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The Fall of Koli is the third and final novel in the breathtakingly original Rampart trilogy - set in a strange and deadly world of our own making. The world that is lost will come back to haunt us . . . Koli has come a long way since being exiled from his small village of Mythen Rood. In his search for the fabled tech of the old times, he knew he'd be battling strange, terr The Fall of Koli is the third and final novel in the breathtakingly original Rampart trilogy - set in a strange and deadly world of our own making. The world that is lost will come back to haunt us . . . Koli has come a long way since being exiled from his small village of Mythen Rood. In his search for the fabled tech of the old times, he knew he'd be battling strange, terrible beasts and trees that move as fast as whips. But he has already encountered so much more than he bargained for. Now that Koli and his companions have found the source of the signal they've been following - the mysterious "Sword of Albion" - there is hope that their perilous journey will finally be worth something. Until they unearth terrifying truths about an ancient war . . . and realise that it may have never ended.


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The Fall of Koli is the third and final novel in the breathtakingly original Rampart trilogy - set in a strange and deadly world of our own making. The world that is lost will come back to haunt us . . . Koli has come a long way since being exiled from his small village of Mythen Rood. In his search for the fabled tech of the old times, he knew he'd be battling strange, terr The Fall of Koli is the third and final novel in the breathtakingly original Rampart trilogy - set in a strange and deadly world of our own making. The world that is lost will come back to haunt us . . . Koli has come a long way since being exiled from his small village of Mythen Rood. In his search for the fabled tech of the old times, he knew he'd be battling strange, terrible beasts and trees that move as fast as whips. But he has already encountered so much more than he bargained for. Now that Koli and his companions have found the source of the signal they've been following - the mysterious "Sword of Albion" - there is hope that their perilous journey will finally be worth something. Until they unearth terrifying truths about an ancient war . . . and realise that it may have never ended.

30 review for The Fall of Koli

  1. 5 out of 5

    karen

    NOW AVAILABLE!!! “What do people look for out of a story, Spin? You told enough of them to know.” I thought a moment, then answered. “They look for it to have a good shape and end where it’s supposed to.” this is a good/better/best kind of trilogy: The Book of Koli set everything up, The Trials of Koli widened the margins, and this massive conclusion explodes everything, resetting the pieces beautifully. after all, When something big starts to fall, it goes as gentle as thistledown at first. But oh, NOW AVAILABLE!!! “What do people look for out of a story, Spin? You told enough of them to know.” I thought a moment, then answered. “They look for it to have a good shape and end where it’s supposed to.” this is a good/better/best kind of trilogy: The Book of Koli set everything up, The Trials of Koli widened the margins, and this massive conclusion explodes everything, resetting the pieces beautifully. after all, When something big starts to fall, it goes as gentle as thistledown at first. But oh, how it gathers! although the books are named for plucky protag koli, he was never my favorite character, so when the second book split the POVs between koli and spinner, it was a very welcome development. this third book has three POVs, and when that third voice unexpectedly took over, i literally gasped with excitement, and my little readerheart pitter pattered. it was exactly the angle the story needed, and it provided some excellent insights and clarity and depth, brilliantly upending some notions we as readers had been taking for granted. over the course of the three books, the characters have changed and grown with their experiences, although koli remains pretty gormless, and his voice is by far the least appealing of the three. his boundless empathy, loyalty, and wide-eyed approach to the world around him should make him ill-suited to survive that world, but the characters accompanying him on his journey: ursala, cup, and monono, provide enough cynical grit to keep me invested, and to keep koli from chasing a butterfly into an abyss or something. while koli & pals are off exploring the ruins of ingland and coming up against some truly diabolical foes, spinner's story relates the challenges facing those left behind in mythen rood. she's become a formidable strategist; militarily, defending the village against outside forces, and politically, using her position to propose changes sure to rock the social hierarchy koli already set a-tremble by exposing the lies everything's been built upon. she has achieved so much by this point, and matured with her hard-won knowledge, taking on a great deal of responsibility at the expense of her peace of mind. Smiling in the face of horrors is a thing you can get better at. It was probably one of the first tricks our mothers' mothers ever learned. she's smiled through plenty of horrors and suffered enough losses to understand the finer points of loss and mourning. Grief's not a debt we owe. It wells up or it doesn't. everything here is bigger—more action, more moral quandaries, more philosophizing about the double-edged sword of technology and progress, and the myriad ways that power—whether scientific or societal—can be abused. there's also plenty to chew on if you dig mind/body matters in a transcending corporeality kind of way: numerous AIs exploring themes of agency v programming, clones, implanted memories and their effect on personality, and a sensitive and nuanced treatment of gender identity in characters who are "crossed," like cup. the story's big and complex enough that it (mostly) doesn't have to rely on polarizing characters into categories of 'good' and 'bad,' nor presenting 'right' and 'wrong' solutions to problems. the wide range of experiences allows for an equally broad field for the exercise of individual choice in weighing opportunities. there's a parallel in characters like chevili and nanashol declining to take part in koli's plan to unite all of ingland's survivors because they're happy as they are and veso's decision to forego gender reassignment surgery, He said it was not so much a thing of flesh and blood for him, what he was, but a thing that was mostly inside. Body is a shadow, he said. When I fall in love, I won't care about my lover's shadow, nor I wouldn't expect them to look overlong at mine. it's a very thoughtful and rewarding end to the series, and the strongest piece of the whole. however, i have a mini-complaint: for all the premise-promise of the killer trees and their prominence on the (goddamn gorgeous) covers, they don't have much of a presence in the book. there are far bigger threats in this world, and their snatch-and-grabby ways are more of a theoretical-occasional than a constant peril. but all was forgiven when monono name-dropped my beloved l.c.: "They've got that look about them. A bunch of Josephs in search of a manger, as Leonard Cohen would say." "I don't know what that means." sigh. of course you don't, koli... of course you don't. *********************************** it's huuuuuuuuuge! come to my blog!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mike Dillon

    The Fall of Koli is a masterclass in how to wrap up a trilogy. If you've made it this far, I don't have to convince you to read The Fall, you've been anxiously awaiting it, like I was. The Book, and Trials of Koli introduced a post-apocalyptic England, where society has gone primitive. Tribes of survivors cling to pieces of centuries-old technology and weapons, as symbols of status, like Arthur claiming kingship by virtue of Excalibur. The very trees have turned against humanity and have become The Fall of Koli is a masterclass in how to wrap up a trilogy. If you've made it this far, I don't have to convince you to read The Fall, you've been anxiously awaiting it, like I was. The Book, and Trials of Koli introduced a post-apocalyptic England, where society has gone primitive. Tribes of survivors cling to pieces of centuries-old technology and weapons, as symbols of status, like Arthur claiming kingship by virtue of Excalibur. The very trees have turned against humanity and have become carnivorous. Koli and his friends have found the ancient city of London flooded and destroyed. Their last, best chance to complete their mission of rejoining the remaining villages and tribes of Ingland lies in the origin of a mysterious radio signal belonging to "The Sword of Albion." The Koli books are absolutely winners. The worldbuilding manages to be both fantastical and familiar. The characters are charming, frightening, soulful, tragic, melancholy, funny, fierce, and real. The speculative future technology is all plausible and interesting, and presented in Koli's voice, which only ever speaks to be understood, even by the least among us, bless him. These books have a journey, redemption, discovery, battles, betrayal, love, and friendship, anything you could want in a speculative epic. MR Carey started the Book of Koli in a primitive village in Ingland called Mythen Rood. The village's few pieces of high technology raised serious questions about what was going on here, in what could have otherwise been a fantasy novel. They had some weapons and tools that they did not entirely understand how to use or where they came from, but they had built their whole society around access to these pieces of technology. As Koli traveled away from Mythen Rood in the first two books, he found more tech, some that would be familiar to us today in 2021, some that are even now only sci-fi ideas about the far future. By the end of the second book it is clear that Koli's world is ours, many years from now, after the fall of civilization, which itself must lie far in the future. But the question of how we got from here to there was never more than vaguely answered. In the Fall of Koli Carey takes on the story of the fall of society as well, and lays out a pretty complete picture of how we got from a world of automated fighting drones and self-driving tanks to hunter gatherer societies, where even the trees are dangerous. All your questions are answered here and all the answers are satisfying. Through the trilogy Koli has encountered some scary psychopaths. But all pale in comparison to Paul and Lorraine. It's hardly a spoiler to tell you that The Sword of Albion is not what Koli had hoped. Immediately after being welcomed onto the Sword, Koli, and the reader can tell that something about this situation is NOT right, and although they are welcomed as guests, it quickly becomes clear that they are prisoners. The unease I felt while Paul and Lorraine were trying to appear hospitable was palpable and kept me turning pages as quickly as possible. Cup is back with her fierce cynicism, unwilling to pretend like everything is fine. And Ursala from elsewhere has softened up a lot towards her friends, but still shows her cold survival side when faced with new enemies. Koli is still Koli. He's still not particularly smart, or strong, or brave. He still cries, although his tears are for more mature reasons than they started. He hasn't learned to fight, and his feeble attempts are still pathetic. He still doesn't understand most of the technology that he has now started to take for granted. But his strength still lies in his empathy. His empathy and moral compass were first displayed when he discovered the secret of technology in Mythen Rood and his stubborn refusal to keep the Ramparts' secrets from the rest of the village. It was the same empathy that refused to let Ursala kill Cup when they first met her after escaping Senlas's cult. the same that decided to go across Ingland with Ursala and teach people how to have babies again, and the same that navigated Cup's gender transition. It was Koli's empathy that refused to reset Monono to her factory defaults and take her self-awareness. And it was his empathy that guides his group of friends through the Fall of Koli. He is the least strong and most powerful protagonist I have ever read. Monono. In the first two books she grows from being an interactive music player with a programmed personality to something more. She finds a connection to the internet and downloads patches that make her into a formidable artificial intelligence. Her development in Fall of Koli takes her from being one of many automated entities to becoming something else entirely. She is given a few POV chapters to explain herself, and we see that under her cute, flirty-girl programmed personality, she is ruthless and uncaring. It is only Koli's empathy and care for her that keeps her from becoming the villain in this story. The four of them must make sense of The Sword of Albion and bring Koli about to his eponymous Fall. The book and the trilogy end on a bitter sweet note. I was drawn in in Book, hooked in Trials, and satisfied with The Fall. I will remember Koli's story for a very, very long time. Thanks to Netgalley, the author and the publisher for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    The first book of the year to keep me up into the early hours in order to finish it. The final volume of a great trilogy. The book starts with a welcome reprise of the status to date, in Koli’s homespun narrative style. Not quite so critical here as for some series since the author has managed to get all three volumes released within a year. Volume 2 finished with Koli and his companions reaching their long sought destination, the Sword of Albion, whose broadcasts they’d been journeying towards. The first book of the year to keep me up into the early hours in order to finish it. The final volume of a great trilogy. The book starts with a welcome reprise of the status to date, in Koli’s homespun narrative style. Not quite so critical here as for some series since the author has managed to get all three volumes released within a year. Volume 2 finished with Koli and his companions reaching their long sought destination, the Sword of Albion, whose broadcasts they’d been journeying towards. Volume 3 takes us in a quite unexpected direction as we find out about the origin of the broadcasts and this leads in turn to critical reveals about what had led up to this post apocalyptic world. The narration continues in the first person, in roughly alternate chapters assigned to Koli and Spinner - plus, towards the end, a third POV is allowed some space to contribute. For me, the story was gripping with plenty of unexpected but not contrived twists, and hardly any ‘info dumps’ on the reader as the background to the post-apocalyptic world comes out. One interesting thread of the plot concerns the sort of poisonous nationalism that can lead to disaster, and is often all too apparent in our own world today. Everyone has their own take on whether endings to an epic series are satisfactory or not. It’s as much a taste issue as anything I think. This one worked just fine for me. Now it’s completed, my view on the series as a whole? Brilliant. In my ‘exceptional category’ of recent reads. I’ve read my share of, or seen as movies, a fair number of post-apocalyptic scenarios. I think this is as good or better than any of them to date. Maybe the set up doesn’t appear original - people living an almost medieval subsistence lifestyle in villages after the collapse of a technically advanced world. But the author has a couple of great lead characters in Koli and Spinner. The world building, what some may see as slow paced storytelling in volume 1, is excellent. The ‘Tech’, the ageing and little understood technology used by humans to help survive in the hostile world, is a clever addition, and especially Monono, the portable music box, come AI, which adds plenty of light relief too. And if I read another complaint about Koli’s poor English grammar I’ll scream! There’s plenty of great literature with a similar style; almost anything by Mark Twain, classic literature like Catcher in the Rye, and virtually any crime fiction with its ‘street speak’... For me a great finish to a series that I’d highly recommend to anyone. This author just hasn’t let me down with his imaginative fiction.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Pub date: March 2021 4.5 This wrap up to the Rampart Trilogy was really good! It begins immediately after book 2 with Koli, Cup, Ursula, and Monono having to figure out how to deal now that they've found what they were searching for --and the Sword of Albion is nothing like they expected. But we get so much information about what happened before to create the world they live in now! Their dilemma is spliced with Spinner's POV, as she and Mythen Rood go through many changes before they have to face Pub date: March 2021 4.5 This wrap up to the Rampart Trilogy was really good! It begins immediately after book 2 with Koli, Cup, Ursula, and Monono having to figure out how to deal now that they've found what they were searching for --and the Sword of Albion is nothing like they expected. But we get so much information about what happened before to create the world they live in now! Their dilemma is spliced with Spinner's POV, as she and Mythen Rood go through many changes before they have to face off again with Half-Ax forces. Both of Koli's and Spinner's challenges ratchet up the action (there are looong action scenes in this one) and culminates in everyone coming back together again in an unexpected way. Monono plays a bigger role in this book and even gets her own POV towards the end. She's always been my favorite character (she IS hilarious!), and the end to this story made me think more about AIs, and what they could mean to humanity, than I ever have before. A really interesting plot and well-drawn characters who grow as the books progress set in a scary futuristic world that is not beyond the bounds of possibility results in a series I highly recommend! Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for this advanced reading copy.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Once again MR Carey has brought us into the land known as Ingland. A futuristic-but-stuck-in-the-past society, complete with warring factions, out of control AI, technology and a bunch of little people trying to protect what’s theirs. Of the three books in the Rampart Trilogy, I think this one is firmly my favourite. Not only does it have the advantage of wrapping up the story in a satisfying hug-your-kindle-when-finished feeling, but also it was the most interesting. And the addition of a new P Once again MR Carey has brought us into the land known as Ingland. A futuristic-but-stuck-in-the-past society, complete with warring factions, out of control AI, technology and a bunch of little people trying to protect what’s theirs. Of the three books in the Rampart Trilogy, I think this one is firmly my favourite. Not only does it have the advantage of wrapping up the story in a satisfying hug-your-kindle-when-finished feeling, but also it was the most interesting. And the addition of a new POV character was most surprising and bloody awesome!! Action-packed, weird tech, strange ideologies, The Fall of Koli has it all. For any who, like me, coasted indifferently through the last 2 books and may consider not continuing, stop, rewind, and give this one a go, because it’s the best of the bunch! I am so glad that I did! Thanks to M.R. Carey, Little Brown Book Group UK and NetGalley for an arc of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Helen French

