Review: Faller by Will McIntosh

28220764Day One

No one can remember anything–who they are, family and friends, or even how to read. Reality has fragmented and Earth consists of an islands of rock floating in an endless sky. Food, water, electricity–gone, except for what people can find, and they can’t find much.

Faller’s pockets contain tantalizing clues: a photo of himself and a woman he can’t remember, a toy solider with a parachute, and a mysterious map drawn in blood. With only these materials as a guide, he makes a leap of faith from the edge of the world to find the woman and set things right.

He encounters other floating islands, impossible replicas of himself and others, and learns that one man hates him enough to take revenge for actions Faller can’t even remember.

I’m not the biggest science fiction reader out there, but I admit there are some sci-fi stories/concepts that press all the right buttons for me. Faller was supposed to be one of those, and in fact it got almost there.

The plot of Faller is its biggest strength. In the first 15% or 20% it is pretty slow and I almost left the book aside for some time because of that, but after things get going… well, it becomes difficult to stop turning the pages. Faller has two plotlines: one in the present, with Faller and all of humanity having no memories, and one in the past, narrating the events that led to the first one. Both are really interesting and none is boring/filler, but the first – the one in the present – was the one the really caught my attention. Reason? I’m a sucker for mysteries.

Unfortunately, as strong as Faller is when it comes to plot, its characters aren’t that good. I wouldn’t even say that they are bad objectively speaking – I think the author did a good job here – but it was hard to connect with them. It felt, to me, that the characters weren’t close to the reader – as in, I could recognize they were nice characters, but I didn’t care. And for me caring about a character is super important in any book.

Still, Faller is a really good read. It has some tropes I don’t like (I’m sooo not here for a dead woman being the reason two men hate each other, y’all) but it’s interesting and even original. 3.0 stars.

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