I’m not only happy to be reviewing another Indie book, but the book of another author I know. For proof, I was in the acknowledgements of this novel and needless to say that touched me. Made me feel kind of guilty for reading it so late, but I’m glad to be reading this nonetheless.
Because I’ve yet to read another book anything like this one. Well, until the sequel comes out.
Derek’s developed powers beyond his imagining. When he shows this off to his best friend Tracy, he brings forth a monster into their town that gives him the chills every time he’s near it. Still, Tracy ushers him to train and experiment despite the damage he’s doing to himself and those around him. And when it gets too far, he drags him and his friends into a journey across time to fix his own mistakes and many others they made throughout history.
This book has one of the tightest plots I have ever read. This was absolutely the strongest suit for Pick and showed a bunch of effort and care as threads got tied and Chekhov’s Gun got fired multiple times. Not only that, but is was a very easy story to follow. The magic system, character relationships, arcs… everything was solid.
It was refreshing to see two sides of teen characters that people complain don’t get seen enough or claim is unrealistic. We see both the characters who care about their grades and the characters wanting to truly embrace their powers and not think of the consequences of them. Both are underrepresented in the contemporary and urban fantasy books I have come across, and it was such a delight to see those sides here in this book.
That being said, the one things that wasn’t realistic in all this was dialogue. It quite often felt clunky and screamed that this dialogue wasn’t written by a teen. A lot of teen characters are of course not written by teens, but with this book you could really tell. It painted the teen characters as mature with some lines, which there is nothing wrong with, but then the following dialogue lines felt like they came out of someone much younger than seventeen.
I didn’t mind when the vibes of this novel were so strong! I’d describe this novel’s vibes as the cousin to Stranger Things, where it is different for sure but with enough similarities to entice fans of the series. The small town vibes, monsters versus superpowered teens, family amongst friends… See what I mean? Now pair that with the magic exploration and journeys across time in so many different formats and you get Falling Through. Good vibes.
All in all a strong debut and career-started for Ben Pick. Look out for what’s next for sure.
Falling Through gets a score of 4/5. El would be envious of what’s happening in this book.
Yours in writing