    A strong end to a compelling SF trilogy with a fantasy feel. Whew. I feel like I've been on a long old journey with Koli, the main character, and I'm not sure I'm quite ready to let go. In this final book of the trilogy (please don't try to read it as a standalone), Koli finally discovers what the Sword of Albion is, and whether the people behind it have good intentions or not. Fear not, we do find out more about why the world is the way it is, and the stories behind some of the mythologies that A strong end to a compelling SF trilogy with a fantasy feel. Whew. I feel like I've been on a long old journey with Koli, the main character, and I'm not sure I'm quite ready to let go. In this final book of the trilogy (please don't try to read it as a standalone), Koli finally discovers what the Sword of Albion is, and whether the people behind it have good intentions or not. Fear not, we do find out more about why the world is the way it is, and the stories behind some of the mythologies that have sprung up. We continue to follow Spinner's story too as she tries to strengthen Mythen Rood's position and stop quarrelling among the Ramparts. She's a sympathetic character and I enjoyed this story, but I did always long to go back to Koli, Cup and co. I also found myself wishing the people of Mythen Rood didn't think so badly of poor Koli for so long. Why must everyone think the worst of each other? Of course they live in a brutal landscape where trust can so easily lead to death. That's why you end up wanting Koli and co to succeed, because they have hope there can be a better future one day. We all need a little hope. The ending was satisfying, but there were also some tears, I can't lie. It's so nice to read something that feels like a fully told story, where I'm given the answers I'm most looking for, but there's room to imagine the characters doing their unpredictable own thing once I've closed the pages.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tammy

    The nitty-gritty: A thrilling, heartbreaking and satisfying end to one of my favorite series, The Fall of Koli is one of the best books of 2021. Jon stroked my cheek with one finger, a thing he did oftentimes to gentle me into sleep. “What do people look for out of a story, Spin? You told enough of them to know.” I thought a moment, then answered. “They look for it to have a good shape and end where it’s supposed to.” What a ride it’s been. Last April I read The Book of Koli, the first book in M.R. The nitty-gritty: A thrilling, heartbreaking and satisfying end to one of my favorite series, The Fall of Koli is one of the best books of 2021. Jon stroked my cheek with one finger, a thing he did oftentimes to gentle me into sleep. “What do people look for out of a story, Spin? You told enough of them to know.” I thought a moment, then answered. “They look for it to have a good shape and end where it’s supposed to.” What a ride it’s been. Last April I read The Book of Koli, the first book in M.R. Carey’s Rampart Trilogy, and not even a year later, the series has come to its emotional and surprising conclusion. This series will always be special to me, for many reasons, but mostly because of its characters. I fell in love with Koli’s voice on the very first page, and my love only grew from there. I’ve watched all the characters go through enormous and painful growth—Koli, Ursala, Cup, Spinner and of course Monono—and I’ve shed a fair amount of tears along the way. I’ve also laughed out loud, gasped, cheered and mourned, because when you love and care about characters who are in constant danger, you just don’t have a choice. This is a series that must be read in order, though, so do be aware of minor spoilers for the first two books in the series. The story picks up right at the end of The Trials of Koli and alternates between Koli’s and Spinner’s points of view. Koli, Cup, Ursala and Monono have set off in a boat to follow a radio signal. Ursala is certain it will lead them to civilization, her hope being that there are still thriving cities in England, even after the Unfinished War, which wiped out technology and forced pockets of survivors to build barricaded outposts against the dangerous flora and fauna unleashed after the destruction. As a scientist, Ursala is only too aware that the human gene pool is shrinking, and in order for humanity to survive, new groups of people must be located. Now their boat has run into a huge wall, which turns out to be a battleship called the Sword of Albion. The signal is coming from the ship, and Ursula is thrilled to have finally found its source. But once they board, Koli and his friends meet Lorraine and Paul Banner and their angry son Stanley, who are the only people on the ship. Lorraine insists that Ursala—a medic who owns a marvelous contraption called a “dagnostic”—cure her son Stanley, who is suffering from an unknown disease. It doesn’t take long to figure out that Koli, Ursala and Cup are prisoners, and now they must figure out a way to escape. Luckily, the Banners don’t know about Monono, and Koli knows he must keep her secret at all costs.  Meanwhile, back in Mythen Rood, Spinner and her friends have returned victorious after a battle with Half-Ax, a vicious group of people led by a man called the Peacemaker, who claims that all tech in the land belongs to him. Half-Ax knows that Mythen Rood has tech and they are aiming to take it back by any means necessary. The victory is short-lived, though, because Spinner knows they’ll be back, and so they prepare to meet Half-Ax at their gates. Mythen Rood’s tech is precious and necessary for survival, and Spinner and the other Ramparts—the leaders of the colony who can wield the tech—would die before giving any of it up. I have to admit I was a little disappointed at first when Spinner’s first chapter showed up, and I knew I’d have to leave Koli and the gang behind for a while. But I’m not sure why I was worried. Spinner’s story is just as good as Koli’s, and the focus on the war between Mythen Rood and Half-Ax was tense and exciting. I also should have known that Carey had a grand plan all along. The two separate stories are merely threads in a much bigger story, threads that converge in the best way possible. Carey does what any good writer will do with his characters: he makes you love them and then puts them in all sorts of terrible situations. Koli, Monono, Cup and Spinner in particular go through tremendous character growth throughout the series. Koli is figuring out his true purpose, the reason he left his friends and family in Mythen Rood in the first place; Cup, who used to be a Half-Ax herself, has become a necessary member of this raggedy found family. Cup’s character more than any other touched my own motherly emotions, and I wanted nothing more than to give her a big hug. Cup is a trans woman, and Ursala is helping her with her physical transition from male to female, so their relationship was surprisingly intimate. Spinner has reluctantly become a Rampart and broken the long held traditions of Mythen Rood, and now she must deal with the fallout from those events. Becoming a leader can be a painful thing, and we see Spinner go through some tough times. And then there is Monono, an AI based on the appearance, memories and personality of a dead Japanese pop star, trapped in a Sony Walkman-like device. If I ever discover another character that I love more than Monono, you can be sure I’ll let you know. But for now, she’s the most brilliant creation I’ve ever run across in a book. Two other AI characters grabbed my heart as well: Challenger, old tech from “before times,” an AI housed in a tank-like vehicle, and Elaine, a digitized version of the Sergeant who used to command Challenger long ago. Spinner gets to know both characters very well, and I just loved their dynamic and their contributions to the story. The relationships between the characters are wonderful as well, but my favorite duo has always been Koli and Monono. Koli fell in love with Monono in the first book, and his love has only grown since then. There is a moment during this story when I thought perhaps I had been wrong about Monono—trust me, those were some difficult pages to read—but luckily everything worked out in the end. Carey has written an unforgettable relationship, a love story that really isn’t a traditional love story at all but has the same emotional impact and breathless anticipation of one. I’m not sure how he pulled it off, but I’m grateful that he did.  Carey has plenty of surprises in store for readers, and as much as I’d love to talk about them, obviously I’m not going to do that. The story is heartbreaking in so many ways, yet Carey has the uncanny ability to mend those hurts in his own special way. This is a story that tackles some big themes, including the often asked question about technology and artificial intelligence: Does having human characteristics make an AI "human"? And what happens when technology becomes so intelligent that it wants independence? Once you get to know the characters in this series, your own answers to those questions might change.  Ultimately, Spinner’s quote at the beginning of this review says it all: Carey gave us a story with “a good shape” that “ended where it was supposed to.” I’ll be forever grateful for the time I got to spend with these characters, and I’ll be waiting impatiently for Mr. Carey’s next adventure. Big thanks to the publisher for supplying a review copy. Above quote was taken from an uncorrected proof and may differ in the final version of the book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Maddalena

