The Fall of Koli (Rampart Trilogy #3) by MR Carey

My Five Word TL:DR  Review : A Love Story in Disguise

TheFallofOkay, that might not be totally correct but you’ll just have to trust me.

The Fall of Koli is the final instalment of the Rampart Trilogy and brings to an end the strangely satisfying, if somewhat bittersweet, adventures of the titular character.

I would just point out that being the third in series it’s quite likely that this review will contain spoilers for prior instalments.  Also, I would also mention that this is not a series that you can dive into randomly.  The books need to be read in order, not just to give the full weight to the character growth that takes place during the series but also because you need the background story.

The first book of Koli is really an introduction to the world and characters.  Koli lives in a small village where each person must play their part in order to survive.  The village is effectively run by one family, known as the Ramparts, who are in control of all the ‘old tech’.  Each year the newest adults in the village undertake a trial to see if the tech will ‘wake’ for them.  This is an exciting and hopeful time for the villagers although to date the ability remains within the one family.  The first book is more about the revelations and truths that Koli uncovers that result in him being cast out of the village and see the start of his journey to seek lost London.

The second book breaks into two narratives that follows Koli and his little group of friends (and they are a really great bunch of characters) and also flits back to Koli’s village so that we can see what is happening there since he left.  I enjoyed this book more than the first to be honest.  I liked the split narrative, I enjoyed seeing more of the world and there were a couple of revelations.  The villagers, for example, are starting to become more aware of the duplicity that surrounds them but at the same time still need to remain united in order to survive.

The third book is also a huge revelation.  Koli and his group have found what they were looking for, at the same time, they’ve also discovered that the threat to the world might not yet be over.

There’s plenty of action in this instalment and both storylines seem to split in the way they feel.  Koli’s storyline almost feels unreal, like we’ve stepped into a strange sci-fi nightmare.  Meanwhile the village are facing a total wipe out that brings plenty of action and fighting to the story.

What I really liked about this series is that taken as a whole it’s much more than the sum of its parts.  It’s not simply a post apocalyptic book about survival and the depths that people sink to in order to stay alive – although there is obviously still elements of that.  This is more a story of hope to be honest.  It highlights that there are still people who want to help others and will go to great lengths in order to do so.  More than this it has to be the most unlikely love story you’ll ever read – and to be clear, this isn’t a romance in the typical sense of the word – I won’t say more on that.  And, on top of this there’s the whole debate going on here about AI – can humans trust artificial intelligence or, perhaps on the flip side, can artificial intelligence trust humans.

I like a book that makes me think and the Fall of Koli certainly achieved that.  Plus, all this food for thought is wrapped up in a tense story that highlights the struggles that the characters from both narratives are undertaking to not just survive but to stop a bigger threat.  And I really appreciated that both storylines involved a fight to survive.  On the face of it the village faced a dire threat with lots of fighting and strategy.  Koli and Co  seemed to be involved in a much smaller conflict on the face of it and with less dynamism involved in terms of action and war faring, but, in fact their storyline had the potential for much greater impact in the long term and certainly felt more sinister.

In terms of criticisms.  Nothing much here except I felt a slight slowing down during the time Koli and his friends spent on board ship (trying not to give anything away here).  To be fair, I think that might just be me though – I found myself enjoying the second narrative slightly more which is probably down to all the action.  Again, though, there are moments during this part of Koli’s story that really made my jaw drop.

Overall, I think this was a very good conclusion.  I’m tempted to say bittersweet but I’m not entirely sure that’s the most appropriate phrase.  Having really thought about it I think Carey has given the most unusual, but perhaps strangely fitting, conclusion that you could imagine. (Also, massive spoiler alert: highlight if you want to read this :

The clue really is in the title)

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

My rating 4.5 of 5 stars