The Fallen Children
By: David Owen
On night in London every single person in Midwich Tower falls into a deep sleep from which they cannot be woken. During that time four women (three of them high schoolers) are violated and quickly come to realize they are pregnant.
And when I say quickly I mean these pregnancies last for like two weeks so something is very, very wrong.
The Fallen Children is based on The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham. It’s a good book to read. The subject matter will get you thinking about a lot of hot button issues and it’s very atmospheric. The mystery is definitely creepy as hell.
But I think its a hard book to recommend because of those issues. I also think the characters can be pretty polarizing and (more related to actual execution) by the end it felt like there should have been more or is supposed to be a sequel or something. Actually the first part of the book dealing with the fallout during the pregnancy was the best. Part two which is fairly fast after the kids are born is when it starts to get a little haywire for me.
Keisha is probably the closest thing to a relatable main character. She had her life in order and was going to break the poverty cycle so she feels very much as though everything is falling apart. Siobhan is probably the one who responds most to the violation as a personal affront and not just concentrating on it as a mystery. Olivia is the oldest and we barely get any insight into her. Perhaps because she was told she was infertile so for her this is a miracle.
I could not bring myself to like Maida however. To Owen’s credit I understood her. Suffering under an abusive father when the children begin to use their power naturally she’s happy. She believes they’re going to protect her. She believes basically they’re going to rule. But when they become violent Maida also truly enjoys it and eggs the violence on revealing in it against people who most assuredly don’t deserve it.
Which is another nitpick I had with the book when one character manages to take control of their life and get their body back they are punished. Seriously physically injured and threatened and I get the impression by that point where supposed to side with the ones doing the injuring which put me off.
Morris is the last point-of-view and on the surface he’s supportive, understanding and awesome but also Keisha doesn’t matter so much as the idea that this kid is the ticket to getting her back and being a family. It’s hard to like him despite his seeming kindness. I mean Keisha is raped and pregnant thinking about how her future is destroyed and Morris is like, “I’m going to be a daddy!”
Meanwhile he’s also someone who can’t hold down a job and makes a truly poor decision at the end that makes me wonder if he should have any child be they super-powered or not.
Also I don’t think I’d be like their neighbors but generally speaking when the two-month olds start walking, talking and attack people like thirty-somethings I’m understandably out the door.
So there’s a lot to dig into even at the end the book brings up questions of free will, nature vs. nurture and the like amongst a ton of other things. It didn’t always work in execution but its well worth the read and it is super creepy if you’re looking for a Halloween book.