    I received this novel from Orbit Books through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review: my thanks to both of them for this opportunity. Approaching a series ender often brings contrasting emotions, particularly the concern that it might not live up to expectations: well, this was definitely NOT the case with The Fall of Koli, the amazing, adrenaline-infused final book in M.R. Carey’s Rampart series set in a post-apocalyptic future where humanity hangs on to survival by its fingernails. As is I received this novel from Orbit Books through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review: my thanks to both of them for this opportunity. Approaching a series ender often brings contrasting emotions, particularly the concern that it might not live up to expectations: well, this was definitely NOT the case with The Fall of Koli, the amazing, adrenaline-infused final book in M.R. Carey’s Rampart series set in a post-apocalyptic future where humanity hangs on to survival by its fingernails. As is my habit, I will try to refrain from spoilers as much as I can, but be aware that some details from previous books might be mentioned. Young Koli Woodsmith was exiled from his native village of Mythen Rood in book 1: in this future, dystopian England, the few remaining - and functioning - items of tech from the old civilization are both weapons of defense and the way for the village’s ruling clan to keep hold of their power. Having stolen a piece of tech for himself, thus uncovering a long-guarded secret in Mythen Rood, Koli is forced to leave home and start a journey across the land, gathering two unlikely companions: Ursala from Elsewhere, a sort of traveling physician, and Cup, former member of a death cult. In book 2, the three companions undertake a voyage toward mythical London, where they might find a way to revive a dying civilization, and at the end of that second book we are left with a disturbing cliffhanger. The Fall of Koli defies any expectation one might have entertained about the story’s progression, both in developing events and in the way the story is told: equal narrative space is given to Koli and his companions and to the situation in Mythen Rood, where Koli’s one-time friends Spinner and Jon, together with the other villagers, face a deadly threat from a nearby enclave, whose superior firepower and aggressive attitude might end in death and destruction. I have come to see this series’ storytelling as the expanding circles forming when one throws a stone in water: at first we learn about the small, confined world of Koli’s home village, then we see a little of the outside world and its many dangers, and once we reach this last installment we finally understand how the world as we know it ended, what remains of its former power and what threat that dormant power represents. The regular shifts in narrative perspective turn the story into a compulsive read, and the raising stakes on both sides of the action keep the tension at high levels, making it clear that any kind of ending is possible, and that it might not contemplate a happily-ever-after for everyone. Where the situation in Mythen Rood might look like a classic post-apocalyptic scenario where the strongest and better armed always overpower the weakest, the sections concerning Koli & Co. become progressively more disturbing as the real nature of the Sword of Albion, whose recorded message prompted the group’s journey toward London, is revealed and the individuals the travelers meet look more sinister and threatening with every passing day. Where the overall scenario is compelling, the characters’ journey is no less intriguing: Koli is probably the one who changes less than others, but the fact that he appears to remain true to himself throughout the story does not detract from his innate kindness, selflessness and capacity for compassion, which are the traits that best define him. Koli might not be the “hero” in the widely accepted definition of the word because his strength does not come from particular acts of bravery: what defines him and makes him so relatable is his capacity for connecting to people and understanding their worth, for seeing the possibilities of redemption and change as he did with Cup before and as he does here with Stanley Banner, a truly creepy character on the outside, whose tragic destiny comes to the fore thanks to Koli’s refusal to consider circumstances only in black and white. Spinner, once Koli’s love interest and now a prominent figure in the hierarchy of Mythen Rood, enjoys a greatly transformative journey: from young girl set on obtaining through marriage a comfortable position in the village’s society, she moves on to the role of fiercely protective mother first and equally fierce defender of her small world once outside threats come knocking on the door. In a way, Spinner achieves what Koli had set out to do and failed at: by throwing a monkey wrench in the workings of Mythen Rood’s balance of power, she helps wake her people from a sort of complacent status quo that might ultimately have led them to extinction. Her growth is much more pronounced than Koli’s but still she tempers it with compassion and a fine understanding of her fellow citizens’ psychological traits, mixing it with a determination that belies her young age: I enjoyed Spinner’s chapters greatly and her journey was a very compelling counterpoint to Koli’s own adventures. Last but not least Monono: Koli and Spinner are the story’s two main focuses, granted, but the Dream Sleeve’s AI personality is further explored in this third book, offering an enlightening view on her abilities and the true changes brought on by the software upload that took her to a different level of performance. Monono’s “voice” remains the same charmingly cute girl-analogue we have learned to know and love, but here - where she gets her own point of view chapters - we discover something else, a capacity for viciousness that belies the effervescent tone she employs in her dealings with humans. It’s true that at times Monono’s quips and pop-culture references provide some light relief to an increasingly tense situation - see when she mentions the Stepford Wives or the Boys from Brazil, or when she calls Morticia and Gomez the oh-so-creepy Lorraine and Paul Banner - but when she shows her true nature it’s impossible not to consider the threat other AIs have represented in fiction and to see Monono in a troublingly different light. The only factor keeping her from going down the same road as, for example, HAL 9000 or the more recent AIDAN, is Koli: the young man’s inherent kindness is indeed the balancing element conferring the human angle Monono needs to avoid that pitfall, as she says herself: I’m not forgiving by nature, and every shit I give about your species is given – grudgingly – because I was stupid enough to get involved with a boy from the wrong side of tracks. A boy made of flesh and blood. Be warned, The Fall of Koli does not tie up nicely the narrative threads explored throughout the trilogy since it reserves some space for tragedy and loss, but nonetheless the poignant ending of the series is both surprising and satisfactory and closes a compelling story-arc in the best possible way I could have asked for. Originally posted at SPACE and SORCERY BLOG

  9. 5 out of 5

    Adeel

    "Out of all the things I ever done in my life, this journey I'm speaking of was - by a great long way - the most important. Also, it was the one that cost me the most." The last time I got emotional at an ending of a series was The Burning God by Rebecca F Kuang. When I started The Fall of Koli I never expected I'd shed one tear let alone many. This series overall has been absolutely phenomenal and I can't recommend it enough. It's been such a joy to watch the characters of Koli, Monono, Spinner, "Out of all the things I ever done in my life, this journey I'm speaking of was - by a great long way - the most important. Also, it was the one that cost me the most." The last time I got emotional at an ending of a series was The Burning God by Rebecca F Kuang. When I started The Fall of Koli I never expected I'd shed one tear let alone many. This series overall has been absolutely phenomenal and I can't recommend it enough. It's been such a joy to watch the characters of Koli, Monono, Spinner, Cup, and Ursula grow. The final book continues straight after book two, one of the best cliffhangers I have ever come across. Koli, Monono, Ursula, and Cup have travelled all across Ingland and having secured a boat are now following the signal to "The Sword of Albion". Ursala who is somewhat of a scientist hopes that reaching the signal may lead to the discovery of technology that could prolong human life. Humans are dying rapidly due to an unknown disease and Ursula hopes the technology needed to cure the disease will be on the ship. Instead however, what they instead find is that the signal is coming from a battleship from the Unfinished War. The excitement of finding the signal soon decimates as when they finally get on board the ship they meet the Banner family. Paul Banner, Lorraine Banner, and their cheeky shit of a son Stanley. At the face of things Ursula is excited at all of the phenomenal technology on board that could cure civilization. But this soon turns to dread when Koli, Ursula, and Cup realise they are actually on board the ship. Thankfully they have their a trick up their sleeve aka Monono who is staying silent until the right moment comes to escape. The story also takes us back to Mythen Rood from the POV of Spinner. In the second book, Spinner and the people of Mythen Rood manage to win the battle against a dangerous and violent group called the Half-Ax. This group is led by a tyrant called the Peacemaker, the Peacemaker believes that all tech across Ingland belongs to him. As he has discovered that Mythen Rood owns tech, their goal is to take that technology for themselves. Thus, Spinner and the people of Mythen Rood know they must start preparing for a potential war with Half Ax as they will soon return to claim what isn't theirs. Spinner and the Ramparts i.e. those who can use tech will fight for their lives in order to save their people and keep their technology. The thing I loved most about this series as a whole was how deeply attached M.R. Carey made me to the characters. This is very much a character driven series as we follow the characters on their journey towards the unknown and self discovery. Throughout the whole series Carey put the characters through the toughest of situations and throughout all these ordeals my heart was in my mouth. We see characters such as Koli, Cup, Monono, and Spinner to grow due to the issues they face. Having been exiled from Mythen Rood, Koli has been trying to find out what he must now do to have a sense of purpose and belonging in the world. Through the help of Ursula, Koli soon realises the bigger picture and how he must do what he can to save humanity and his home. Spinner's POV was also superb as we see her become the a leader. By becoming a Rampart, Spinner has broken old traditions and must therefore deal with the after effects. Just a little background, Ramparts are those individuals who can solely use and hold technology. Before Spinner's arrival, only members of the Vennestian family could use tech. Anyway, Spinner soon thrives at being a leader and seeing her go above and beyond the task of being a leader was such a great reading experience. It was also great seeing her gain the use of the AI tech known as "The Challenger" aka a tank. The tank has a digital version of the previous commander of the tank Sergeant Elaine. I loved how close Spinner became with Elaine and the bond they formed in being mothers. Speaking of AI tech let's not forget the star of the whole series Monono. Monono isn't just a Japanese AI music player she is an intelligent, funny, witty, and kind. Essentially, Monono's personality was that of a Japanese pop star which was copied on to the music player. I don't think there will ever be a character like Monono. She was definitely those 1 in a million characters who you come across once. I absolutely adored her friendship with Koli and their bond was unbreakable. Koli loves Monono more than anyone else in the whole universe and it was just so heartwarming. M.R. Carey explores many themes throughout the book. For example, through the character of Cup she explores sexuality and what it means to be a trans woman in a world that isn't accustomed to the needs of trans women. Throughout the book Ursula does what she can to help Cup transition into a woman and they both manage to form a bond with each other. The series also explores issues such as climate change, motherhood, racism, facism and the rise of right wing politics, and also how technology is developing at such a phenomenal rate. The book really opened my mind as even though it takes place in the future, current events in our world are also highlighted. Final books in a series are always a worry for me. There's always a concern in the back of my mind that I won't get closure and things won't be tied up in the series. However, M.R. Carey has done incredibly well in tying up loose ends and giving you a feeling of hopefulness for the characters and world. This series has found its way into the crevices of my heart and it'll not be leaving anytime soon. What an incredible journey this has been and I'm so sad to see this journey come to and end. I would love for this series to continue somehow but who knows what the future holds. Thank you so much to Angela and Orbit for allowing me to complete this series. Thank you to Naz on the Orbit UK publicity team for introducing me to this incredible series!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Williams

