Rating: 4 out of 5
Synopsis:The mind-bending conclusion to the Twinmaker trilogy.
Clair’s world has been destroyed – again. The only remaining hope of survival is for her and Q to enter the Yard, a simulation as detailed – and as real – as the home they have lost. But in the Yard there are two Clair Hills. The other Clair is headstrong, impulsive, suspicious – just like Clair herself used to be, and their very existence is causing cracks.
As Clair searches for a solution, a surprising new ally emerges from the ashes. Together they fight their way through the digital and political minefield in the hope of saving Jesse, her friends and the whole of humanity.
‘Williams marries accessibly explored moral ramifications of future technologies with a strong, capable teen heroine and heart-pounding action.’ Kirkus Reviews
Review: This review contains spoilers for the previous books in the series.
Fall, otherwise known as Hollowgirl, is the third and final book in the Twinmaker series by Aussie author Sean Williams.
In Jump (Twinmaker) and Crash (Crashland), we have been taken on a journey of d-mat, fabbers, abstainers, artificial intelligence, lost friends, unlikely alliances, betrayal, unknown loyalties, mistakes, dedication and disaster – and Fall (Hollowgirl) completes the story with all of this, plus even more twists, duplicities, turmoil, determination and action.
In my review of Jump (Twinmaker), I told you that “The world that Sean Williams has created is pretty much what I believed the world would be like by 2013 (because 2013 was like 100 million years away). As a child, things like Star Trek: The Next Generation and The Jetsons and seemed more like prophecy than fiction, and if you had of asked my 8 year old self what 2013 would be like, I would have included things like instant teleportation (d-mat ) and having the ability to make material items appear whenever you wanted them (fabber)”, and while this is true, the Twinmaker series had some far more complex twists and disastrous outcomes than the 8 year old version of me could have ever imagined!
I don’t’ want to tell you too much about the storyline of this finale, as I wouldn’t want to ruin the experience for you. But like it’s predecessors, Fall is full of action, twists, conspiracy, betrayal and complexities. And while a lot of the complexities are subtle, Fall really steps it up a notch about half way through this book, where you are thrown into the middle of an extremely complex and interesting situation which takes you back and forth, jumping from one reality to another, and leaves you both momentarily muddled and thrilled at the same time.
We get to see some more of some of our favourite (and not so favourite) characters in the final instalment of this series as well. Clair, whilst never being the brightest star, is still full of determination to do the right thing for those that she loves and for everyone in general. I think she really comes into herself in this instalment. She has accepted that she has made mistakes, and does whatever she can to either fix them, or move on. She understands that all actions have consequences, and although she might not like what they are, sometimes you have to do what needs to be done for the greater good and accept the heartbreak it causes.
And although I love the range of opposing and fundamentally different characters, I have to say, my favourite is still Q. We all know that Clair couldn’t have survived this long with the mysterious Q. and I think this is one amazingly complex character (as artificial intelligence really should be). Q’s complexities come out throughout this book, with her being both distant as well as revealing more about herself at the same time. And she also proves that the lines between technology, intelligence and humanity are often blurred.
But I do also love Jessie. The “Stainer” who in the midst of chaos and technological downfall and dependence, makes Clair question everything she has ever believed.
What I love about this series is how it exemplifies dependency on technology and social media, and even throughout the dramatic events that have taken place throughout this series, we get to see the depth of people’s dependency and dedication to such things, as well as the dangers of the dependency, and those who are against it. I love this well-developed, technology-dependant world, even though it shows us the worst pitfalls of instant gratification and self-entitlement.
But is it technology or humans who are the biggest risk of destroying the world?
Overall, Fall is a fantastic ending to this highly technology-filled series. Although this series is sci-fi, it raises many moral and ethical questions relevant to today’s society. This world is filled with technology, instant gratification and self-entitlement, and it shows the dangers of dependency on technology, and the pitfalls of social media and information sharing. This is a world filled with the many dangers surrounding technology and the human need for more. It shows the best and worst humanity, in the need to keep advancing, and the need to keep connected to each other and ourselves. It shows that as advanced as we are, and with the more technology enhances, there is a need for rules.
But rules are made to be broken. And last time Clair broke them, she broke the world. Can she now save what is left?