by Zakary McGaha
Amber Fallon came to my attention with all that social media drama not too long ago, so I felt compelled to look up what really matters: her fiction.
The Warblers is the type of book you read in one sitting. The way it’s written pulls you into the story and forces you to live there for a good hour (maybe less).
It concerns a country boy who likes using the word “what” where other words should be. He’s a simple soul growing up on a farm with his pa, sister, and mother, and things would be peaceful and idyllic had the warblers not happened along!
What the warblers are, exactly, is mostly left up to the imagination til the end, but (judging from their name) it’s not spoiling anything by telling you they’re large bird-creatures.
The enjoyment I had while reading this book came from the language and atmosphere. Amber Fallon proves herself masterful at writing from the first-person perspective of the main character. She hams up the country-speech a little, but that only adds to the effect: although a serious approach is taken, the story is still B-movie fun.
There is a ton of suspense to be had in this book. It’s a constant build-up to where we learn more about the warblers, as well as what in the holy hell the main character’s father expects to do about them. In fact, since the book is so short, the build-up takes up the bulk of the story.
That’s not to say it’s one-dimensional, though: all throughout the build-up, we learn more about this teenaged boy’s charming, peaceful, country world that definitely has a dark side lingering beneath the exterior.
The Warblers is also a great coming-of-age story. Fallon nails what things would be going through an adolescent’s mind if these events were to actually unfold.
The only gripe I had with the book was that it ended too quickly, and things never got bizarre. However, in the context of the story, things getting too “out there” would have come off as hokey, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want the story to keep on going: way more could’ve happened.
Perhaps a sequel is in order? Maybe more things set in this universe?
Overall, The Warblers was a short, fantastic trip.