Book Review: The Fallen Children (David Owen)
Release Date: May 4th 2017
Summary (from Goodreads):
Young people on the Midwich Estate don’t have much hope for their futures. Keisha has lived there her whole life, and has been working hard to escape it; others have just accepted their lot.
But change is coming…
One night everyone inside Midwich Tower falls mysteriously unconscious in one inexplicable ‘Nightout’. No one can explain what happened during those lost hours, but soon afterwards Keisha and three other girls find they’re pregnant – and the babies are growing at an alarming rate.
As the news spreads around the tower its residents turn against them and the situation spirals toward violence. Keisha’s life unravels as she realises that the pregnancy may not have just ruined her hopes for the future: she might be mother to the end of the world.
I haven’t bought many books lately (I have such a backlog to get through as it is) but whenever I heard about this one on Twitter I knew I had to get it.
I didn’t realise where it took its inspiration from (The Cuckoos of Midwich/The Village of the Damned) until my partner watched the latter and told me I should write a book telling the story from the women’s point of view. The next day I went out and bought The Fallen Children and realised David Owen had already beaten me to it – and done a hell of a job.
I really love the idea of updating this story to make it reflect challenges young people face today. There’s an introduction by the author that had me loving the book before I even started it. I don’t really fall into the young person/16-25 category anymore but I am part of the millennial generation and we do get a bad rep. I’m sick of being told we don’t work hard enough or it’s our fault we can’t buy houses because we buy too many avocados, and any of the other ridiculous things that come up.
Rant over, on to the book.
We see the story from several points of view: Keisha, Morris and Siobhan in the first half, and Keisha, Morris and Maida in the second. It was interesting to see the different ways they all reacted to the unexpected pregnancies, especially the girls. While Keisha and Siobhan feel violated over what happened to them and how they’ve lost control of their lives, Olivia is torn because she always wanted a child and Maida feels she is part of something special. I think I’m more on Keisha and Siobhan’s side, but it was good to get a different perspective on things.
Morris, on the other hand, takes it all in his stride, after the initial shock. I found it odd how much he wanted to play happy families and ignore how and where these babies came from. His character frustrated me so much: sometimes he was so sweet and I knew he was trying hard to do what’s best, and other times his actions made me want to scream at him. I found Maida’s story one of the most interesting, especially after the children are born. She’s the one who really appreciates their powers, loves them and believes they’re special.
While I appreciated the message, I thought it was delivered a little heavy handedly sometimes, with a lot of speeches and ‘moments’ towards the end. But it does make you think about the expectations put on you, and that you put on others. I loved the diverse range of characters and felt it really reflected, in a positive way, a part of society that is often looked down upon. The sci-fi element of the book is tense and keeps you reading but it’s the reflections on real life that really hit home.
I loved this book and I hope you’ll read it and love it too. As an added piece of awesomeness, it’s available in over 360 different colours and they’re all beautiful.