Book Review: The Fall Is All There Is, C.M. Caplan

Book Review: The Fall Is All There Is, Four of Mercies Book 1, C.M. Caplan


the fall is all there is

SCFI: The Fall Is All There Is, Four of Mercies Book 1, C.M. Caplan

Blog Tour November 23, 2022


Writing advice often includes the saying, “Write what you know.” That may be why I don’t write a
lot of fiction: stories of obese white Americans living in small cities are hardly the stuff of

I wondered initially at the premise of a book about an autistic quadruplet. Then I found out that
the author is also an autistic quadruplet. That only explains part of the appeal of this book,
though. The protagonist’s voice demonstrates a perspective from the inside of a mind that is
seldom revealed to those of us unfamiliar with autism. It is a mind that struggles with sensory
overload, that finds difficulty playing the social games of society, a mind that wants desperately
to be understood. A mind that feels most alone in a crowded room.

Petre Mercy left home at age 18. Seldom would a prince be allowed to leave his kingdom, but
Petre was the fourth born of quadruplets. His sister was groomed to take over from their father.
His brother Edgar was also trained to rule in case something happened to Anoise. His other
brother, Desmon, was trained to serve as an advisor. Petre was…tolerated. Barely. His
neurodivergence brought him into regular conflict with his siblings, his parents, and everyone
else. At 18 he finally found the courage to set out on his own. He went to a nearby city where he
had friends and made a life for himself.

Now, his siblings have reached out to him. Their father has died, Anoise is about to be crowned
queen, and they want him back home for the coronation.

The world C.M. Caplan creates is one filled with magic and high tech. Ghosts take over living
bodies, turning them into “gaunts.” Gaunts are deadly and sometimes hard to identify as being
different from humans, until they try to tear you apart. Horses are cyborgs, part animal and part
machine. Some trees have fur instead of bark. And “labcoats” (scientists) work to recover lost
technologies, with some new applications that are ethically questionable.

Petre is a difficult character. He sees the world through very different eyes than I do. I won’t
pretend that I now know what it’s like to be autistic. I can appreciate better, though, why
neurodivergence can lead to mutual misunderstanding. To a degree, each of us hears what we
want to hear, sees what we want to see, understands what we want to understand. Sometimes
we are able to push past that and really listen, really see, really understand another person.
That is not easy and usually making the effort is enough to help the other person try as well.
Not everyone can do this. A question worth asking ourselves is, can I accept someone for who
they actually are rather than who I want them to be?

Our thanks to Escapist Blog Tours for our copy of The Fall Is All There Is, provided so we could
give an honest review as part of this blog tour. The opinions here are solely those of Scintilla.
For other perspectives, check out the other bloggers on this tour.


the fall is all there is

Book Review: The Fall Is All There Is, Four of Mercies Book 1, C.M. Caplan

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