Book Review: Folsom by Tarryn Fisher and Willow Aster
“You can be like this with me,” she says. “You don’t have to be an End Man when we’re together. Because no matter how many women you’re with, or where they send you, I will always be right here belonging to you. I promise.”
I was intrigued. I was surprised this book doesn't get more attention. I fell in love and I was shocked by this book. I was browsing through my books late at night to see which one I wanted to read next and having this one in my TBR for quite a long time I decided it was time. I clicked it and said to myself "I just want to see how it begins." I should have known that anything Tarryn Fisher writes leaves me hooks and with a horrible book hangover which I am highly carrying today. I can't stop thinking about it. I dreamt about it and I woke up still in shock and with a million thoughts running through my brain.
Folsom is a dark romance set in a dystopian futuristic world where men have slowly dying off and only a select few are fertile and carry the Y chromosome gene. Basically the world is filled with women. These 12 men are selected to impregnate and absurd amount of women for a high price. However, out of those couplings very few get pregnant and even fewer get a boy. Gwen grew up in the high society of the Red district and when Folsom comes along she is exciting for her appointment and her chance to have the child she always wanted. However when she meets Folsom, she discovers the man under the mask. He realizes that this men are being bred and used for their sperm and she slowly starts to unravel more injustices. Folsom and Gwen start a relationship that is frowned upon by the government and she starts retaliating and speaking out against the government which leads to revolts and protests.
First the world is really interesting. It really grabbed my attention from the get go. This idea that men perished to exist and only a few are in charge of repopulating the Earth is such a scary idea. It really touches upon the theme of what is humanity capable of doing when they're placed in an impossible situation. The way these men are treated and basically raped is disgusting and showcases a world that is not too far from our own specially with the current laws regarding abortion and women's rights. It just goes to speak about how gender and sex should mean equality and not one gender reigning above the other.
The relationship that develops between Gwen and Folsom is a little bit instantaneous but it really made sense for how both characters were raised and molded to be. Gwen had such a good development and seeing her wanting actually do something to end the "End Men" and support her child and her boyfriend. She reminded me a lot of Katniss Everdeen and the way that she wasn't afraid to revolt.
The betrayals that exist between Gwen and her family members also touched my heart and seeing her really lose the battle against the government was so scary. Specially with that cliff hanger I really just wanted to punch something.
Folsom was also an incredible character to read about and being in his mind was just sad and raw and incredibly touching. You really see how Gwen starts becoming a light in his life and how hard his life becomes, specially after seeing his first born son and (spoiler) seeing him die in his hands at such a young age.
“I’m in love with you. It’s the only piece of me the Society doesn’t own.”
I thought a lot about giving it 5 stars because I still cannot explain how much I enjoyed this story but there were few minor details that I didn't like. I didn't like Sophia's redemption arc because honestly it felt fake and I hated the fact that she was safe with Folsom at the end and Gwen was still suffering. I wanted to forget she was having Folsom's baby and instead it just appears as if her mistakes were just ignored. She literally was smiling when Gwen almost had a miscarriage and then all is good? That for me was not okay. I also didn't like how Folsom's son death was developed. I feel he was a great character to explore because he was basically one of the only men left and Folsom's first boy (after 20 years of no boys). I just didn't think it did the story justice and it wasn't really an emotional scene. If it had been emotional and we would have seen that rather than Sophia's unnecessary happy ending I would've been happier.
I am also scared because I know the sequel is about Jackal and not Folsom and Gwen. So I really hope we get to see them and their relationship develop anyways.
Overall rating: 4.5 stars