Endless Fall of Night

Fiction - Dystopia
131 Pages
Reviewed on 06/16/2024
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Author Biography

J.M. Erickson earned his bachelor's degree from Boston College, majoring in psychology and sociology and master's degree from Simmons University, School of Social Work, and completed post-graduate certification programs in Psychological Trauma, Clinical Assessment and Treatment, and Human Services Agency Management from Boston University.

This novella does not shy away from racial, social and gender bias. Racial slurs, misogyny and swearing are in this read, so this is a book for mature audiences.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lex Allen for Readers' Favorite

In Endless Fall of Night by J.M. Erickson, by 2041 the global oligarchs, the elite among the elite, had taken over Earth's governments. Steps were taken to clarify the distinctions and privileges between the various socioeconomic groups, now known and ranked top to bottom as patricians, plebians, surfers, and slaves. There was no confusion or pushback; everyone knew their place and stayed there until a hundred years later, when Cassandra XI, a patrician and first-class citizen, questioned the established social order. Tried, convicted, and sent to prison, she is "saved" when Captain Bennett of the spaceship Jefferson Davis is charged with investigating the disappearance of the Martian colony New Georgia and the message, 'Bring Cassandra Kurtz.'

Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness serves as an excellent foundational reference for this fascinating dystopian novel by J.M. Erickson. Far into the future from Conrad's 1899 setting in Africa or 1969 Vietnam, Erickson's Endless Fall of Night takes place in a future where the colonies of Mars are 'going dark,' and no one knows why. The expedition to investigate is filled with scenes of racial, sexual, and class abuse of lower-class servants and slaves by the upper-class crew and ship officers. Cassie works hard at resisting these insults while straddling the fence between the elite and the downcast; all of which leads to an exciting, danger-filled adventure once the ship arrives on Mars. Erickson's unparalleled sense of reality in scenes, science, and characterization creates a world that is both familiar and alien, drawing readers in with its vivid details. A comparison to not only Conrad but also Orwell is unavoidable. The surprises come fast and furious as new and dangerous life forms emerge among a rebel Mars society intent on saving the lower classes while creatures from hell attack the ship's crew. While Endless Fall of Night comes to a solid conclusion, there is no doubt that the story will be continued for at least one more edition. I can't wait to read it!

Sherri Fulmer Moorer

The year is 2126, and the world has changed. Values of diversity and equality have died along with Earth, leaving behind a burning hulk of a planet where the poor fight for survival. At the same time, the elite live in space with genetic treatments to build the “perfect human race.” Cassandra XI is part of the elite patrician class, a first-class citizen, and completely disengaged with her reality. A traumatic experience in her childhood leads her to find the past that was wiped away and gets her tried and convicted as an insurrectionist. Cassandra has her personal AI deactivated, her status revoked, and is sent to a violent prison where only the strong survive. Soon, however, her trial comes back to haunt her when a Martian colony goes dark with only one message: Bring Cassandra Kurtz. What does this vague reference to her trial mean? And how do they know her? Endless Fall of Night by J.M. Erickson is a sci-fi thriller that will keep you guessing.

I’ve read many books about Mars, so this one immediately appealed to me. I made an excellent choice as J.M. Erickson took a different approach to the colonization of the red planet. Mars is shrouded in mystery, and the author played off this perfectly with a unique story that’s a different take on our future, both in terms of science and politics. You have no idea what possibilities exist in the future of genetic engineering, space colonization, and social structure. Endless Fall of Night is an excellent novel that twists dystopia and utopia into a compelling tale of intrigue and suspense. Cassandra is the perfect narrator and catalyst for this adventure and shows us not only our future but the potential of our present. An excellent read that will keep you guessing, both about the plot and the world as we know it.

