What an impact!
This was an incredible read and anyone that hasn’t read any fan-fiction from the Woolverse (created by Hugh Howey) is doing themselves a disservice by not reading this as it explores the role of religion to keep to keep its inhabitants in check. For the record, I’m late to the party in reading the fan fiction that Mr. Howey has created but better late than never!
That said, Greatfall explores the role of religion to keep the people of their silo in order. By religion, I’m talking about the form of god fearing evangelism and it does it brilliantly. Unlike the other silos that use a “mayor” and “sheriff” to keep its inhabitants in check, the idea to use two deities as good and evil is what’s used for Silo 23.The explanation to get the people to believe in an omnipotent being that can be malevolent at times is credible.
The writing and characterizations were solid. Based off the predicament and circumstances of Greatfall, you can’t help but grow attached to the protagonists and want them to achieve their goals given the plot. But that antagonist!
The antagonist, Matthew, was, to put it bluntly, a big dick. There are plenty of characters that we’ve read in novels and know that are “bad”. “Ok, character X is bad. Got it,” and from there, you may just go with the flow without a reaction to his/her actions. It takes great skill to create a character that the reader can love to hate and I think Mr. Gurley nailed it with Matthew. I can recall on several occasions where I’ve read something he’s done to another character and I’ll think, “Matthew is such an ass. I hope he gets a good offing in the end.” In fact, he pissed me off so much that I had to call him a dick on Facebook. Of course, what happens to him in the end, is for you, the reader, to find out.
On a side note: A friend had recommended Jason Gurley’s Greatfall a while back. I had it in my queue of books of to read. During that time, I did do a beta read of one of his stories. The beta wasn’t bad but it needed some work. “I can’t believe this is the same guy that wrote Eleanor,” because, man. Greatfall just raised the bar to what I hope to/and expect from him. As it stands now his work in progress, Eleanor, is just that: a work in progress (not a spoiler, folks; he talks about it on his blog). For now? I may need to add The Settlers to quench my thirst for more Gurley.