Author: David Maine
Genre: Fantasy, Humor
Fallen is the retelling of the biblical story of Genesis, specifically Adam and Eve’s exile from Eden and Cain’s murder of his brother Abel. The book is split into four sections: the first book is told from Cain’s perspective, the next Abel’s, the third Adam’s, and the final from Eve’s point of view. In addition, the story is presented in reverse chronological order, staring with Cain on his death bed at the beginning of the book and ending right after Adam and Eve are sent from the Garden. Even the chapters are labeled in reverse: the first chapter is chapter “40,” the last one is chapter “1.”
Why I picked it up: I love mythology, including Christian mythology. Despite being an atheist, some of the stories in the bible have always fascinated me. And perhaps because I’m an atheist, it’s the screw-ups in the bible that interest me the most. I believe the entire “first family” falls under this category?
Liked: Oh my goodness. Everything. Can I say everything? I believe I can. The fact that it starts at the end and ends at the start? Pure genius. I’m not saying that’s a great gimmick for every book, but for Fallen it was almost necessary. You’re introduced to Cain first, before all the other characters, making him more sympathetic. If any other character, especially Eve, had started the story, you’d never be able to feel for Cain. As time goes on, more and more is revealed about the characters, questions answered and back story filled in. Your shown a character and then shown why they’re like that. It’s wonderful.
In addition, the way the relationships play out is beautiful. Seeing how Cain feels about Abel, or what he thinks of his parents, then seeing the opposite views, or seeing the same event from two different perspectives, this book is a true masterpiece in perspective study.
And the writing, oh god the writing, it’s beautiful. I cannot think of a truly effective metaphor right now to describe how well written the prose in this novel is. It’s fantastic.
Didn’t like: Give me a second, I’ll think of something eventually. Oh...I’m sad they didn’t have more with the serpent, that we didn’t get to see much with in the garden. It would have been neat to have the timeline stretched back even further, to Adam and Eve’s actual creation. But, whatever.
Final Rating: 5/5