“The Fall” is a modern take on the classic 1984, and boy, how is it! This story is very much a social commentary on the current world we live in (2017, though it still very much applies in 2020) where the populace is controlled by their technology, digesting only the news the government feeds them, preferring to lose themselves in social media platforms and trying to get a larger following, then noticing that the idyllic world they live in is anything but. The parallels to the world we have now (in America anyway) are uncomfortably obvious, and Doellinger is a very talented writer not only to bring all this together, but to craft such a twist and bittersweet ending. But I had a hard time really getting into the book.
My problem wasn’t that “The Fall” closely resembles our current world with how little people care about anyone other than themselves. It wasn’t the main character, Ami, who is brilliant and stumbles on the truth when no one else is paying attention. I think it was the timeline of events and how quickly the entire population succumbed to the government controlled media. How quickly everyone got implanted with their Clips and Bits so everything they did, saw, their health, everything could be collected by the government and used in a sophisticated algorithm in order to control them. 10 years. 10 years was all it took to not only leash everyone, but make them feel and think like this level of control was always in effect. It just happened so fast, so easily, with no resistance that I just couldn’t fully buy it. I’m sure that’s probably the point, how easy it was to create such a dictatorship, but I just couldn’t suspend my disbelief enough for that. Also, while the author is a fantastic writer, there were long sections that were rather info dumpy that took me out of the story, and so I never got to a place where I particularly felt like Ami was doing much to end the dictatorship her country was under.
This isn’t some Hunger Games-like book. While the main character is a young woman trying to get her country to rise up against a dictator, the populace, for the most part, doesn’t really care. This point felt so spot on with how things are currently that it was both terrifying and wonderful at the same time. It was really well presented! And the fact that this wasn’t some brutal dystopian like most of us are familiar with really helped sell the twist ending. It was sad, but in a perfectly believable way that I really enjoyed. But because so much of the book was pretty slow and I had a hard time believing that a dictatorship like the one Ami is in was so complete in only 10 years (I had this exact same problem with The Handmaids Tale honestly) that I’m giving this book 3 stars. I definitely do recommend it to fans of 1984 and The Handmaids Tale though! And thanks to the author for providing me with a copy for an honest review.
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