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Eight Will Fall by Sarah Harian

Eight Will Fall is an engaging read that honestly had me on the edge of my seat for most of its story. The premise itself was incredibly unique and creative, as well as the setting in which it took place. Larkin and her squad, that never really gets to become a squad as most of them freaking die, are tasked with the mission to find the man who was the reason as to why Empaths are oppressed and their magic suppressed which results in them journeying literally to the centre of the earth, dubbed the Reach (like the underworld prison of the Kingdom of Demura) to kill Kyran. In the Reach, horror is personified with monstrous creatures who used to be humans, but whom Kyran stripped their humanity and in most cases, their flesh and organs to keep his immortality. Kyran is embedded within every nook and cranny of the Reach so he literally knows everything that occurs and that aspect of the story was incredibly creepy!

In terms of the characters, I enjoyed reading about the characters but I honestly didn’t connect with them. Larkin was an interesting main protagonist, but she fell slightly flat. Her personality, and the personalities of the other characters as well, were not really given enough time to be explored. Instead, you reach the end not really invested in the wellbeing of the characters which kind of sucked.

In terms of the world building, it had incredible potential. I found that the execution of the world building did not reach that level- the society and its culture were again, flat. I wanted more, as the premise was so interesting! This is also how I felt with the magic system- I think slightly more explanation was needed. I still had questions in the end pertaining to the abilities of Empaths and their somewhat limitless power. Empaths are able to siphon emotions from others and utilise that to destroy or create – literally anything. There is no limit to what they can or can’t do and I though this aspect of the magic was strange in the sense that, if that was the case, then why isn’t every single Empath just using their limitless might and overthrowing the Queen? There was an attempt to explain this in terms of familial lines, that is, the power of your ancestors go into the familial line when they die. But this didn’t really make sense. SPOILER. We find out that Kyran is Larkin’s direct ancestor through her mother’s line. When Kyran was killed, the power went straight to Larkin…but why didn’t it go to Larkin’s mum? Or Larkin’s little sister? Why Larkin? I didn’t quite understand how the power was handed down and it is not explored or explained in a clear manner.

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Eight Will Fall is one that I would recommend to those who enjoy young adult fantasy, gore, quests and magic.

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