Review: After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall by Nancy Kress

29 Mar

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary via

The year is 2035. After ecological disasters nearly destroyed the Earth, 26 survivors–the last of humanity–are trapped by an alien race in a sterile enclosure known as the Shell. Fifteen-year-old Pete is one of the Six–children who were born deformed or sterile and raised in the Shell. As, one by one, the survivors grow sick and die, Pete and the Six struggle to put aside their anger at the alien Tesslies in order to find the means to rebuild the earth together. Their only hope lies within brief time-portals into the recent past, where they bring back children to replenish their disappearing gene pool. Meanwhile, in 2013, brilliant mathematician Julie Kahn works with the FBI to solve a series of inexplicable kidnappings. Suddenly her predictive algorithms begin to reveal more than just criminal activity. As she begins to realize her role in the impending catastrophe, simultaneously affecting the Earth and the Shell, Julie closes in on the truth. She and Pete are converging in time upon the future of humanity–a future which might never unfold.

This was an interesting little book. Little is a key here, it felt almost more like a detailed short story than a full novel. It’s an exploration of a series of snapshots relating to a future world, with glimpses of how these people got there.

I found the characters secondary to the slow world-building, as I was filled in details of what the characters already knew and what they were just now learning, about what had happened to bring them into this situation.

Our current world was woven into the story in two ways, by the detective work Julie does into the intrusions into our time, and by the verbal history Pete and the other children hear from the original survivors. It’s enough to hook me in.

In the end, it felt complete, for all there was more left to explore. I was left thinking about the world, but not feeling like there should have been more.

Thank you to Tachyon Publications for sending me this book for review.

1 Comment

Posted by on March 29, 2012 in books, reviews


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One response to “Review: After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall by Nancy Kress

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