MyGoodBookshelf's Reviews > The Fall

The Fall by David L.  Dawson
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's review
Jun 07, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: fiction, librarything-early-reads, science-fiction

*Full disclosure: I was sent a free copy of this novel by the author in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed therein are my own.*

Firstly I must concede that I am clearly not this book's target market. The intended age range for this is young adult, of which I left those years behind a good while ago! Nevertheless, in giving this novel a fair rating, I think that needs to be taken into account, as unfortunately I just didn't 'get' this book on a lot of levels which may be down to my age? However, it has to be said that I have read other YA novels, including Hunger Games and Divergent and have had no problems with them...

Set in a dystopian future, we meet Ben. He is just returning from his 'journey' that guarantees he will be accepted as a man by the members of his tribe, all of whom live in 'The Glass Palace,' which the reader soon realises is an abandoned shopping centre. Soon Ben's unwanted duties and responsibility will involve him taking over his father's place as Mayor of the palace, but those are shortly to become the least of Ben's problems...

Though I had high hopes for this book as the premise sounded really interesting, that soon waned as I realised within the first couple of chapters that the book has clearly not been through a stringent editing process. Not only did the tense change between past and present on numerable occaisions, but the grammar was also very inconsistent. I'm not some kind of grammar nazi or anything, but when the wrong word was used, it became incredibly offputting and distracting. Some words that should have been included were also missing entirely meaning that the sentences didn't really make sense. Also, I'm not sure if it is just the Kindle copy that I received, but the formatting was terrible- paragraphs disjointed and vast spacings- it looked very awkward on the page. I feel that for anyone paying for this book, this is information worth mentioning.

I have to say that the characterisation in the novel didn't pique my interest very much. Ben, the narrator was a typical adolescent, moody, sulky and immature- and one who wasn't sure of his sexuality. He came across as very naïve, and for a fourteen year old, the notion that he hadn't yet had 'the talk' with his father, I found somewhat hard to believe- even in a post-apocalyptic society! Though I think sexuality is a brave subject for the author to tackle in a YA novel, it just came across as awkward and a bit cringey in places, and to be honest, a bit contrived with Ben's numerous erections, wet dreams etc- just tacky and unecessary. I didn't like any of the other characters either, which in a book with a lot of characters, to be completely apathetic towards the whole cast of them, isn't a good sign. Also- the gods themselves, I feel like the author naturally assumes the reader already knew what was going on with them- there were barely explanations as to who they were or how they had even came about, which I found confusing.

To be honest, that's the way I felt about the majority of this book: too many red herrings and lack of explanation! If this is handled in the next book then fair enough, but as a reader I felt really unsatisfied by the lack of explanation as to a lot of things in this story. The ending as well: so abrupt and a bit of an anti-climax.

It really does feel like I have completely slated this novel, but I did see some positives in it that are worth mentioning: the post-apocalyptic world created was very well done- it just could have been built upon a little more, with a bit more atmosphere and evocative descriptions. I also found the ideas of the Felums (human-cat hybrids) very interesting, it was just a shame that the reader learned so little about them and how they came about. I am assuming this is built upon in book 2, but a bit more could have been divulged here- it certainly would have piqued my interest a bit.

Though this is the first part of the 'God Slayers Trilogy,' unfortunately I am not in a massive rush to read parts 2 and 3, if at all. Sorry, but this book just wasn't for me at all- part 1 had so many numerable faults that it has most definitely put me off trying the rest of them.
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