The Fall of Koli by M. R. Carey [9/10]

Behold “The Fall of Koli,” the final, remarkable instalment of M. R. Carey’s destined-to-be-a-classic Rampart trilogy. New to this superlative world builder and science-fiction stylist, I swooned from the very first words of The Book of Koli, then rocketed through The Trials of Koli, and have now put aside all else to check out the series’ triumphant closer. The trilogy is set in a distant future Earth dunked back into primitivism, an Earth blighted by human-created ecological madness and dotted with remnants of once-near-magical technology. In the first book, young Koli, writing in a simplistic dumbed-down voice, is thrown out of his struggling clan, and finds the three companions gracing the trilogy: an AI music player, a tetchy healer, and an angry warrior. At the start of The Fall of Koli, the quartet finds itself aboard a boat searching for the origins of a signal across the ocean from long-drowned London. From then on, the storyline escalates into a baroque, beautifully realized series of plot twists involving genetic foretelling, cyborgs, long-dormant metal armies, primitive battles, and massed countryside battles. Nothing is predictable, all fits like a glove. Koli is a classic sci-fi hero out of the mold of Gene Wolfe, the author writes a dream, and the emotional heft of the grand theme of humanity’s reach overstretched and perhaps restored is deep, and … well, as you can gather, I consider The Fall of Koli to be the capstone of a transcendent three-volume work. Buy all three today and sink in, dear reader.

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