  3. I’m not sure if I am just a difficult person to please (maybe I am, shhhhh, don’t tell anyone), but I find that series don’t always end well for me. I’m glad you enjoyed this for the most part. And yes, that line was a bit cheesy, but I loved it. 😀

    1. Hi Lonna!
      Well I guess we are in agreement when it comes to cheesy lines. 🙂
      There are gems out there but it’s a matter of reading and finding them!

      The classics are always good if you are picky…LOL

  4. Sequels can be tricky, but it sounds like this was one was good enough to keep you happy. It’s a shame it jumped to an unrealistic part in the novel, but otherwise the form of it – the fast pace and the short chapters with dialogue – really sounds like it catered to your reading taste!

    1. Hi Olivia!
      I agree with you that sequels are tricky and it can be hit or miss. Usually I don’t find them as good as the first book but that’s just what I have found so far…
      I do like faster pace book but not necessarily all the time. Unless the prose is excellent I will get bored. I am also a mood reader so whatever takes my fancy at that time I will read that.

      Good thing this duology got my attention and I finished it really quickly.

      Thanks for popping by!

  5. This book is interesting. I guess this novel is categorized as dystopian? I only saw the Hunger Games and similar movies last year which got me interested in this genre. My sister is the one who got me into it actually and she collects books. I’m going to find out if she read this and see if this can be a potential Christmas Gift.

    However, you may want to consider putting a Spoiler Disclaimer when you review the endings. Other than this, thanks for the great review!

    1. Hi Vanessa!
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      The book is not dystopian although it looks like it could be. I would say it’s more urban contemporary with fantasy. If you or your sister liked The Hunger Games you probably would like this too.

      Oops about the spoiler disclaimer! Most of my reviews have spoilers so I should make it more prominent and let people know. I’ll go and fix that. Thanks for the suggestions. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Seems like an interesting read and maybe one I will mark down on my “to read” list. For now, my focus is on self development material only. Speaking of, do you have any recommendations for good self development type books? Right now I am reading Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk. Thanks in advance for your response!

    1. Hi Eve!
      Thanks for sharing your reading habits and your thoughts.

      I am glad that this book has given you some interest and that you have it in your to read pile.

      I have not read that many self development books lately. It’s always good to read those and make improvements on ourselves.

      Right now I enjoy reading for pleasure. I’ve done enough of text book style reading for the time being.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Nice to have a 2 book series that completes the story. Seems like everything had a good pace. Glad you enjoyed After the End duology!

    1. Hi Becky!
      Nice to hear from you and thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      I agree with you that it’s nice to read a duology and not a trilogy! It makes reading it really quick. I liked that Plum had good pace as well.

      Thanks for popping in!

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