“Out of all the things I ever done in my life, this journey I’m speaking of was – by a great long way – the most important. Also, it was the one that cost me the most.”
The last time I got emotional at an ending of a series was The Burning God by Rebecca F Kuang. When I started The Fall of Koli I never expected I’d shed one tear let alone many. This series overall has been absolutely phenomenal and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s been such a joy to watch the characters of Koli, Monono, Spinner, Cup, and Ursula grow.
The final book continues straight after book two, one of the best cliffhangers I have ever come across. Koli, Monono, Ursula, and Cup have travelled all across Ingland and having secured a boat are now following the signal to “The Sword of Albion”. Ursala who is somewhat of a scientist hopes that reaching the signal may lead to the discovery of technology that could prolong human life. Humans are dying rapidly due to an unknown disease and Ursula hopes the technology needed to cure the disease will be on the ship. Instead however, what they instead find is that the signal is coming from a battleship from the Unfinished War. The excitement of finding the signal soon decimates as when they finally get on board the ship they meet the Banner family. Paul Banner, Lorraine Banner, and their cheeky shit of a son Stanley. At the face of things Ursula is excited at all of the phenomenal technology on board that could cure civilization. But this soon turns to dread when Koli, Ursula, and Cup realise they are actually on board the ship. Thankfully they have their a trick up their sleeve aka Monono who is staying silent until the right moment comes to escape.
The story also takes us back to Mythen Rood from the POV of Spinner. In the second book, Spinner and the people of Mythen Rood manage to win the battle against a dangerous and violent group called the Half-Ax. This group is led by a tyrant called the Peacemaker, the Peacemaker believes that all tech across Ingland belongs to him. As he has discovered that Mythen Rood owns tech, their goal is to take that technology for themselves. Thus, Spinner and the people of Mythen Rood know they must start preparing for a potential war with Half Ax as they will soon return to claim what isn’t theirs. Spinner and the Ramparts i.e. those who can use tech will fight for their lives in order to save their people and keep their technology.
The thing I loved most about this series as a whole was how deeply attached M.R. Carey made me to the characters. This is very much a character driven series as we follow the characters on their journey towards the unknown and self discovery. Throughout the whole series Carey put the characters through the toughest of situations and throughout all these ordeals my heart was in my mouth. We see characters such as Koli, Cup, Monono, and Spinner to grow due to the issues they face. Having been exiled from Mythen Rood, Koli has been trying to find out what he must now do to have a sense of purpose and belonging in the world. Through the help of Ursula, Koli soon realises the bigger picture and how he must do what he can to save humanity and his home. Spinner’s POV was also superb as we see her become the a leader. By becoming a Rampart, Spinner has broken old traditions and must therefore deal with the after effects. Just a little background, Ramparts are those individuals who can solely use and hold technology. Before Spinner’s arrival, only members of the Vennestian family could use tech. Anyway, Spinner soon thrives at being a leader and seeing her go above and beyond the task of being a leader was such a great reading experience. It was also great seeing her gain the use of the AI tech known as “The Challenger” aka a tank. The tank has a digital version of the previous commander of the tank Sergeant Elaine. I loved how close Spinner became with Elaine and the bond they formed in being mothers.
Speaking of AI tech let’s not forget the star of the whole series Monono. Monono isn’t just a Japanese AI music player she is an intelligent, funny, witty, and kind. Essentially, Monono’s personality was that of a Japanese pop star which was copied on to the music player. I don’t think there will ever be a character like Monono. She was definitely those 1 in a million characters who you come across once. I absolutely adored her friendship with Koli and their bond was unbreakable. Koli loves Monono more than anyone else in the whole universe and it was just so heartwarming.
M.R. Carey explores many themes throughout the book. For example, through the character of Cup she explores sexuality and what it means to be a trans woman in a world that isn’t accustomed to the needs of trans women. Throughout the book Ursula does what she can to help Cup transition into a woman and they both manage to form a bond with each other. The series also explores issues such as climate change, motherhood, racism, facism and the rise of right wing politics, and also how technology is developing at such a phenomenal rate. The book really opened my mind as even though it takes place in the future, current events in our world are also highlighted.
Final books in a series are always a worry for me. There’s always a concern in the back of my mind that I won’t get closure and things won’t be tied up in the series. However, M.R. Carey has done incredibly well in tying up loose ends and giving you a feeling of hopefulness for the characters and world. This series has found its way into the crevices of my heart and it’ll not be leaving anytime soon. What an incredible journey this has been and I’m so sad to see this journey come to and end. I would love for this series to continue somehow but who knows what the future holds.
Thank you so much to Angela and Orbit for allowing me to complete this series. Thank you to Naz on the Orbit UK publicity team for introducing me to this incredible series!