Top positive review
Once again, Fisher and Aster have made me consider things I have the privilege of not having to worry about in my own life.
Reviewed in the United States on June 29, 2018
When I found out the second book in this series was going to be about a different End Man, I was leery. I wanted more Folsom and Gwen. I was wrong. I needed this book not to be focused on them. I needed to know there was more to the revolution than what we saw in Folsom. I needed to see Gwen and Folsom through other people’s eyes to truly understand the magnitude of what they had started.
Once again, Fisher and Aster have made me consider things I have the privilege of not having to worry about in my own life. Things I feel passionately about yet haven’t considered from all angles. This entire world they’ve created is so unique, yet there are so many things I see in it that parallel the world we live in today. Between the babies being ripped from their mother’s arms because they weren’t born to the ‘right’ people, to people fleeing from the oppression they never asked for, to people being imprisoned for minor offenses because they don’t agree with the oligarchy they’re ruled by, it was a stunning piece on the horrors we are facing and will likely suffer if we don’t make our voices heard.
Jackal surprised me. I, much like Phoenix, had him pegged as a person lacking substance, I never considered that he was playing a role, being the person the society he lived in wanted him to be, I just assumed he was a shallow as he looked. He impressed me at every turn, from his intelligence to his childhood, to how overwhelming his compassion was when he was invested in something, Jackal was an impressive specimen for all the reasons the world he lived in never acknowledged. When he was Phoenix – who was freaking amazing, I loved how she knew her shortcomings and her strengths, and never made an excuse for any of them – they had a fascinatingly antagonistic dynamic that lent a little levity to an otherwise book full of heavy subject matter.
After finishing Jackal, I immediately wanted to go back and start Folsom over. These books are so all-consuming I’m sure there are details I’ve missed, breadcrumbs I didn’t pick up on, things I overlooked in favor of my affection for the characters. The End of Men novels aren’t stories you read; they are words that consume you, a world that will take you hostage and leave you reeling when you’re finally free.
After reading Folsom I was sure I couldn’t be more impressed with Tarryn Fisher and Willow Aster, but I was so blown away after this book, I can’t imagine there is a ceiling for them to hit, they’re just going to keep pushing themselves higher and higher. I am particularly enamored with how gracefully they toe the line of making a statement on the world we live in without alienating readers who may not have the same strength of conviction they do. They both write books that have something beyond a good story to leave with their readers, and for that, I love them.