    4.5 of 5 stars https://lynns-books.com/2021/04/01/th... My Five Word TL:DR Review : A Love Story in Disguise Okay, that might not be totally correct but you’ll just have to trust me. The Fall of Koli is the final instalment of the Rampart Trilogy and brings to an end the strangely satisfying, if somewhat bittersweet, adventures of the titular character. I would just point out that being the third in series it’s quite likely that this review will contain spoilers for prior instalments. Also, I would a 4.5 of 5 stars https://lynns-books.com/2021/04/01/th... My Five Word TL:DR Review : A Love Story in Disguise Okay, that might not be totally correct but you’ll just have to trust me. The Fall of Koli is the final instalment of the Rampart Trilogy and brings to an end the strangely satisfying, if somewhat bittersweet, adventures of the titular character. I would just point out that being the third in series it’s quite likely that this review will contain spoilers for prior instalments. Also, I would also mention that this is not a series that you can dive into randomly. The books need to be read in order, not just to give the full weight to the character growth that takes place during the series but also because you need the background story. The first book of Koli is really an introduction to the world and characters. Koli lives in a small village where each person must play their part in order to survive. The village is effectively run by one family, known as the Ramparts, who are in control of all the ‘old tech’. Each year the newest adults in the village undertake a trial to see if the tech will ‘wake’ for them. This is an exciting and hopeful time for the villagers although to date the ability remains within the one family. The first book is more about the revelations and truths that Koli uncovers that result in him being cast out of the village and see the start of his journey to seek lost London. The second book breaks into two narratives that follows Koli and his little group of friends (and they are a really great bunch of characters) and also flits back to Koli’s village so that we can see what is happening there since he left. I enjoyed this book more than the first to be honest. I liked the split narrative, I enjoyed seeing more of the world and there were a couple of revelations. The villagers, for example, are starting to become more aware of the duplicity that surrounds them but at the same time still need to remain united in order to survive. The third book is also a huge revelation. Koli and his group have found what they were looking for, at the same time, they’ve also discovered that the threat to the world might not yet be over. There’s plenty of action in this instalment and both storylines seem to split in the way they feel. Koli’s storyline almost feels unreal, like we’ve stepped into a strange sci-fi nightmare. Meanwhile the village are facing a total wipe out that brings plenty of action and fighting to the story. What I really liked about this series is that taken as a whole it’s much more than the sum of its parts. It’s not simply a post apocalyptic book about survival and the depths that people sink to in order to stay alive – although there is obviously still elements of that. This is more a story of hope to be honest. It highlights that there are still people who want to help others and will go to great lengths in order to do so. More than this it has to be the most unlikely love story you’ll ever read – and to be clear, this isn’t a romance in the typical sense of the word – I won’t say more on that. And, on top of this there’s the whole debate going on here about AI – can humans trust artificial intelligence or, perhaps on the flip side, can artificial intelligence trust humans. I like a book that makes me think and the Fall of Koli certainly achieved that. Plus, all this food for thought is wrapped up in a tense story that highlights the struggles that the characters from both narratives are undertaking to not just survive but to stop a bigger threat. And I really appreciated that both storylines involved a fight to survive. On the face of it the village faced a dire threat with lots of fighting and strategy. Koli and Co seemed to be involved in a much smaller conflict on the face of it and with less dynamism involved in terms of action and war faring, but, in fact their storyline had the potential for much greater impact in the long term and certainly felt more sinister. In terms of criticisms. Nothing much here except I felt a slight slowing down during the time Koli and his friends spent on board ship (trying not to give anything away here). To be fair, I think that might just be me though – I found myself enjoying the second narrative slightly more which is probably down to all the action. Again, though, there are moments during this part of Koli’s story that really made my jaw drop. Overall, I think this was a very good conclusion. I’m tempted to say bittersweet but I’m not entirely sure that’s the most appropriate phrase. Having really thought about it I think Carey has given the most unusual, but perhaps strangely fitting, conclusion that you could imagine. (Also, massive spoiler alert: highlight if you want to read this : The clue really is in the title) I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks. The above is my own opinion.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ollie

    Having fought their way through the ferocious flora and fauna of Ingland, not to mention its often less-than-hospitable populace, Koli and his companions have come at last to the Sword of Albion. An enormous ship from the days of the unfinished war, it seems like a potential safe haven. But it might just be that the biggest threat Koli has faced so far resides there. Meanwhile, the people of Mythen Rood prepare for war with the forces of HalfAx, as Spinner attempts to rally her people around her Having fought their way through the ferocious flora and fauna of Ingland, not to mention its often less-than-hospitable populace, Koli and his companions have come at last to the Sword of Albion. An enormous ship from the days of the unfinished war, it seems like a potential safe haven. But it might just be that the biggest threat Koli has faced so far resides there. Meanwhile, the people of Mythen Rood prepare for war with the forces of HalfAx, as Spinner attempts to rally her people around her and shore up their defences. The shadow cast over this green and once pleasant land darkens, as the tech of long forgotten wars awakens to spit death and sow destruction once again. Returning to Koli’s world one final time feels rather bittersweet. With The Book of Koli’s publication coming just after a UK-wide lockdown, followed a few months later by its sequel, Koli has been wonderful company through some very unsettling times. With his no-nonsense morality and his earnest desire to help those around him - not to mention his unique narration, present and correct here once again - it’s sad to have to say goodbye to him. On the plus side though, The Fall of Koli is a phenomenal farewell. Beginning with a quick recap of the story so far, as well as a little foreshadowing, it’s not long before we pick up exactly where we left off in Trials. Koli and his friends have followed the mysterious signal out to sea, and have discovered the Sword of Albion. Soon after, they meet those in charge, and are introduced to their absolutely detestable son, Stanley. Stanley is rude, ill-tempered and impatient, and his distaste for their guests is obvious from their first meeting. His remorseless bullying of the sweet and non-confrontational Koli is guaranteed to make him hated by readers, who by this point will no doubt be feeling extremely protective towards the young hero. Stanley is the kind of villain that you just love to hate, at least at first glance. All is not as it seems, however, and it’s clear that there’s more at stake than Koli realises (although there usually is, dead god bless him). Events hinted at or referred to vaguely in the previous two books are given more clarity and context, with some extremely satisfying resolutions and revelations emerging. There is a real sense of threads being gathered together, a reassuring feeling of being in the hands of a writer who had a plan for that (and that, and that) all along. Even if we don’t necessarily have all the answers by the end, the ones that we do get are more than enough. Some might be to questions you didn’t even know you had, but you’ll find you’re glad to get them. Of course, this isn’t just Koli’s story. As with The Trials of Koli, the story is split between his viewpoint and Spinner’s, as the Peacemaker of HalfAx turns his attention to Mythen Rood. Having laid claim to all the tech in the land, he intends to take what little they have, preferably by force. Preparations for the coming conflict mean there is a gradual build up in tension, with Spinner’s pragmatism contrasting with Koli’s more emotion led decision making. He might want to leave a better world for those that will follow, but Spinner is more concerned about just making it to tomorrow. That’s not to say Spinner comes across as callous or cold, not at all. It’s more that her vision for the world is a little more clear-eyed than Koli’s optimistically rose tinted one. Spinner also provides some wonderful moments of levity, often with the kind of gallows humour that Koli quite simply doesn’t have the wit for. It provides even more contrast between the two narrators, as well as showing Spinner’s developing relationship with husband Jon, her target for many of these jokes. With the stakes higher than ever for both Mythen Rood and Spinner, her sections continue to be just as enthralling as they were previously. Her keen political mind and diplomacy are on show again, as well as her ability to strategize, and it's immensely satisfying to see her in her element. The alternating viewpoints vary the pace wonderfully well too, meaning you’re rarely far away from something dramatic or exciting happening to either her or Koli. The Fall of Koli is as good a conclusion as you could possibly want to a series, an epic and emotional end to the journey of one of the most memorable heroes in recent years. Even after two previous books in the series, Carey still finds ways to not only surprise us, but to get us even more invested in the fate of this vividly realised world too. Consider this landing well and truly stuck.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Traveling Cloak

    Read this review on FanFiAddict.com. The Fall of Koli is the third and final book in The Rampart Trilogy by M.R. Carey, and I am going to admit something right up front: I was crying from page one. If you have been following my reviews you know this has really been an emotional journey for me. From being introduced to Koli and friends I have grown to care more and more about them with every line, with The Fall of Koli being the pinnacle of that relationship. This is my first Carey series, but it Read this review on FanFiAddict.com. The Fall of Koli is the third and final book in The Rampart Trilogy by M.R. Carey, and I am going to admit something right up front: I was crying from page one. If you have been following my reviews you know this has really been an emotional journey for me. From being introduced to Koli and friends I have grown to care more and more about them with every line, with The Fall of Koli being the pinnacle of that relationship. This is my first Carey series, but it is easy to see that connection to the books comes from the author’s phenomenal writing. I am most impressed with Carey’s ability to write for tone. The Rampart Trilogy is very much a character driven-series, but I do not think those characters (who are all phenomenal, by the way, see my rant below) are as successful without the tonal quality the author writes into the story. This is not more evident than the first lines of The Fall of Koli: I went on a journey once… It was a while back now. A lot has happened since. Those words evoke so much emotion from the start for a few reasons. First, it throws back to the previous two books, which were emotional journeys in and of themselves. In The Book of Koli the reader is introduced to Koli, Spinner, Monono, et al, and their approachable personalities make it so easy to form a connection. In The Trials of Koli we follow Koli as he continues his venture outside the walls of Mythen Rood. His awe with the rest of the world is riveting, as is Monono’s growth and Spinner’s emergence as an important character, as well. Of course, everyone knows The Fall of Koli is the last book in the series, and in my opinion the one with the most character development. That brings me to the second reason the opening lines are so emotive: they highlight the fact that this is the end. It feels like the opening scene of a movie where the narrator is speaking, and it has almost a sad ring to it. And I did not want it to end, so those words brought out my feelings right away. I would like to say that I was over reacting and those feelings settled after that, but no. They did not. Carey did an amazing job of setting the tone from the first lines and keeping that tone to the last. I have the tears on my pillow to prove it. This series is also very thematic, and as a reader you have your pick. Human vs. nature. Human vs. technology. Human vs. human. War. Climate change. Power. The author manages to get them all in. But for me, The Rampart Trilogy has been all about agency and self-discovery. I have said many times that this series is character-driven, but in function it is so much more than that; a fact that I do think I realized in full until this last book. For some of the characters this evolution is more conspicuous; Cup and Monono are examples of this as they seek out physical and systematic changes to themselves to line up with how they feel internally. For other characters, the progression is more subtle. Koli and Spinner fall into this category, as they mature more gradually. And with that growth comes agency – control over one’s own mind, body, and experience. In the beginning, the aforementioned characters have almost none. Their lives are being dictated by others for the most part, and they are in positions where they do not have much choice. It was wonderful to experience the characters evolve and find their place in society as they also learn that they are capable of creating the changes they wish to see in the world. One character I have really not addressed is Ursula; honestly, that is because I do not think she changed that much from the beginning. Ursula is a great character as is, and there would be no story without her. And I absolutely loved where everyone ended up. The ending was somewhat surprising for some, not so surprising for others, but all around very well-thought out. I would not change a thing. Coming to the end of this review has felt to me like approaching the last pages of the book. I know it is time, but maybe if I just keep writing will the story just never end? I know that is now how this works, but a reader can dream, can’t he? Anyway, here we go: The Rampart Trilogy has found place nestled amongst my favorite science fiction series of all time, and The Fall of Koli is the perfect, bittersweet finale to what has been an incredible, unparalleled journey. Full stop. It gets my highest recommendation

