Ooh boy. After The Outside set up the world and characters, ending with ’the Outside’ coming in and wrecking havoc on the planet Jai, I wasn’t sure what was next but I surely wanted to find out… I even noted in that review that there were sequels, and yet somehow I never got around to reading them.
I’m so glad I did now. This is a wonderfully weird (at times) ride into what happened next.
Once again, I think that one thing that the Fallen does well is dealing with all manner of diversity (particularly in the neuro- space). People are people. And it really makes you think: what if we actually could live in a society where people just expect to meet others where they are and that’s okay. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses and things that make their skin crawl. And that’s okay. It’s interesting to see a book really dig into that, all along the backdrop of super powerful AI ‘Gods’, their Angels (who have issues all thier own), and monsters (who, it turns out, are sometimes people as well, just a fair bit further away from the ’norm’) from outside space and time.
It’s a really solid sequel. Honestly, I loved it even more than the first book. Well, well worth a read. I really look forward to what’s next.
Things I loved:
Yasira. Started out autistic, broke into the Outside and now there’s even more going on. She’s a mess, but still trying to do the right thing.
(I’ve done something wrong, chorused voices in Yasira’s head, disturbed. They don’t want me here. This room is for the real resistance, not the people who lie around. There’s something they’re afraid I’ll do. How could I have made them so afraid? They’re keeping secrets from me, and they don’t want to admit it. Fuck them.)
Tiv. Especially her relationship with Yasira. She’s probably the closest thing the book has to what many would consider ’normal human’. and she still loves Yarisa. She’s trying to deal with Yasira trying to deal and it’s painful and wonderful to watch.
“I’m sorry,” she murmured between bites. “I shouldn’t be so difficult. I mean– I’m glad you’re here.” She looked up and her gaze briefly flicked against Tiv’s. Yasira had always been autistic, and her capacity for eye contact was limited; she’d never stared into people’s faces soulfully the way some did. But she’d liked looking at Tiv, back before the Plague, in the ways that were easy for her. The briefness of the glance was comforting, familiar.
The Angels. They’re such a fascinating idea: AI became Gods, so they made cybernetic Angels to serve them. And, as Angels, sometimes they Fall. I … wish we had more of this really. I’m looking forward to the next book.
“You’re doing this on purpose,” he said. “That’s rare. I’m not sure if you appreciate just how rare. Most angels of Nemesis would do anything rather than risk termination and damnation at Her hands. Why are you different, Enga?”