“Though I have fallen darkness will rise.”
Eight Will Fall is the perfect young-adult combination of The Descent and any horror game you’ve ever played.
In a world where magic is illegal, eight criminals led by rebellious Larkin are sent on a mission to rid their realm of an ancient evil lurking beneath the surface. Descending into a world full of unspeakable horrors, Larkin and her crew must use their forbidden magic to survive. But as the beasts grow in number and her band is picked off one by one, Larkin is forced to confront a terrible truth: They were never meant to return.
The second I got this book in the December FairyLoot box I set aside my entire Christmas pile of TBR books and went for it. It is the first time I heard of young-adult horror and the idea of it seemed a bit conflicting in the beginning. How can something be truly horrifying if it’s meant to be read by, well, young-adults?
Sarah Harian proved me wrong. I am no stranger to horror an am the biggest fan of the genre. The ‘stuck in a cave’ sub-genre was always right up my street. I mean, The Descent is one of my faves so I am not one to scare easily. But this one was oh, so delightfully dark and ruthless and refreshing.
Our eight heroes are gifted by magical abilities based on siphoning people’s emotions to either conjure or destroy. They are sent to an underground cave system called The Reach to find and destroy an ‘ancient evil‘.
The Reach, however, is my favourite character of the entire book. It truly takes on a life of its own. You can tell how much time, research and feeling went into creating this dark monster.
The tension throughout the entire journey into the depths is crafted with such precision that you end up gripping your pages in fear of what horror lies beyond the next corner. And it does not get any better when the monsters finally do appear. Believe me, you would NOT like to be down there!
The actual group of eight is a well-balanced, diverse mix of characters. They all get enough page time and are written with enough depth that you get to care about them. That is key to truly effective horror when the monsters start ripping their eyes out. Yes, that happens. This book does not mess around.
The main protagonist is Larkin, who is okay, I guess. She reminds me a bit of Katniss from The Hunger Games. Not entirely likeable, but that much more believable. I mean, would you be a cute little snowflake if you’d end up stuck in a hell-hole with monsters after your eyes?
And yes, we do get a little bit of romance. It does not take away from the gore, don’t worry.
Sadly, we do not get to get to know our main villains very well. There being two of them and the book being only about 300 pages long, we simply do not have the time to get to truly resent them. The characters hate them and we know we should too, they just don’t rise to their hate-worthy potential.
The world itself is another victim of the book’s length. The magic system, mythology and the oppressive political system are so interesting, I wish there was a sequel or a prequel to get to know all of the story. Maybe it’s just me being used to massive world-building in series’ of at least three books. Maybe the ending would be even more powerful if we got more time to get invested.
In conclusion, my only problem with Eight Will Fall is that I want more of it. If you feel like you are too comfortable being alone in the dark, give this one a read.