book reviews by Althea

Faller – Will McIntosh ***

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Faller by Will McIntosh
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

‘Faller’ gives us two alternating narratives.

In the first, a man ‘comes to’ in the midst of a crowd. Everyone present seems to have lost their memory. They don’t know who they are; how or if they are connected to the people around them. The objects they see seem vaguely familiar, but they’re not sure exactly how to use them. Their ‘world’ is something that the reader recognizes as a few city blocks, seemingly ripped from their proper place and floating like an island in space. But “a few city blocks” is lacking in resources, and a bunch of amnesiacs aren’t the best at cooperative survival. But our protagonist still seems to have a bit of curiosity; and a toy in his pocket leads him to make a parachute. This, in turn, will lead to the incident that spurs him to name himself “Faller.”

In the second, we meet a brilliant physicist and his colleague (and relative-by-marriage). One is about to receive the Nobel Prize, and the other is quite resentful about the lack of accolades that he feels that he deserves. However, the discovery is quite remarkable – a duplicator that spits out copies of whatever is placed into it – with tweaks, this can be used to create organs for transplants. But that’s just a first step. The device could end world hunger… could end energy worries – could transform the world. But these glorious plans go awry when one desperate experiment goes wrong, and human weakness and unpredictable effects cause the world to truly be transformed – but not in the way that was hoped.

A lot of the plot elements were a little random-feeling and far-fetched for me, but I think many fans of contemporary thrillers with a sci-fi element will find this to be right up their alley.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Tor for the opportunity to read. As always, my opinions are solely my own.

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