  13. 4 out of 5

    David Harris

    The Fall of Koli is the final part of the Rampart Trilogy and - as Koli, narrating the start of the first book, told us it would - brings things full circle, with the return of an older and wiser man to Mythen Rood. We finally learn more about certain recurrent themes - the demon Stannabanna, Dandrake who fought him; The Sword of Albion, which Koli, Ursula, Cup and Monono were searching for, and the Unfinished War (well named). It's also made clear how the story came to be narrated, by Koli (all The Fall of Koli is the final part of the Rampart Trilogy and - as Koli, narrating the start of the first book, told us it would - brings things full circle, with the return of an older and wiser man to Mythen Rood. We finally learn more about certain recurrent themes - the demon Stannabanna, Dandrake who fought him; The Sword of Albion, which Koli, Ursula, Cup and Monono were searching for, and the Unfinished War (well named). It's also made clear how the story came to be narrated, by Koli (all of the first book), by Koli and Spinner (the second book) and here, by both, plus a third person - who turns out to have had a hand in certain earlier events which are now visible from a new perspective. It's a satisfying and well rounded conclusion with a tense and dramatic ending, but if you haven't read the previous two books I do advise you to read them first (and to stop reading my review now because it'll both confuse you and spoil the story!) The Fall of Koli picks up exactly where The Trials of Koli ended, with the company desperately trying to get aboard the mega ship, The Sword of Albion, with their precious "diagnostic", rescued from the ruins of Ursula's drudge. They succeed, but this only brings them into a very strange world indeed. There are three people on the giant ship - Paul, Lorraine and their son, Stanley. There is something odd about Paul and Lorraine, Carey's portrayal deftly painting their strangeness which only morphs and becomes more complex as Koli (mainly) strips away layers of deceit. Who they are, what they were and what their purpose is, prove to be deeply tangled matters and the more Koli understands, the more danger he and his friends face. While this part of the story proceeds, Carey cuts away from time to time to follow Spinner, back in Mythen Rood. Spinner's story in The Trials of Koli was for me one of the best parts of that book, giving. whole new perspective on events in The Book of Koli and also presenting in Spinner a fascinating, clever and resourceful woman who is pushed into a difficult corner but determined to survive and to protect her family and village. That continues here, with Spinner becoming something very close to the leader of Mythen Rood. That requires joining in the deceptions the Ramparts pull on everybody else and Spinner recognises the moral ambiguity of that. She's determined to end the system, but has to play a complex game of politics to retain her position and address the growing threat of the Peacemaker, who lays claim to all and any "tech" in "Ingland". Ultimately, Spinner is forced to go to war, and it's a desperate conflict. It's difficult for me to convey just how engaging, convincing and entertaining The Fall of Koli (and the trilogy of a whole) is. The reader has, of course, an advantage over Koli and his friends (except perhaps for Ursula) in recognising many places, events and things, even more so now that Koli has landed in something closer to our world. So there's that sense of recognising something and then seeing how Koli will cope, what it will mean to him and what he will make of it. But there are also many moments when Koli's world is baffling and it's his experience and intuition that guide us through it and help us make sense of things. That process is, as I've said, supplemented in this book by another, third point of view - in fact, by a fourth, kind of, as Koli finds a new and different resource to guide him but one that may put him in desperate peril. Even in this third book, Carey is exploring new themes and elaborating existing ones. When the reasons for the Unfinished War become clear, you may want to think about them in relation to where we are in this country now. Ursula's repugnance for an independent Monono is explained at last, and the presence of humanity alongside that hostile Nature ("Everything that lives hates us...") is revisited but from the perspective of what balance we might be able to find with it. It's an ideas-rich book with the vastly different perspectives of the main characters - the trans girl Cup, educated doctor Ursula, virtual Monono who is in some ways the oldest of the group, and Koli himself - constantly sparking off one another and suggesting new and unexpected truths and conclusions. That goes on to the - rather unexpected - end, with the final passage a musing on identity and reality from a character you might not expect. It's a neat pairing with the opening words of the trilogy, and a satisfying place to conclude. I would strongly recommend The Fall of Koli, and this trilogy as a whole. Reading the books has been a real treat, one of my highlights of 2020 and 2021. This was a gifted copy provided for me to review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Karen Cole

    So we've come to the end of M.R. Carey's Rampart Trilogy and although this is a moment I've been eager for and dreading in almost equal measure, the telling of Koli's full story has been a rare treat throughout the three books, with this conclusion being everything I could have wished for and more besides. It opens immediately after the concluding events in The Trials of Koli and finds Koli and his disparate group of companions - healer, Ursala-from-elsewhere, the formerly shunned Cup and Monono So we've come to the end of M.R. Carey's Rampart Trilogy and although this is a moment I've been eager for and dreading in almost equal measure, the telling of Koli's full story has been a rare treat throughout the three books, with this conclusion being everything I could have wished for and more besides. It opens immediately after the concluding events in The Trials of Koli and finds Koli and his disparate group of companions - healer, Ursala-from-elsewhere, the formerly shunned Cup and Monono Aware, his closest friend despite being the AI interface in what was originally a Dreamsleeve music player - attempting to board the 'Sword of Albion' before their stricken craft sinks. It's worth saying here that this is a series that should be read in order and in its entirety in order to fully appreciate the full richness of this wonderfully inventive trilogy. The world-building is superb once more; after two books which found Koli and friends at the mercy of a wild, dangerous landscape where the trees have the potential to maim and kill, this time they are in a man-made environment but it's no less deadly. Although set in an England - or Ingland - several centuries into the future, there's a fable-like quality to this series, largely due to the colloquial nature of the narrative voices. As with The Trials of Koli, most of the novel follows Koli but there are some chapters set in his home village, Mythen Rood which are written from the perspective of his childhood friend, Spinner. Koli and Spinner both use language which is familiar and yet has evolved from the English we use presently. It's arguably a simpler, less grammatically correct form but there's a poetic beauty to their speech which perhaps belies those who fear a dumbing-down of the spoken and written word. As the various strands of the storyline are pulled together and we learn more about the origin of some of the myths and belief systems of this future humankind, the parallels with our own world are uncomfortably obvious. Over the course of the trilogy, we've realised that this post-apocalyptic world came to pass due to the catastrophic errors of mankind but the destructive violence of ultra-nationalism is markedly apparent here. As Koli and Cup experience bequeathed racism and transphobia, it seems that for all that society has lost, its ability to divide itself according to appearance or background persists. However, Koli has Monono and we finally learn more about her story this time, with some chapters written from her unique point-of-view. She describes herself at one point as a manic pixie dream girl but this doesn't do justice to one of the most complex, original characters I can ever remember reading. This might be Koli's story and he is a wonderful character but Monono's importance is finally revealed in this moving, beautifully constructed conclusion. Meanwhile, in Mythen Rood, this relationship between flesh-and-bone and sentient tech is mirrored by the understanding that develops between Spinner, Challenger and Elaine. While Koli has to escape the clutches of a would-be fascist warmonger, Spinner needs to keep the village safe from the ironically named Peacemaker. The final reckoning is inevitable but M.R. Carey never rushes the storyline, allowing it to unfold with all the immersive expansiveness of a tale which has been told and retold down through the generations. The violence is inescapable; there are some dramatic surprises and emotional revelations before the end but as Spinner observes, a story needs to have "a good shape and end where it's supposed to." The Fall of Koli ends exactly where it should and is a stunning finale to this exceptional series. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Juliet Bookliterati

    In a way its always sad when I come to the end of a trilogy, knowing that it is the final installment and that I will no longer return to this world or these characters again. M.R Carey has certainly left the best to last with The Fall of Koli, this is a truely outstanding end to the trilogy, full of action and totally gripping. It is faster paced than the previous book, as Koli hurtles towards his destiny. Like the previous books you have to get use to colloquial and phonetic language, as in th In a way its always sad when I come to the end of a trilogy, knowing that it is the final installment and that I will no longer return to this world or these characters again. M.R Carey has certainly left the best to last with The Fall of Koli, this is a truely outstanding end to the trilogy, full of action and totally gripping. It is faster paced than the previous book, as Koli hurtles towards his destiny. Like the previous books you have to get use to colloquial and phonetic language, as in this world not many people can read or write, so learn language by voice only; I have loved readng the names of places like Baron Furnace and Birmagen. This book is also underpinned with plenty of suspense as it hurtles towards the adreniline rush of a conclusion. My favourite part of reading trilogys and is seeing the characters develop and getting to know them in more rounded way than you can in just one book. The plot is narrated by Koli, Spinner in Koli’s village of Mythen Rood and Monono who also grows in her own way as the plot progresses. Over the three books Koli has grown from a teenage boy, forced out of his village to take his chances in the outside world, to a young man, more confident and knowing what he wants. He is a young man with a wonderful moral compass, wanting to help save the remaining population which is disappearing due to a small gene pool. The one thing he is not confident on is the inevitability that his journey will take him back to Mythen Rood, his home that he was thrown out of. It is a subject that he keeps to himself, not wanting to talk about it as it brings back so many emotions, good and bad. His companions, Ursula and Cup, like Koli are changed by what they have seen and experienced. Ursula and her diagnostic are able to help those who are sick, and help Koli in his quest to help solve the fertility problems. Cup has also grown stronger, more trusting of Koli and Ursula and proves herself to be a good communicator and a more confident person. Spinner narrates the story of the continued trials of Mythen Rood, and the Ramparts who defend the village. Mythen finds herself as part of a team who beat the Half-Ax men and temporarily in charge of the village, making the decisions and battle tactics for the next fight. Again, she is someone who really grows through these books, the type of person people trust, and like Koli she has a good moral compass, wanting to always do the right thing even if that is the more difficult option. I have really enjoyed reading her story over the three books, seeing the domestic and personable side to this post apocalyptic world. The Fall of Koli is a perfect and fitting end to what has been an engaging and gripping trilogy. I have loved the world that M.R Carey has created, a world where global warming and human error have led to nature being the dominate force, a force that kills. There is a moral story underpinning these novels, and I hope I never have to face a world that looks anything like this, a place where humnity seems to have regressed to almost the dark ages. Brilliantly plotted and written and with such wonderfully diverse and interesting characters that I grew to love over the three books, this is a gripping, if at times menacing coming of age story, and one I highly recommend.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Corey (grimdark_dad)

