Rating: 3.5 stars
Reading Fallocaust was definitely an interesting experience. I really like it and will definitely follow up with the sequel when it's released. But because I really like it, and see the potential that's there, it makes its flaws more apparent to my mind's eyes and pisses me off more than it should.
What I really love about this book is that it does NOT pull its punches. It's gory. Very, very gory. After all, we are talking about a dystopian society where the act of eating other humans is considered normal and even necessary. Quil doesn't skimp on the details of that oh-so chewy piece of ass meat, or the the process of gutting a human and stuffing it with some veggies to roast. There's also violence and the presence of a sociopathic main character (Reaver).
Which leads to a rare opportunity in the M/M world of fiction: to be able to sink into the mindset of a very depraved/blood thirsty main character. I absolutely love being able to sink my teeth and experience a ruthlessness in characters that aren't quelled (completely) by that magic stick we call “love.” Nope, Reaver is a sociopath/murderer with an arrogance that is earned from the ability to shoot a kid point blank in the face and wonder how the meat's gonna taste. Does that mean his characterization is linear and doesn't change throughout the book? Not at all. He undergoes his own transformation through his relationship with Killian, but stays true to his foundation.
The world building is also nicely done – where information is understood through the characters' experiences rather than an info dump. Sure, this makes it confusing in the beginning, but is definitely a better way to learn of this radiation induced apocalypse. The cast of characters, while small at first, begins to expand throughout the book. I didn't know how to feel about this, as I like the focus to be on the main characters. Luckily, it didn't distract too much and hope the author doesn't feel the need to include too much head hopping (most of the head hopping was between Killian and Reaver, with the inclusion of a few other characters here-and-there).
Is the plot and world completely believable? Absolutely not. If you're the kind of person who psycho-analyzes the characters' behavior, the world's history, and the outcome of events that happen, then you'll probably roll your eyes throughout the story. (Hell, as a person who works in a pharmacy, I will tell you there is no way in hell meds are still good after sitting on the shelves for over two hundred years. There is something called an expiration date.) Does that mean the world of Fallocaust is too over-the-top and not enjoyable? Once again: absolutely not. You just have to go into the mindset of “going with the flow” is all I'm saying (after all, this is also considered a science fiction story).
Despite all the good things about Fallocaust, there were some BAD things as well. And I'm going to be very blunt here:
1) Someone get this book a fucking (new) editor. My goodness, I'm not talking about the occasional misspelled word here. I'm talking about misspelling the same word continuously, repeated words, incorrect words, and even a couple sentences that made absolutely not sense to me no matter how slowly I reread them. I've read longer fanfiction that had fewer mistakes compared to this book with the assistance of beta-readers. The reason why I'm making such a big deal here is the mention that the edition I bought was “professionally” edited. Warning to grammar Nazis and people expecting a well proofread experience: you're in for some pain. While not grammatically incorrect (I don't think anyways), I get annoyed when authors feel the need to use inconsistent punctuation. For instance, using one exclamation mark in a sentence, followed by another sentence with three-five exclamation marks (!!!!). Or the need to format whole sentences IN ALL CAPS.
2) I fucking hate Killian. He actually makes the top three list of most unlikeable character in M/M history. Seriously, I lost count of how many times he cried after about twenty-five. It got to the point where I was the one who wanted to cry, but then devolved into laughing my ass off with how pathetic he was (just like Reaver does sometimes). He cries and whimpers multiple times in every chapter featuring his POV. His other behaviors (giggling, jumping up and down, and I think there was a scene where he's skipping) gives me the impression of a eleven year old kid instead of a 17 year old boy/man who underwent some traumatizing experiences. It was very difficult for me to imagine an adult, because his whimpering/giggling behavior made me shave a few inches and a handful of years from his character. He's also supposed to be an intellectual, yet thinks with the vocabulary of a middle schooler. Oh, and let's not forget he's almost always the one fucking up and causing problems that end up hurting others unnecessarily. And when things do go wrong, what does he do? He cries, calls himself useless, and cries some more. In all honesty, I feel like he single handedly made my reading experience drop significantly. He was such a waste of word count in my opinion.
So over all, I did enjoy Fallocast. Sure, the writing felt amateurish at times (yet oddly elegant in others), with a very unlikeable love interest (in my opinion), and could use some tightening up with certain scenes that dragged or felt unnecessary. But the book manages to explore territory that many authors don't dare touch or even dare think of. And for that, I will have to say this author definitely has some balls. And you know what else? He does a good job in creating an overall compelling story with a suspenseful ending that makes me definitely want to pick up the sequel whenever it comes.