Book Review: The Fall of Koli by M. R. Carey

The Fall of Koli // by M. R. Carey

Book 3 of the Rampart Trilogy // See my reviews for The Book of Koli here & The Trials of Koli here.

Pub Day: March 23, 2021

Publisher: Orbit

Length: 560 pages

Affiliate Link: Buy here on Bookshop.org

Synopsis:

What will the future hold for those who are left?

Koli has come a long way since being exiled from his small village of Mythen Rood. In his search for the fabled tech of the Old Times, he knew he’d be battling shunned men, strange beasts and trees that move as fast as whips. But he has already encountered so much more than he bargained for.

Now that Koli and his companions have found the source of the signal they’ve been following – the mysterious “Sword of Albion”—there is hope that their perilous journey will finally be worth something.

They’re searching for a way to help humanity fight back against nature. But what they’ll find is an ancient war that never ended . . .

My Thoughts:

I have to be honest, it took me a while to figure out my feelings about this book. That isn’t because it’s a bad book. Not at all actually. It just wasn’t what I was expecting at all. I always find it difficult to review books later in a series, especially when it is the very last one because there tend to be so many things I want to talk about but cannot due to the risk of spoiling it for a future reader. As someone that doesn’t even like the tiniest spoilers herself, I try to take that possibility very seriously.

I do want to start out by saying this while the very end of The Fall of Koli felt a little abrupt at first, I now do realize that it is actually pretty well done. The built-up to it almost felt like a snowball that gained more and more momentum the bigger it got until it hit a tree at the bottom of the hill and came to an instant stop. I have always wondered about the two POVs in this series. I found both absolutely fascinating in quite different ways. You have the exiled wanderer of Ingland that is learning to think of the world as a whole rather than just himself but you also have the unexpected revolutionary that initially felt more like an opportunist that just wanted to have better for herself and her future. These childhood friends with their opposing views of each other have moved apart for so long now yet their fates never separated after all. The name of the book gave me a doomed feeling for our Koli-boo since I first heard it while reading The Book of Koli, the first installment of the Rampart trilogy. So it’s difficult to say that the ending is necessarily wholly unexpected, but the way in which the author chose to wrap it up beyond that little detail is what felt so deserved and satisfying.

Now to the book as a whole. Before starting book 3, I had zero idea what The Sword of Albion could be. I’m not going to lie: the truth hit me hard. But even beyond that initial revelation about where this unlikely little crew ended up, the details you get to learn about this location and Ingland itself were fascinating. I had some seriously creepy suspicions throughout the book sometimes and while some of them came true and some of them did not, it was still fun to be able to solve the mysteries right alongside Koli and his friends. I already raved about the characters above but their development throughout the series as a whole is definitely one of my favorite parts. They started out as little more than children and turned into responsible adults that learned to care for more than just themselves. Technology and its lack is an important piece of the story, both in how it is wielded as well as how ownership of it affects your place in society.

Challenging a conventional setup is a theme that we see in many parts of our lives as well as in many genres in the book world, but I personally never tire of it and loved it just as much this time around. The author did an excellent job of showing the conflicting feelings, risks, and responsibilities that come with both upholding and overturning things as we know them and wove a fantastic story in a setting that to me at least was entirely new and fascinating. I definitely will be keeping this author in mind for my future reading and hope to see more SFF from them in the future.

About the Author:

M. R. Carey is a writer who is equally at home in a wide range of media. His previous novel The Girl With All the Gifts was a word-of-mouth-bestseller and is soon to be a major motion picture based on his own screenplay. Under the name Mike Carey he has written for both DC and Marvel, including critically acclaimed runs on X-Men and Fantastic Four, Marvel’s flagship superhero titles. His creator-owned books regularly appear in the New York Times graphic fiction bestseller list. He also has several previous novels, two radio plays and a number of TV and movie screenplays to his credit.

About the Publisher:

Orbit is a leading publisher of Science Fiction and Fantasy, with imprints in the UK, US and Australia. They publish across the spectrum of Science Fiction and Fantasy – from action-packed urban fantasy to widescreen space opera; from sweeping epic adventures to near-future thrillers. Launched in 2007, Orbit US is the Science Fiction and Fantasy imprint at Hachette Book Group USA.

Orbit is my absolute favorite publisher, both to read as well as to review for. They have been so friendly in all interactions, are a lot of fun on Twitter, and just spoil their reviewers like crazy. I am excited for everything I get from them and have not yet found a book I don’t like. Make sure to check them out!

Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

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