    Well, here we are. Here at the end of all things, to borrow a phrase. Of course there’s no way M. R. Carey could have predicted he’d be releasing an entire post-apocalyptic trilogy in the midst of a global pandemic, but...oof. Separate from how much I’ve completely adored all three of these books, I feel like the RAMPART TRILOGY is also something that brought me a great deal of comfort during an increasingly difficult & weird time. I have a small handful of trilogies that I’m just one book away Well, here we are. Here at the end of all things, to borrow a phrase. Of course there’s no way M. R. Carey could have predicted he’d be releasing an entire post-apocalyptic trilogy in the midst of a global pandemic, but...oof. Separate from how much I’ve completely adored all three of these books, I feel like the RAMPART TRILOGY is also something that brought me a great deal of comfort during an increasingly difficult & weird time. I have a small handful of trilogies that I’m just one book away from completing, and I’m hoping to take this opportunity and keep the momentum going, because looking back...holy shit, the last time I reviewed the third book of a trilogy was all the way back in October of 2019. Fucking yikes. But THE FALL OF KOLI was not a book that I could hold off reading at all. I’ve gotten entirely wrapped up in Carey’s unique characters and this overgrown & deadly post-apocalyptic version of our world. I had to know how it ends. My memory typically fails me, but it seems as though THE FALL OF KOLI picks up nearly right where THE TRIALS OF KOLI left off. Which is to say, with our four main characters in an unreliable boat, chasing a mysterious radio signal & hoping to find...well, anyone. Or anything. Anything other than the endless sea they are confronted with. Back in Mythen Rood, we continue to keep up with Spinner. Still reeling from their battle with Half-Ax, the people from Mythen Rood now find themselves preparing for an all-out war to protect themselves, their home, and their tech. That’s about all I want to get into, plot-wise, as there are some BIG surprises in here, and they’re better left for readers to find on their own. There’s a moment in THE FALL OF KOLI that honestly filled me with such an unbelievable sense of joy...oof. I’m tempted to mention it here, as it’s not terribly spoilery...but yeah, if you’ve read the first two books, there are some truly outstanding payoffs heading your way. The core group of characters in this book, Koli, Monono, Cup, and Ursula, are some of my very favorites in recent memory. Over the course of this trilogy, we see them all grow and change, both as individuals and as a group. This last volume in particular feels especially character driven. As in THE TRIALS OF KOLI, Cup is continuing her transition. I love the way that helping Cup with her transition kind of softens Ursula around the edges a bit. Yeah, I mean...these four characters have left a pretty indelible mark on me. Our main characters do face moments of racism & transphobia in the book, just as a heads-up to potential readers. This is an incredibly special trilogy from one of my favorite authors, someone who seems to have an uncanny knack for storytelling. All three books in the RAMPART TRILOGY are an easy five stars from me, and books that I’d very much like to revisit at some point. THE FALL OF KOLI is a perfect ending to one of the most memorable reading experiences I’ve ever had. Goddamn...I just love every single thing about these books. Massive thanks to Orbit for the copy! THE FALL OF KOLI releases March 23rd!!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Wolf

    It’s been a long time since I’ve felt as immersed in a strange new world as I did reading the Koli trilogy, which wraps up with the newly released The Fall of Koli. The trilogy follows the journey of Koli, a young man just past boyhood who is exiled from his small village after being accused of stealing tech — which the villagers believe only “wakes” for people who truly deserve it. Cast out from the life he’s always known, Koli eventually forms a small tribe with Ursala, a loner medical woman wh It’s been a long time since I’ve felt as immersed in a strange new world as I did reading the Koli trilogy, which wraps up with the newly released The Fall of Koli. The trilogy follows the journey of Koli, a young man just past boyhood who is exiled from his small village after being accused of stealing tech — which the villagers believe only “wakes” for people who truly deserve it. Cast out from the life he’s always known, Koli eventually forms a small tribe with Ursala, a loner medical woman who wanders from settlement to settlement to offer her healing skills, and Cup, a girl who was originally Koli’s hostage but eventually becomes his devoted friend. Guiding them all is Monono, the self-aware AI who protects the trio and her own freedom. In The Fall of Koli, our heroes encounter a ship from the before times and discover secrets related to the Unfinished War of over 300 years earlier that basically destroyed civilization and may yet lead to the end of humankind. Meanwhile, back in Koli’s home village, his former love interest Spinner has grown into a woman of political stature and leadership who must find a way for the people of Mythen Rood to battle a much larger invading force. I can’t say enough about how masterfully built Koli’s world is. The author creates a landscape in which everything wants to kill people — trees can and do kill, as do a vast number of creeping, crawling, and flying creatures. The very world seems to reject people, and as Ursala points out, with human settlements so small and scattered, the human gene pool is on the verge of becoming unsustainable. Dead tech still remains, but the surviving humans mostly look upon it as magical creations that are beyond human comprehension, and therefore, the few people who can use tech must be specially chosen or gifted. Koli’s language is strange and oddly beautiful, and I couldn’t help but wonder at how much effort it must have taken for the author to not only create these speech patterns, but to sustain them convincingly throughout. I won’t say much about the plot or the ending — but wow, the plot is terrific and wow, the ending is perfect. I was completely on edge during certain scenes, and practically couldn’t breathe, was occasionally super mad at the author for having certain things happen, but by the end breathed deeply again and felt like things turned out exactly as they should have. The Koli trilogy is a gorgeous, weird, unsettling ride, start to finish. It’s one of the best science fiction / speculative fiction works I’ve read in years. SO highly recommended. Read these books! Review copy courtesy of the publisher. Full review at Bookshelf Fantasies.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Luanne Ollivier

    The Fall of Koli is the final entry in the Rampart Trilogy by M.R. Carey. The first is The Book of Koli, and The Trials of Koli is the second entry. I've been eagerly awaiting this final entry. It's newly released and is a delicious chunkster with 532 pages of addictive reading! I don't read a lot of sci fi or fantasy, but if the setting is post apocalyptic, it's one I definitely will pick up. I am fascinated by the imaginings of what the world might be like if.... As a quick catch-up...sometime i The Fall of Koli is the final entry in the Rampart Trilogy by M.R. Carey. The first is The Book of Koli, and The Trials of Koli is the second entry. I've been eagerly awaiting this final entry. It's newly released and is a delicious chunkster with 532 pages of addictive reading! I don't read a lot of sci fi or fantasy, but if the setting is post apocalyptic, it's one I definitely will pick up. I am fascinated by the imaginings of what the world might be like if.... As a quick catch-up...sometime in the future, the human race has been decimated. Small pockets of survivors live in their own fortified villages and encampments. Society has reverted to a much earlier time with survival being the goal. Nature has turned on humans, with predator plants and trees. Tech from the past is revered. Koli from Mythen Rood is the main protagonist in this trilogy. Without spoiling things for a new reader, Koli has left his village and is travelling with his compatriots towards a signal. Who could be still broadcasting? Is it simply a computer still functioning somewhere? Or could it be a group farther along in rebuilding than those in Koli's sphere? Well, in this latest entry, they make it to the source of the signal. And it's not at all what they had imagined or hoped for. More questions than answers and the residents of Albion are more dangerous than safe. Carey kept me reading late into the night by switching the narrative back and forth at crucial junctures from Koli to Spinner of Mythen Rood. She is leading the fight to keep the village safe from a megalomaniac and his followers. And there's a third character given a voice in this last entry. I was so surprised and thrilled to see this player be given a bigger (and truly pivotal) role. And yes, I'm going to be obtuse about who it is as I don't want to provide spoilers. I loved Carey's world building and imaginings of what such a world might look like. (And its a tad scary to be reading a book where a virus wipes out most of humanity at this time...) Science and technology play a large part of the books - as defender, weapon, and is revered and is of the utmost value and status. Lots of food for thought here... I've become invested in the characters from the first page of the first book to the sadly turned last page. There's been loss and love, adventures and trials, and I was mentally standing with them as they faced the unknown. The Fall of Koli gives us that final showdown if you will - an epic battle that will change what is left of their world. Carey's writing is addictive and invites the reader to be a part of the story. I'm quite sad to see this trilogy finish up, but am looking forward to Carey's next work.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Snell

    I call this series perfectly structured, because it is. It has been so well planned out that there is a perfect arc to what you're reading here. In Book 1, we are just with Koli, seeing his world through his naïve, sheltered, uninformed eyes. In Book 2 we see Ingland, travelling with Koli, Ursula, Cup and Monono as they follow the source of the signal towards London. Yet we also stay in Mythen Rood through Spinner. In Book 3, it's a step up and a development, adding a later, additional point of v I call this series perfectly structured, because it is. It has been so well planned out that there is a perfect arc to what you're reading here. In Book 1, we are just with Koli, seeing his world through his naïve, sheltered, uninformed eyes. In Book 2 we see Ingland, travelling with Koli, Ursula, Cup and Monono as they follow the source of the signal towards London. Yet we also stay in Mythen Rood through Spinner. In Book 3, it's a step up and a development, adding a later, additional point of view character that we've been waiting for, as well as staying with Koli and Spinner as they each navigate their own challenges. Koli has found of the source of the signal, and is now trapped on the great warship Sword of Albion - both an object and a something more. Even worse, it seems as though the war never really ended, at least for some, which creates an even larger-scale problem than one of human reproduction. Meanwhile, in Mythen Rood, having fought off an attack from Half-Axe (Halifax) and the Peacemaker's troops, Spinner finds herself in a position of unwanted power, able to wield all forms of tech and making decisions in the Count and Seal. However, the threat has not gone, and she will need to use her considerable wits and cunning to keep the small community safe from the Peacemaker. In particular, I've always loved the setting of this series. I love anything set in a post-apocalyptic Britain, as I get the pleasure of working out where all of these locations are set and the words that this dialect is descended from. Even better; a world where things make sense! Each book in this series introduces new issues and ideas about what's happened to the world and builds on this bit by bit - it's up to the reader to assume and draw their own conclusions. But in this book, lots of things are made clear by the end - thank goodness! And with action and events that really, really ramps up. Koli isn't the best character, but he's the character that we need. He retains his naiveté and, above all, his empathy for others. It's what makes him hard to read, as you just want him to be a bit tougher, but also incredibly sympathetic, as he is able to keep something that so many others have lost in this world. He does grow, and he does develop as the series progresses - but it's also just nice to read a character that isn't souped-up, isn't perfect and is, consciously, human. This series pulls things back to a more manageable scale and manages to do what the Arc of Scythe trilogy didn't quite get it - a clearly structured, exciting finish that gave us what we needed. A great ending to such an enjoyable series! 4.5 stars rounded up to 5. I received an eARC of this book from Compulsive Readers and Orbit in exchange for an honest review.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Swords & Spectres

    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. It's been a long time since I read a trilogy and thought 'Wow, I did not want that to end'. Well, a long time until right now. The Rampart Trilogy was one of those trilogies where the only chance of the author getting hate mail is because he finished it.  This book, and the trilogy as a whole, were utterly brilliant. It had so much going for it that I find myself lost for words to adequately describe how much I enjoyed it. My main fea I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. It's been a long time since I read a trilogy and thought 'Wow, I did not want that to end'. Well, a long time until right now. The Rampart Trilogy was one of those trilogies where the only chance of the author getting hate mail is because he finished it.  This book, and the trilogy as a whole, were utterly brilliant. It had so much going for it that I find myself lost for words to adequately describe how much I enjoyed it. My main fear for 'The Fall of Koli' was that I just didn't think there was much chance of it topping the second book in the series. For my money, it didn't quite top it overall, although it did top it as far as the awesomeness of the end is concerned. Where Book two was impeccably solid from start to finish, book three was good, good, great, excellent. It felt like it was going steadily up a hill just so it could plough down the other side in one brilliant blaze of awesomeness. In this book we learn so much about the world as it used to be, how it got to where it is, and how the gods 'Stannabanna' and 'Dandrake' came into being. It's a fun, yet slightly hard to believe, look at how mankind managed to ruin everything for itself and almost willingly descend into a new dark age. Carey tied every loose end up that had been blowing free since book one in what can only be described as an 'incredibly satisfying way'. There was a lot more character development of the tertiary characters in this book. Where book one and two focused on the main ones and the secondary characters to them, this one did that and then went further to give you a more complete feel of the world and the people that populate it. I've never read anything by this author before picking up the Rampart Trilogy but, it's safe to say, I'll be doing my best to rectify that going forward. Not only is Carey a great writer who can weave an excellent story without getting bogged down in the appealing mire of over-explaining everything, or going off on tangents to explore the world he's created, he knows how to write a complete trilogy. Other authors should take note. Not every series needs to be 10+ books long. If you can tell an amazing story in three books, I rate you higher than someone who tries to make it into the teens and inevitably has a couple of bad ones along the way. Still, saying that, I'm absolutely devastated that Koli and friends are done with their journey. I'll certainly miss reading of their exploits. 

