This was a difficult one for me to rate, to be honest. Just a few things kept it from being a yes, but for me (and I’m sure for many others who love science fiction/fantasy), they grew into one large issue.
First thing’s first. The world of The Path of the Fallen feels like every great science fiction movie I’ve seen, and for that, I’m incredibly grateful and impressed. Obviously, O’Brien has made a serious effort to make his world as epic as possible. With hints of Star Wars, Star Trek and even Dune, he evokes a feeling of a grand scale. There’s amazing mythology, strong characters, and an epic showdown of good vs. evil.
Where the story fell flat was in the writing itself. I wasn’t as involved as I should have been in a story like this, and I didn’t connect with the characters as well as I’d wanted, which hurt because the variety of characters O’Brien peppers his story with are great,. He even gives us insight into the main antagonist—Fe’rein—by using him as a viewpoint character (the book actually opens with Fe’rein destroying an orbiting space station, thus setting into motion the events of the book).
If the writing had been more engaging, The Path of the Fallen would have had me singing from the heavens. As it is, it’s an enjoyable book with excellent world-building and great characters.
The Path of the Fallen is available at: