by Katy Nicholas
Years after a mysterious plague wipes out humanity, Halley Clarke leaves the safety of home to search for other survivors. She finds Nate Reynolds, a young man devastated by loneliness and despair. Instantly, there is an inexplicable connection between them, and it becomes clear that this was no ordinary virus. They soon discover they aren’t the only ones changed by the virus or guided by strange feelings or voices. Their lives and the survival of humanity rests on uncovering answers and understanding their new world. Will the truth they unearth bring them closer together or tear them apart?
Seeing the whisky bottle on the floor, smashed in half, I lunged for it, wrapping my trembling fingers around the glass neck. As he ran toward me, I lifted the sharp, broken end and thrust it in his direction.
Abruptly, he skidded to a halt and began to slowly back away, putting his hands up in surrender. “I won’t hurt you.”
Backing up further, I edged over to the front door.
“Please,” he said softly, “I won’t hurt you.”
As I looked into his pleading eyes, my stance softened. Why was I running? This was what I’d been looking for. Another survivor. Another human being.
I just hadn’t counted on it being so terrifying.
Hands still in the air, he edged past me like I was some frightened animal caught in headlights and made his way over to the front door. He twisted the handle quickly and then used his foot to kick it wide open.
“You can leave whenever you want,” he said, “But, please…just…stay. Talk to me. Please.”
I looked out into the storm. The rain outside seemed to be falling even harder, relentlessly smashing into the veranda decking with deafening thuds. When I glanced back at him, my fear ebbed away a little more.
Watching him closely, I lowered my arm and dropped the bottle. “I’ll stay,” I said.
Reviewed By K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite *****
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.
Reviewed By Scott Cahan for Readers’ Favorite *****
Katy Nicholas has successfully combined 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.