As The World Falls Down

From the ashes of the old world, something new is rising...

Fiction - Science Fiction
408 Pages
Reviewed on 11/23/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

As The World Falls Down is a work of science fiction penned by author Katy Nicholas, focused on survival in a post-apocalyptic dystopian world: “From the ashes of the old world, something new is rising...” Our focus is set on a wipeout situation after a mysterious plague kills nearly the whole of humanity. Halley Clarke is a survivor, and when she ventures out and finds Nate Reynolds, she realizes that they can’t have survived without good reason. The virus has changed them both, with instincts and voices they never knew before. Together, they desire the truth of this new world, but it may be the very thing that tears them apart.

Accessible to teen audiences and up for its non-graphic content, author Katy Nicholas has created a highly engaging science fiction and dystopian tale with lots to offer. The backstory of the destruction of humanity is well played out with plenty of excellent detail and thought-out construction, and the strange new world that Nate and Halley embark on is beautifully atmospheric, thanks to the author’s descriptive techniques. The novel is as much a mystery plot as it is a survival tale, and the encounters of the plot structure have a slow but satisfying feel to them as we work towards uncovering the mysteries of the virus, its true effects on people, and what the future of Earth may be. Overall, As The World Falls Down is a great read, recommended for fans of dystopian adventure and mystery tales in unusual settings.

Scott Cahan

As The World Falls Down by Katy Nichols successfully combines two genres into one exhilarating story. On the one hand, it’s a science fiction apocalyptic survival tale. On the other hand, it’s a steamy romance. The central characters, Halley and Nate, are both survivors of a worldwide epidemic virus that has wiped out almost the entire human race. After years of being alone, they find each other and fall in love. Together, they learn to be happy again, creating their own little paradise built on their love for each other. Soon, however, the question of whether or not there are any other survivors drives them to venture out in search of more people as well as answers about what caused the virus in the first place. What they find on their journey is both unsettling and bizarre.

I enjoyed As The World Falls Down for the most part. A large part of the book is devoted to the romance between Halley and Nate and I have to confess that the author almost lost me during those scenes. But, I continued reading because the science fiction element was always close by, hanging over the characters like a dark shadow. As the plot gets thicker, the science fiction element becomes the main focus and at that point, I was hooked. Now that I’ve completed the novel I have to say that Katy Nichols did an excellent job of combing the romance and science fiction elements of her book. The two genres actually benefit from each other. The overall effect is a strange combination of light and darkness. Overall, As The World Falls Down is a great read and I recommend it for anyone who enjoys a satisfying combination of romance and science fiction.

Asher Syed

As the World Falls Down by Katy Nicholas is a post-apocalyptic science fiction story following a pair of survivors as they navigate the world at large years after a devastating plague. This is the first book in Nicholas' series Cities in Dust. Nineteen-year-old Halley Clark leaves her Aunt Rebecca sleeping in her bed and sneaks out of her English cottage to search for other survivors. A week in, after years of seclusion, she comes across a blacked-out drunk Nate Reynolds, a former doctor in his thirties who has the same tell-tale sign of plague survival Halley has - a red ring around the iris. The attraction is instant and Halley feels strangely drawn to him. As the narrative shifts between “before” the plague and “after”, Halley's past and the onset of the plague are slowly revealed alongside her new life with Nate and an uncertain future that is also slowly revealed with hard truths about their new reality.

As the World Falls Down is a great introduction to Katy Nicholas' series, and having it told from Halley's point of view offers a fresh, young adult narrative to a mature science fiction story. I admit that the relationship between Nate and Halley didn't sit comfortably with me initially (due to the age difference), but it adds a necessary layer to the pair's dynamic and Nate being in his thirties is as important to the story as Halley being a young adult. The book is well written and the flashbacks are done with just the right amount of balance to make the transitions feel natural and appropriate. As the World Falls Down is a good read and Nicholas offers some nice twists to a genre that's already deeply stacked. Recommended.