The Fall is All There is — C.M. Caplan

The Fall is All There is — C.M. Caplan

I buddy-read this with The Best Adam, and a good 80% of it involved us screaming positivities at each other and at the author, if that gives you an idea of how much I enjoyed this book. The other 20% was silent enjoyment, as screaming endlessly—as it turns out—also tires out your virtual vocal cords.

That said, I thought The Fall Is All There Is was delightful. I’d read the author’s previous book, The Sword in the Street, which I enjoyed, and I think this book is a level up in many aspects: the characters are distinct and hilarious, the worldbuilding is deep and imaginative, and the pacing is solid enough to hold your interest for hundreds of pages. Throw in some cyborg horses, thyroid swords, and ghostfog, and you have a five-star read.

I don’t know if it’s good or bad that I could understand the family dynamics at play here, lol, and I just want C.M. Caplan to summarize this book via AITA post. There was so much going on, but the author doesn’t simply tell you about it. Instead, he shows us exactly how uncomfortable these relationships are without telling us outright, which, in my opinion, only strengthened the dynamics between different characters. Giving each character a different voice is a skill, and the fact that I could tell apart royal quadruplets without re-reading anything is a testament to how well the characters are fleshed out.

The tone of the book is a mix of light and dark (like you have corpse technology, which is kind of on the dark side, in my opinion…), but it doesn’t take itself seriously, which I really appreciated. The humor and lightness stay well within the threshold without sacrificing the higher stakes of the plot. Each character is flawed in a very human way, including Petre, and they know it. But many flaws are also a product of circumstance, which I think the author explains well. Like sometimes I wanted to slap the characters, but… sometimes I want to slap my best friends IRL too, and I still love them.

Anywho, The Fall Is All There Is was a blast to read, and I enjoyed it a lot! Thanks to the author for an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review.

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