The Tower Must Fall by S.E. Bennett
Genres/Themes: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Fairy Tale retellings, War, Steampunk ?, New Adult
★★★★✯ 4.5 stars!
*I received this book in exchange for an honest and fair review from netgalley*
My first instinct after finishing this amazing book was to give it 5 stars. I absolutely loved this book and I definitely will read it again. As I’m thinking about what to write, I’ve come to realize it isn’t perfect and if I didn’t love the book SO. MUCH. I’d drop it down to a full 4 stars.
First things first, A brief summary:
This book is about the discontent between mortals and the Cryptids (Unnaturals). These Cryptids are considered monsters or things of myth, once featured in Fairy Tales. Marek is one of these Cryptids, while unsure of which type of Cryptid he is, he still tries to spread the word of a better life for their people besides running for their life or living as slaves. Through an unfortunate turn of events he meets Enyo, another Cryptid, but also an ex-Animus, people who kill Cryptids without remorse. They go on a journey to Sanctuary, a place Cryptids are supposedly safe but, they will find out that isn’t the end of their journey. War is imminent and the choices they make will help decide the fate of all Cryptids.
There are a lot of amazing characters with different backgrounds. There was a lot of variety and I absolutely loved reading about this world. One thing I personally enjoyed was the amount of strong female characters. Not just fighters but, strong protector mothers or women dealing with their own problems with their own minds.
“This place is the future, Liesel von Asche, because here, when someone says ‘women’s work,’ no one actually knows what the hell they’re talking about.”
The plot was so interesting. I loved they way fairy tales were worked in. The readers were not only given the happy endings hinted at, the ones we all know from Disney but, we are told sad versions were the original protagonist perhaps is the bad person or forced to do bad things. Absolutely amazing. The war between fantasy creatures and mortals is nothing really new but, the fact that these characters are known for being in these fairy tales was very interesting. The pacing I thought was pretty good but, this was a point of discontent for me. There were times I would be reading and then the next section would confuse me making me re-read a page, tentatively continue reading — looking for answers and more so, looking for a time reference. I wasn’t always sure if things were happening concurrently, in the past, or future.
One example was within Chapter 12. In the beginning of the chapter the reader is given background on a weapon as well as the ‘history’ (retelling) of Snow White and Rose Red. Then suddenly, there is an interlude of a different time period when Marek was at a riot. I really thought those two events didn’t go together and there was no transition.
Another time was when the main characters are visiting the woman who raised Enyo and then suddenly they are still there… which shouldn’t seem sudden but, everyone is nervous and scared of ???? oh! then we are told what is going on. Awesome– continue reading everything is great until the end and now there are fights everywhere and how did they get into this fight?!
Things are explained. I was never confused for too long. It was just those parts jerking me out of the world. Which also happened each chapter because there are cover pages for the chapters. A rose, chapter #, and a line or so of what to expect– a short kinda fortune-telling , if you will.
I loved the book and the story enough that the pacing didn’t affect my love too much.
One last point I wanted to mention was that this book is not apparently a series. This really makes me sad. Also, puzzling. See, the book is this adventure with war looming. There is a battle and things end…. kinda. Toward the end I could see how the author was trying to wrap things up but, I really want more. I thought we should explore Marek’s power more, see resolution with Kain’s love life, figure out exactly who Gespenst is/was? to Enyo or who he wanted to be to her. So many things I thought were left a little loose but, don’t worry the main story is definitely completed. I just love a sequel.
Would I recommend this book?? YES! I really want to talk about this book to more people.