Doreen Chombu

Endless Fall of Night by J. M. Erickson is a dystopian novel that reimagines Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness in a futuristic setting, where themes of racism, slavery, and imperialism are prevalent. The story follows Cassandra XI, a patrician and first-class citizen who is convicted as an insurrectionist for questioning the social order. She is subsequently sent to prison, resulting in her separation from her best friend and AI brain companion, Aletheia. However, her life takes a dramatic turn when she is approached by Captain Willard Bennett to investigate a mysterious event on Mars. This mission leads to a journey that changes her life as she meets new allies on her spacecraft and discovers the unexpected on Mars.

Endless Fall of Night is a gripping and thought-provoking story that addresses pressing social issues, including equality, rights, and racism, while also exploring the consequences of humanity's darker impulses. The well-developed characters, especially Cassandra, are relatable and likable, making it easy to root for her as she navigates a treacherous world. The book's organization and smooth narration make it an engaging and easy-to-follow read. J. M. Erickson's inclusion of factual historical references adds authenticity, allowing readers to immerse themselves in the narrative. By weaving in real events and figures, Erickson creates a sense of familiarity and connection to the world of the story, making it easier for readers to become invested in the characters and plot. I enjoyed reading this book and am interested in Cassandra's character, eager to see what comes next for her. I am also excited to witness her growth and evolution over the series.

Luwi Nyakansaila

Endless Fall of Night by J. M. Erickson is a thought-provoking dystopian novel that follows the story of Cassandra XI, a first-class citizen who is sent to prison for questioning the social order. Captain Willard Bennett recruits her to investigate a mysterious event on Mars, leading to a thrilling adventure. The story is set in the year 2126 in a world where racism, inequality, and sexual exploitation are prevalent. The ruling class subjugates other races and deems them less than human, depriving them of health benefits and powerful positions. Cassandra wishes to change this, but she lands in prison and loses her privileges. When her name comes up for a mission to Mars colonies, she unravels the dark nature of the ruling class's plans, including their sinister move that would further cement their oppressive grip. Amid the desolate Mars landscape, she uncovers hope and faces a crucial decision — to risk everything for a revolutionary change in human history.

Endless Fall of Night is a gripping tale that takes readers on a thrilling journey through space and time, with a fast-paced plot that is impossible to put down. J. M. Erickson's masterful writing brings the story and characters to life, drawing readers into a world of complex and intriguing villains and heroes, making for a truly captivating read. The author's use of vivid descriptions and attention to detail effectively immerses the reader in the dark and gritty fantasy world, crafting a sense of urgency and tension that drives the narrative forward. The characters, with their rich backstories and nuanced motivations, leap off the pages, making it impossible to look away as they navigate the treacherous landscape of their own desires, fears, and loyalties. While it may not be suitable for young readers due to profanity and some sexual content, the themes of hope, determination, and justice make it a worthwhile read. Endless Fall of Night is a must-read for anyone who loves adventure novels that tackle social issues and have great characters.

Frank Mutuma

In Endless Fall of Night by J.M. Erickson, The Third Republic is a highly segregated society with patricians at the helm. Other groups in the social strata include the plebs, surfers, and slaves. People are mistreated, and rape and the use of women as breeding tools are common. Cassandra is born a patrician, but after witnessing the brutality of what is going on, she embarks on a rebellious quest. The government catches up with her, and her trial sparks controversy as she is a first-class citizen. No support is available for Cassandra, and even her family doesn't show up during the trial. The only comfort she has is that of her AI. Luckily, the AI has a plan on how to get back together with Cassandra after things calm down.

Endless Fall of Night by J.M. Erickson is thought-provoking on various issues, such as racism, and gets one to think of how the rising intolerance is affecting minorities and people of color. Another thing that captured my attention was the use of artificial intelligence. Human beings have an obligation to use artificial intelligence in a beneficial way, not just as a tool for control. The book also shows the role people should play when the system is repressive. The narration was excellent, and I loved how J.M. Erickson was effective in passing on the intended message. The characters were also well-developed, and the vivid descriptions captured the imagination of the reader. I am looking forward to reading something else by this talented author.