Top critical review
Interesting for big RWBY fans, but a lot weaker than the show
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on April 13, 2021
First off, if you haven't watched and enjoyed RWBY up through at least the end of season 3, don't even look at this. Seriously.
After the Fall takes place at the end of season 3 and follows the adventures of team CFVY, with a lot of flashbacks to earlier events which provide some more insight into their background. It is interesting for the tie-in, world background and to see more of the characters we love from the series.
However, the story isn't very strong; it is a pretty shallow plot line and it feels like a lot of it doesn't make sense. There's a lot of words on action scenes, but it feels like action written by someone used to writing for a TV show, where the description will turn into visual action. On paper, the action just doesn't translate as well, and the descriptions are often annoyingly vague. For example, discussing the book after reading it, there were a few monsters important to the story that my wife and I realized we hadn't the faintest idea what they were supposed to have been or looked like. About the only time they go into detail on the descriptions is on a lingering 'male gaze' type description of the female characters, which is really off-putting coming from a show that has such fantastic female characters as the central focus (not that the character's aren't sexualized too much there as well, but it stands out more when its the ONLY strong descriptive focus in the book).
A worthwhile read for big fans, but not for anyone else. Just to note though, the second book in the series does better; the plot is more involved, and they seem to have gotten better at adapting the action and unique world to the printed form.