The Fall is All There Is book review

By imh 1 comment

There is a lot of good in The Fall is All There Is. The prose and characters are solid, the fantastical elements of the world building are interesting and unique with their frakenstinian technology and the way it handles its ghosts/specters, and the book depiction of autism feels both immersive and authentic. But the book struggles to overcome its own main protagonist.
Petre is well written and autistic and largely unlikable. The autistic elements of his character are so loud and so pervasive, since we in his pov, that they dominate his character to become the main element (probably accurately.)The problem was I did not find it an enjoyable trait, it makes many of the plot points of the narrative just harder than they would otherwise need to be, and it complicates many of his interactions with the other characters. It probably could have still worked except that Petre relationship with his entire family is dysfunctional, and much of the book is spent exploring those dysfunctional relationships and maybe beginning the process of repairing them. The result is a main character that isn’t particularly fun and (due to the books more down to earth style) lacks the catharsis/excitement of a character whose meant to be cool or powerful.
There are other issues as well, the plot doesn’t crystallize into something concrete until roughly halfway through the book, and Petre lacks personal agency until around then as well. Then at the end of the book, almost nothing was achieved, not even Petre’s main objective. He needed to fail for there to be sequels, of course, but it still reduces the book to just a lot of set up and introductions.

1 Comment

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Apr 4, 2024, 12:26 am

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