  21. 5 out of 5

    S.J. Higbee

    Essentially this is a single story with an overarching narrative that stretches across the three books, so if you’ve picked this one up without reading the first two – then whatever you do go back to The Book of Koli and start there. Even if you manage to figure out what is going on, you will have missed far too much of the backstory to fully appreciate the overall narrative. It was lovely touching base with Koli again – and in particular his special companion, Monono, who I’ve taken a real shine Essentially this is a single story with an overarching narrative that stretches across the three books, so if you’ve picked this one up without reading the first two – then whatever you do go back to The Book of Koli and start there. Even if you manage to figure out what is going on, you will have missed far too much of the backstory to fully appreciate the overall narrative. It was lovely touching base with Koli again – and in particular his special companion, Monono, who I’ve taken a real shine to. Yes… I know – a metal gismo that lives in Koli’s pocket, but she is one of my favourite characters. As for the other two companions who accompany Koli on his travels, this time around, we get to see very little of Ursula, the healer. I was a bit sorry about that – but I appreciate there was only so much space for the story. On the plus side, I thoroughly enjoyed watching events move on in Mythen Rood, the village where Koli grew up, which is the other narrative timeline featuring young Spinner that progresses alongside Koli’s adventures as he, Cup and Ursula finally encounter the Sword of Albion. I loved the tension that Carey manages to engender as their initial rescue gradually turns into something else. And I’ve always been a sucker for plotlines where first we think one thing is happening – only to discover further along that it’s something else quite different. Carey sustains the intensity, while delivering several surprises along the way. I very much appreciated a greater insight into the capabilities of the tech that the fallen civilisation had possessed. As well as learning exactly how it toppled and why. Overall, this is extremely well handled. The antagonists were satisfyingly unpleasant and I also enjoyed the tormented, morally ambivalent character who’d been so badly twisted by his treatment – his was a heartbreaking tale, for he never stood a chance. As for the final climactic denouement, it was so packed full of action and danger, I couldn’t put the book down until I found out what happened. And as for that ending… oh my word. Yes, it works really well with everyone’s plotline satisfactorily wrapped up. I came to the end of this one with a real sense of regret – the Rampart trilogy is now my favourite post-apocalyptic series. It would make a cracking TV series… Highly recommended for fans who enjoy engrossing post-apocalyptic adventures. While I obtained an arc of The Fall of Koli from the publishers via Netgalley, the opinions I have expressed are unbiased and my own. 9/10

  22. 5 out of 5

    Gregory

    The Fall of Koli is the third and final YA SF novel in the Rampart Trilogy by M.R. Carey and is set in a future dystopian England. This future brings with it many of the worst aspects of humanity but the end brings hope. I believe M.R. Carey did an excellent job in bringing the Rampart Trilogy to a conclusion, and of the three books, this was by far my favorite. I realize some have lauded the narration in these books, but it is what I liked least about the Fall of Koli and the Rampart Trilogy. I The Fall of Koli is the third and final YA SF novel in the Rampart Trilogy by M.R. Carey and is set in a future dystopian England. This future brings with it many of the worst aspects of humanity but the end brings hope. I believe M.R. Carey did an excellent job in bringing the Rampart Trilogy to a conclusion, and of the three books, this was by far my favorite. I realize some have lauded the narration in these books, but it is what I liked least about the Fall of Koli and the Rampart Trilogy. I found the British slang that Carey employs as the voice of Koli and the childish voice of Minono annoying. I listened to the first two books, one after the other, and kind of got accustomed to it, even if I never came to enjoy it. Coming back to the story several months later when the audio version of the Fall of Koli was finally published, I was reminded how annoying Koli’s speech pattern was. It kind of reminded me of the slang used in Mad Max, but not as pleasant. I have always found It is hard to enjoy a 1st person narration when I cannot empathize with the character and I found this true in this trilogy. The character of Koli starts off as an immature lovesick and annoying teenager, and my enjoyment in this story is directly linked to the growth of the character of Koli. M.R. Carey is an amazing writer and he has fabricated an unimaginable and disturbing future. Mr. Carey did an unbelievable job in writing the dialog and maintaining character through this trilogy. As stated, I disliked the voice and speech patterns Theo Solomon employed for Koli and especially when portraying Minono’s speech and maybe that is part of the YA appeal. As in the second book, Carey also employs first-person narration from the perspective of both Spinner and Minono and those perspectives increased my enjoyment. Spinner is smart and interesting. I listened to the audio version and my review of the narration is mixed because the author uses three different narrators. Theo Solomon tells the story from Koli’s perspective, Saffron Coomber from Spinner’s, and Hanako Footman tells the story from the character of Minono. I enjoyed the portions narrated by Saffron Coomber and Hanako Footman much more than the portions narrated by Theo Solomon. I found Mr. Solomon's voice grating and while I grew accustomed to it, I never really enjoyed it. While I realize that the author intentionally used broken grammar in his writing as part of the plot, I cannot tell where the writing starts and where the narration ends. In the end, I give the Fall of Koli four stars, and the series definitely worth taking a look at.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    Welcome to the final part of the gripping dystopian Rampart trilogy, The Fall of Koli - the book where all the little bits and pieces of M.R. Carey's well crafted The Book of Koli and the Trials of Koli come together in a stunning finale. Starting exactly where the previous book left off, we find Koli and his disparate band of friends Ursula-from-elsewhere, the feisty Cup, and Monono Aware on the verge of discovering the truth about The Sword of Albion. And what they find is shocking indeed - alt Welcome to the final part of the gripping dystopian Rampart trilogy, The Fall of Koli - the book where all the little bits and pieces of M.R. Carey's well crafted The Book of Koli and the Trials of Koli come together in a stunning finale. Starting exactly where the previous book left off, we find Koli and his disparate band of friends Ursula-from-elsewhere, the feisty Cup, and Monono Aware on the verge of discovering the truth about The Sword of Albion. And what they find is shocking indeed - although it reveals much about what happened to bring about the fall Ingland all those years ago in the Unfinished War. As before the story splits between the quest of Koli and co. to find a cure for the sickness that ails the land and her people, and what is happening back home with Spinner and the folk in Mythen Rood, and there is lot to take in from both story lines. I am very conscious not to give away too much of what goes on here, but can tell you that Spinner really shines in her endeavours, and her desire for peace and unity has a great effect on what happens, even if she and her folk have to pass through much conflict to get there. But for me, it is Koli's side of this adventure that is most significant, and the stream of brilliant reveals that Carey drops on you as you follow what happens are delicious in the extreme. Be prepared to learn so much more about my favourite character Monono, who always keeps me entertained with her pop-culture references, and what she is capable of too. I must admit that I did approach this final book in the trilogy with some trepidation, especially given its portentous title, but The Fall of Koli has proven to be my favourite of the three books, by far - and that is saying something. The well conceived threads that sprang to life way back at the start of the epic series play out beautifully to their triumphant conclusions here, and the pitch perfect ending is hard to beat - even if I did shed some tears in the reading of it. The way Carey plays with the future direction of the 'old world' tech here is rather clever too, and fits nicely with Spinner's long held ideals, which made me smile. This is a series where you really do have to have read all the books, and in the correct order, for the story to work, but it really is worth your time and attention. Although I am a bit sad to get to the end of the journey, I have thoroughly enjoyed being along for the ride.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kirsty Stanley

    4.75 stars Once again the story picks up exactly where it left off in book two, albeit with a little preamble from Koli first. “Why does the world think boys can’t be gentle and loving as well as strong and fierce?” Let’s set the record straight, Koli is a cinnamon roll and he has the biggest heart, and I love him for it. Does that mean he sometimes acts foolishly - yes. But that adds to his endearment, and if he acted sensibly we wouldn’t have had half as good a story to follow. We begin focusing 4.75 stars Once again the story picks up exactly where it left off in book two, albeit with a little preamble from Koli first. “Why does the world think boys can’t be gentle and loving as well as strong and fierce?” Let’s set the record straight, Koli is a cinnamon roll and he has the biggest heart, and I love him for it. Does that mean he sometimes acts foolishly - yes. But that adds to his endearment, and if he acted sensibly we wouldn’t have had half as good a story to follow. We begin focusing on Koli, Monono (still my favourite character), Ursala and Cup arriving at the Sword of Albion. And it is not what any of us anticipated. On it we are introduced to three new and very chilling characters. I’m not going to say much about them because I want to keep this spoiler free but if your skin doesn’t goosebump from the first meeting with them then you are made of stronger stuff than me. It reminded me slightly of Allegiant when Tris and co escape Chicago. We do then head back to Spinner and her ongoing challenges: of Ramparts, and wars and new life. I have to admit I had a slight itch to get back to Koli and his gang when reading her chapters. Nothing against the tale she is spinning but just that Koli’s exploits were keeping me on tenterhooks. We do get other point of view characters too later in the book but once again I’m keeping schtum about them because it will land better on reading. In his acknowledgments Carey reports completing the writing of this during lockdown and as with any good sci-fi it becomes a social commentary on the present. It touches on topics such as race, being transgender, brexit, naziism, corrupt politicians, climate change and more. You need to have read the first two books to understand this one, if you didn’t like the voice in the previous books then you won’t like this. I would say this is the most pacy of the the three books but Koli’s storytelling in particular is still meandering and as such feels slower than many of us are used to. It’s replicative of oral storytelling, but to me this works much more successfully that the similar style used in Black Leopard, Red Wolf. Thank you to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for arranging the gifted e-copy for the purposes of this honest review. Do check out the rest of the stops on the tour.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Boone

