Fallocaust (The Fallocaust #1), Quil Carter
Genre: Gay Dark Romance
Tags: Dystopian, Dark Fantasy – Cannibalism, Romance, Series, **Trigger Warning – On Page Rape, Torture, Drug Use
Length: 902 Pages
Reviewer: Kazza K
Purchase At: amazon.com
** WARNING. TRIGGERS ARE IN MY REVIEW – INCLUDING RAPE. IF RAPE IS A TRIGGER, PLEASE DO NOT READ MY REVIEW AND DEFINITELY DON’T READ THE BOOK.**
Reaver is nineteen and a sentry living in the post-apocalyptic greywaste town (or block) of Aras. He has two dads, neither are his actual father – it seems his biological father left the boy in Aras when he was two years old. Leo and Greyson, the dads, are the leaders and mayors of Aras and Reaver is their go-to guy for many things that others can’t do. He’s close to them but he has a tumultuous relationship with them, particularly Greyson. The reader works out more about that tension as the book progresses. Reaver also goes off on scavenging missions to bring supplies into the block as needed, which is no mean feat. But Reaver has heightened senses – his hearing, his sight, his ability to heal when you know he shouldn’t. Merchant caravans pass through but they are heavily armed by mercenaries and are few and far between because of the danger involved. Reaver has quite the brutal reputation, and justifiably so, he goes out into the wastes on his own or with another sentry, Reno. He’s killed many of the king’s sanctioned legionaries – basically a bunch of rapists, opportunists and murderers, and has earned the nickname the Raven. None of them know who he is or where he is from. While Reaver has little time for his fellow block residents he is close to Reno, his friend, fellow Mario game enthusiast, and scavenger strongarm buddy. Once again, Reno should not be likeable and yet he really is. By the end I was all about Reno.
Reaver is an incredibly interesting character. His thought processes and actions are psychopathic, yet so matter of fact and so well blended into the society that you just learn to accept them and him. And in spite of his actions, because of them, I could not help but be inexorably drawn to him. His initial (non) relationship with Killian, the other MC, is weird, twisted and touching, in a stalker-crazy way
Seventeen year old Killian Massey is the new boy in Aras, has been there for approximately a year before his parents succumbed to trideath – a communicable disease that has initial onset after eating bad meat.
He is a bookworm, plays guitar and he misses his mother and father. He used to live in Tamerlan, a factory town that is a regional part of the capital, Skyfall. His father was a factory worker and Killian lived a sheltered life until his father was laid off and they had to move to Aras. Things were not perfect in his house, his dad was an addict, but his family was a loving one. Killian used to smile all the time and the fact that he did intrigued Reaver. How could someone find something to be positive about in the shit-hole of this existence? But Killian stopped smiling after his parent’s death and mass consumption by the town. And Reaver just had to take him under his wing in very un-Reaver-like fashion.
Reaver starts stalking Killian and protecting him. He is soft, he is vulnerable and easy on the eye, this all fascinates Reaver, but that also gets you raped and killed in the greywastes. Everyone in Aras knows Reaver has it bad for Killian, except Reaver. However, a catalyst changes all of that when he is beyond stricken when he thinks Killian has been raped and killed. No matter what, he is going to get Killian. No one will eat him and anyone who has touched him will be slaughtered…and they are in a spectacularly gruesome fashion, including a brutal scene with a father a son and a machete. Reaver will touch him, and give him eye contact, even if he is dead. When he discovers where he is he has to go and save him in rather explosive fashion from a Dek’ko factory. If you weren’t ill beforehand, the factory will take you there. After he saves Killian they become boyfriends.
King Silas rules this dystopian time. He created it approximately two hundred and fifty years ago. He makes sure he keeps tabs on everyone via population censuses in all areas, Aras included. But every census Greyson ensures that Reaver is not around. Suddenly, the mercer shows up with hessian hounds to go through the block unannounced forcing Greyson to send Reaver and Killian off together to another town, Donnely, to scavenge medical supplies. Killian is ill equipped to be outside Aras’ walls at the best of times, he suffers panic attacks and night terrors, which have been ramped up exponentially since events before, during, and after arriving in Aras. Donnely starts many things in motion by way of Perish, a royal chimera, sadist and quite literally a mad scientist. One who makes Dr’s Frankenstein and Moreau seem perfectly sane. Once again, the imagery here is graphic and the results of the lab experiments are not for the faint of heart. Nor the treatment of the people or some of their memories.
