Genre: Weird, Science Fiction
Publisher: Tor Books
Length: 352 pages
Rating: 2.5-3 stars
Publication Date: October 25th 2016
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.
If you like extremely weird books where a good suspension of disbelief is fondamental to your enjoyment of the book, this one is for you.
Faller opens up in a floating city where no one can remember who they are and where they come from. Our main character wakes up in an isolated world where he can’t even remember how to read, the only thing he knows, he knows thanks to the content of his pocket: he founds a photo of himself and a woman, a toy soldier with a tiny parachute and a paper with weird things written on it in what seems to be blood but that he can’t understand.
A few days after the “event” now called Day One, people start killing each other for ressources and throwing unwanted people (including children) through the edge of the world. Inspired by the toy soldier and its parachute, our main character decides to jump from a building to see if he can observe things across the edge of his world. Of course things don’t end up exactly how he wants and he falls from his world… into another one.
The book also follows another storyline set in the past and treating with a bunch of scientist playing with quantum physics allowing us to understand the causes of Day One. The novel constantly jumps between each plot lines and I wasn’t a fan of that because it makes for a pretty uneven pacing (and pretty obvious twists).
Faller is a crazy and fast-paced story and it definitely was a journey. However, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted to, mainly because I found that all the characters made extremely dumb decisions all the time. All the characters were naive and made ridiculous mistakes. That wouldn’t be such an issue for me if they were not the cause of Earth destruction but, in the case of this novel, those mistakes felt forced, they obviously were there to push the story forward but, if they had been a bit more believable, they would’nt have annoyed me near as much. I couldn’t relate to the main character because most of the time, I just wanted to punch him in the face. I can deal with unlikable characters but I have zero patience with stupid ones especially when the author try to sell them as “brilliant scientist that everyone adores”, just no.
So, I think I would have enjoyed this book if the characters were a bit more developped or just a tad less stupid. The lack of characterization constantly pulled me out of the story and sometimes made it hard for me to read the book. I still finished Faller because I was intrigued to see how it would end and I’m still glad I finished it, even if the ending felt felt a bit random. I can forgive that, the whole book being utterly crazy., at this point I just like “okay whatever, why not”. So if you are reading this just for the story, you might end up enjoying yourself a lot, however, if you are expecting interesting characters and good writing, I wouldn’t especially recommend.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Tor Books and Netgalley. All opinions are my own.