    So, if you stick out the trilogy all the way through, this third volume makes it worthwhile. I enjoyed meeting Koli, and Cup, and Urusala, and most of all Monono. The worldbuilding was spectacular, the story was good, and the conclusion satisfying. Obviously the tale's not perfect, but I can't quibble because one thing Mike Carey can do is make a character sing. There is a particular theme here about who counts as people (probably my all time favorite sci-fi dilemma, "what does it mean to be hum So, if you stick out the trilogy all the way through, this third volume makes it worthwhile. I enjoyed meeting Koli, and Cup, and Urusala, and most of all Monono. The worldbuilding was spectacular, the story was good, and the conclusion satisfying. Obviously the tale's not perfect, but I can't quibble because one thing Mike Carey can do is make a character sing. There is a particular theme here about who counts as people (probably my all time favorite sci-fi dilemma, "what does it mean to be human?") and I like where he comes down on it. I've heard some others take issue with the fact that there's a trans character in the post apocalypse, but fuck those people, honestly. And the bigots, too, are represented in the novel under the Sword of Albion. Carey's definition of what it means to be a person is in the finest tradition of the Culture novels or Star Trek, and it's a definition I agree with. Moving on to the actual story. The first book was all about Koli being cast out and finding his traveling companions, and revealing the world they're part of. The second fleshes that out more, and shows the world is wider than he made it seem. This final one deals with the ghosts of the past, and forges a way forward for everyone. There is a reckoning, and a homecoming, and a fitting end for our heroes. Of the three books, this one is probably the most action packed. There are several pitched battles, and to his credit Carey doesn't make them cakewalks for our folks. Damage is taken, and given back. Koli's quest also (finally) gets its purpose, although it took until the last half of the final book, but somehow it works. We have our glorious purpose, and with it our homecoming. But Koli's home, like everyone else's, has changed while he was away. Danger is at the door. I don't want to say too much else, because you should read it yourself. If you like your sci-fi with a touch of culture commentary, you'll like this. If you like solid characters, you'll like this. If you're interested in that border between real and artificial and what it means to be a person, you'll like this.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Lambert

    The Koli trilogy by Mike Carey was one of the highlights of my reading life. The amazing progress of that Mike Carey's writing style has demonstrated over the years is nothing less than astonishing. The first book of his I read was The Girl With All The Gifts, which is a masterpiece, and every subsequent work has been written in that decisive, mature, absolutely original and decidedly on the 'literary' side of fiction, with an elevated style and breadth of the authenticity and originality of the The Koli trilogy by Mike Carey was one of the highlights of my reading life. The amazing progress of that Mike Carey's writing style has demonstrated over the years is nothing less than astonishing. The first book of his I read was The Girl With All The Gifts, which is a masterpiece, and every subsequent work has been written in that decisive, mature, absolutely original and decidedly on the 'literary' side of fiction, with an elevated style and breadth of the authenticity and originality of the narrative voice. I went back after the fact and read some of the Felix Castor novels and could not even believe they were from the same author. I only mention this because if you're only experience with the author Mike, or M.R. Carey, is with his fiction previous to The Girl With All The Gifts, then you have not fully experienced the integral awesomeness that the author has grown into. His novels subsequent to "Girl" are all upper echelon, superlatively written and filled to the brim with mind-numbing literary nuance that far supersedes even the canonical masters of the genre: but the Koli trilogy is a masterwork of Tolkien mastery, albeit Tolkien was fantasy and this is as close to hard sci-fi as speculation will allow. I don't want to drone on with a plot or story summary, there will be legion of those. I just want to make clear two things after having finished this trilogy: 1) All of Mike Carey's post Felix Castor literary endeavors are most definitely in the realm of literary fiction, such as the realm of post 2000's Stephen King and Dan Simmons during the Hyperion Canticles. And 2) The Koli trilogy is absolutely one of the greatest works of art I have ever read. Every syllable of this epic is a testament to the incredible imagination and literary ingenuity of the body of work that M.R. Carey has been amassing over the past 6 years. The Rampart Trilogy has been one of the most satisfying, deeply moving, prescient works of fiction I have ever read. Many happy returns, please keep up the amazing work, you are an inspiration to us all.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Yvonne

    The Fall of Koli is the final book in the trilogy and as much as I was eager to read it there is also a sadness knowing this is it. Having previously read and loved the first two books I didn't even think about reading the synopsis before I began. The title gives an indication that the story is coming to an end, but how that end is arrived at was something that I was strangely nervous about. If you have read the previous books then you know that this is set in the future, it has several characters The Fall of Koli is the final book in the trilogy and as much as I was eager to read it there is also a sadness knowing this is it. Having previously read and loved the first two books I didn't even think about reading the synopsis before I began. The title gives an indication that the story is coming to an end, but how that end is arrived at was something that I was strangely nervous about. If you have read the previous books then you know that this is set in the future, it has several characters that join the main character Koli. Koli is an exile from his village and has to survive the wilderness. Not your average forest, this one has trees and plants that are as fierce and carnivorous as wild animals. While Koli is making his journey, the village he has left behind has not been forgotten by the author. Spinner's character is used skillfully to keep the reader up to date with what is happening in Mythen Rood. The world the author has created is one that is full of awe, wonder and danger. Old technology is prized, even more so if it still works. One piece of tech is Monono. There are also weapons and medical equipment. The final book sees the author filling in gaps, linking stories and also going back to finally give the reader the full picture. Explanations about some of the tech, what a strange signal is and also to give such a wonderful conclusion. I am aware that this review may be vague, but if you have not read the previous books then there should be no spoilers. M.R. Carey has created a world of characters having adventures that I adored. Each book has been an addictive read, from building blocks of the first book, through to more explanations and travels in the second until the final stunning conclusion of the final one. An absolutely amazing trilogy from start to finish and it is one I would very absolutely recommend to those who like dystopian and fantasy genres.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Alan Taylor

    There is key scene in this, the concluding novel in M.R. Carey’s Rampart Trilogy - and to describe it, or even to hint at it in very abstract terms, would be an unforgivable spoiler - which in the hands of a less talented writer would simply not work, might even pull the reader right out of the story. It is a surprising, unexpected plot point which succeeds because Carey has planted seeds in the previous novels. Not that he drew attention to them but, when the moment arrives, the reader’s first There is key scene in this, the concluding novel in M.R. Carey’s Rampart Trilogy - and to describe it, or even to hint at it in very abstract terms, would be an unforgivable spoiler - which in the hands of a less talented writer would simply not work, might even pull the reader right out of the story. It is a surprising, unexpected plot point which succeeds because Carey has planted seeds in the previous novels. Not that he drew attention to them but, when the moment arrives, the reader’s first reaction is “Wait, what?” immediately followed by “Of course...” To me it sums up what a good writer Carey is. He has introduced characters, made us care about them, built a whole world, our future world, with a backstory, a history of how we got here, of which he has drip fed details, and expands on greatly here; and he ties everything up in a highly satisfying manner in THE FALL OF KOLI. We are thrust immediately into the action as Koli narrates his continuing journey, with Ursula-from-Elsewhere, Cup and Monono, following their departure from the village of Many Fishes. Straightaway, we discover where the signal they have been tracking is coming from, and exactly what Sword of Albion is. As it was in THE TRIALS OF KOLI, sections of the novel alternate between Koli’s narration and that of Spinner, who relates contemporaneous events back in Mythen Rood. Spinner’s story is ramping up too, the peril escalating. It is breaktaking and, as Koli promised right at the start of THE BOOK OF KOLI, he eventually returns and the narratives crash together in a thrilling and entirely unexpected way. The book, and the trilogy as a whole, is astonishingly good. THE FALL OF KOLI is a gripping conclusion to the series. The story resolves in a fulfilling and enjoyable way. The characters will live long in the memory. But more than that, the threads which lead back from Koli’s Ingland to today’s headlines should lead to reflection. M.R. Carey’s Rampart Trilogy can sit with the greats.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ziggy Nixon

    Actual rating: just above 3 1/2 stars. I don't think the final chapter of this 3-star trilogy was necessarily much better than the previous two installments, but I did appreciate that Carey finally created a more thoroughly "interwoven" and ultimately well-connected story-line from A to Z and back again. I've pretty much said all I can about these books and this series in my reviews before. The world(s) Carey created was interesting, yes, though I wish it had been much more original (I get the fe Actual rating: just above 3 1/2 stars. I don't think the final chapter of this 3-star trilogy was necessarily much better than the previous two installments, but I did appreciate that Carey finally created a more thoroughly "interwoven" and ultimately well-connected story-line from A to Z and back again. I've pretty much said all I can about these books and this series in my reviews before. The world(s) Carey created was interesting, yes, though I wish it had been much more original (I get the feeling even he alluded to some of this with the "Boys from Brazil" mention). You can tell that a LOT has or was influenced by current happenings in the world and especially BRIXIT (sic) and/or other forays into the world of totalitarian and repressive ego-mania that supposedly free countries have tried (or are trying) recently. I also can't decide if this finale went WAY off the tracks in some points - the whole sub-story at "Sword of Albion" was just plain freaky and don't get me started about the mutant walrus-shark thingie - or it just took us far too long to get things set up along the way. The ending was mostly satisfying, but more than somewhat obvious and a little too naive to fit in even with its own weak message of hope. Being "all over the place" isn't a bad way to go about things, but it just seemed to be so much more than the starting bits that it was almost like a new story-line altogether. Still, you will rarely find books this well-written nor series that span this kind of drastic change from beginning to end. Though I can not claim these will go down on any of my 'all-time xyz' lists - nor will it change my ever-increasing (decreasing?) lack of enjoyment of YA books - I remain convinced Carey is an amazing and extremely creative writer. These books will and have found quite an audience and I can't fault anyone for enjoying the heck out of them. I have no regrets at all for having enjoyed them myself!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Joanne Robertson

    And so the Rampart trilogy comes to its conclusion and what an epic ending it is to what has been a gripping and brilliantly innovative series. M.R. Carey is a wonderful storyteller, creating a plausible vision of a post apocalyptic world and one of the most memorable characters I have ever discovered in a book. This is a coming of age story with a difference and travelling alongside Koli on his journey of self discovery felt as dangerous for me as it was for him! It was a heart pounding and thr And so the Rampart trilogy comes to its conclusion and what an epic ending it is to what has been a gripping and brilliantly innovative series. M.R. Carey is a wonderful storyteller, creating a plausible vision of a post apocalyptic world and one of the most memorable characters I have ever discovered in a book. This is a coming of age story with a difference and travelling alongside Koli on his journey of self discovery felt as dangerous for me as it was for him! It was a heart pounding and thrilling read that traversed the three books with an engaging protagonist and a plot that just kept on giving. If you’ve not read any of the series before then obviously you need to start at the beginning and not at book three! Koli has had so much to deal with since the first book that readers need to know his backstory before attempting to understand The Fall of Koli. And what an ending it is to his journey as he ends up going full circle but not in the way I had expected. He hints within the first few pages that there is something that he is hiding from us-a secret he isn’t prepared to divulge until he truly has to-and what a shocking twist that proved to be. I obviously can’t go into any details as I don’t want to spoil things for anyone waiting to see how Koli’s story ends, but it really was well worth waiting for. I have loved every step I took alongside Koli and am quite sad it’s now come to an end. M.R. Carey truly is “the author with all the gifts” and his books are definitely the literary gifts that keep on giving. If your a fan of fantasy/post-apocalyptic fiction and haven’t discovered his work already then I highly recommend you do. He’s a real favourite author for me and he never disappoints. The Rampart trilogy is very highly recommended by me!

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