Fallocaust is a long book. I am a long reviewer. Together that spells disaster, so I have to rein it in and give some basics and use some quotes to give any prospective reader a good idea of what they may read.
The world building is excellent. I felt like I was there. There are ravers, croaches, wasters, rats, legionaries, chimeras, action aplenty and a twisted love story that I fell for hook, line and sinker. The names I mention are all easy to follow as you read.
The violence and rape is on page and can be very difficult to read. I will give an example –
“Where are the forts?” I (Reaver) asked, holding his leg back. I heard Reno tear open a condom.
“Call off your fucking rapist and I’ll tell you!” The legionary’s voice was shrill with panic.
“Fine, where are the forts?” I said holding my hand up. Reno stopped.
There was a scream, the scream only a guy who had just been forcibly penetrated could make. I cupped my hand over his mouth as he screamed again. Behind me Reno stifled a grunt. I held his leg back and looked ahead.
Reno sped up. The legionary had stopped screaming and was just looking up at the grey night sky, disconnected. That happened a lot too. Though some just kept screaming all the way through until I killed them.
And kill them he does, as Reno orgasms. This is an abbreviated quote.
The characters are all three dimensional and make you want to slap them, kill them right along with Reaver and co, make you love them, hate them, laugh maniacally at their crazed moments, respect their bravery. But most important of all, I fell for them and bled with them.
Characters I would ordinarily say fall into clearly delineated bounds of black (on the black and white scale) have shades of grey here. This is why I read – to be entertained, to be sucked into the book and immersed emotionally. I was locked in a brain-sucking-mind-meld throughout. I had my own soundtrack playing while I read it, something I rarely do.
Fallocaust has two primary perspectives, Reaver and Killian. I enjoyed being in Reaver’s head the most. Although I did love Killian. As for the others, no. But in all fairness, it is only a couple of chapters.
There is an excellent build to who Reaver is, why he is beautiful, deadly and sociopathic.
I will add one last thing
This is the author’s first commercial book from what I can see. I understand that, I empathise, but I have some niggles. First of all, there is no rape warning on this book and there needs to be. It is a big trigger for a quite a few people.
It is too long.
I do not care that this book has been re-edited, editing is still an issue, and I’m not just talking about line editing. The content editing needed tightening up. There is an overuse of some words and I do not like the word anyways, I understand the informality of it in the setting, but it is abused. The first sex scene kind of got spoiled, but it gets much better.
BUT… I can overlook the niggles in Fallocaust because the author really does write in an incredibly engaging manner making it easy to read and remember. I loved the story and adored the characters. To me, they were like a drug. ‘Hands up those who are addicted?’ Oh look, my hand shot straight up in the air. Seriously, I had no choice but to 5 star this book, but I will look more critically at the editing in book #2.
Like a hybrid mix of Mad Max, Escape From New York and LA, Fallocaust delivers a post-apocalyptic read that makes you wonder where the journey will take you and how the hell anyone is ever going to survive. I was literally running on gas-pedal chemicals throughout I was so beautifully stressed. A good friend recommended this book to me and I had just enjoyed Hideous, which is a darker YA/NA read. Fallocaust is similar, but much darker and much longer.
In so many ways this book is New Adult (seventeen and nineteen year old MC’s, the word boyfriend used throughout) but it is definitely adult reading as well. The world building and the characterisations were so strong. The author also held nothing back and ran with the society that it would be, he did not make it all sweet and fluffy. Bravo. The love between Reaver and Killian had me hooked. I will admit it pressed my “I love crazy-love” and “I’m in love with a stalker-protective love dynamic” buttons.
If you can handle the things I have mentioned, and overlook some of the others, then I really do recommend Fallocaust. This book does end on a full-blown cliff hanger, but it is fine. I shall wait for the next in the series as I rock back and forth in my reading chair mumbling, ‘I am the Reaper. I am the Reaper.’
Song for Reaver – http://youtu.be/04F4xlWSFh0
Song for Killian – http://youtu.be/n6ak5PoIwng