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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extraordinarily imaginative book
Eifion Jenkins's novel starts with two thirteen-year-old boys sitting talking, or so it seems. Soon we discover that our hero, Gwidion, lives in a bio-dome in Wales in the year 2084. In this bio-dome is a village of Welsh roundhouses where the inhabitants, mostly female as there are few men, cultivate their own food and live a pagan life. There is a school where the...
Published on 7 Oct 2011 by Gaynor Madoc Leonard

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3.0 out of 5 stars Weird Book
I thought that each part was good - but basically more like two books in one, the first story doesn't really end so much as segue into another, different, story and then the second story is all a bit muddled - very little connection, although I see where it is trying to go.
Great ideas, really interesting reading, but the whole dynamic and narrative arc was a bit off.
Published 8 months ago by Nick Butlin


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extraordinarily imaginative book, 7 Oct 2011
Eifion Jenkins's novel starts with two thirteen-year-old boys sitting talking, or so it seems. Soon we discover that our hero, Gwidion, lives in a bio-dome in Wales in the year 2084. In this bio-dome is a village of Welsh roundhouses where the inhabitants, mostly female as there are few men, cultivate their own food and live a pagan life. There is a school where the children learn from "optiks" (ie: computers). Gwidion is an exceptional child with an extraordinary gift and great curiosity.
As the book goes on we learn that most of the world's population has been killed by a mumps-like virus (though there is some argument as to who released it on to the world) and humankind's fertility has been seriously affected. What was Wales is now part of the Hispanic Republic, ruled from Madrid and South America. The languages spoken in the village (and the Republic) are Welsh, Spanish and American (although the latter is mainly confined to technological talk).
The leaders of the Republic are aware of Gwidion's great gift and intend to use it to help save mankind.
It's not often that I find myself unable to put a book down but it happened with this one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars READ IT!, 19 Oct 2008
By 
Alan Jowett (Pembrokeshire, Wales) - See all my reviews
My wife had the book recommended to her and insisted that I would love it and just had to read it. Ever obedient I did as I was told and absolutely loved it. If you only read one novel this year make it 'If you fall I will catch you'. Eifion has captured both the optimism and despair of a dying world and created a splendid metaphysics to go with it. Personally I can't wait for the movie!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Imaginative Ideas and Themes, 20 Dec 2014
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This review is from: If You Fall I Will Catch You (Kindle Edition)
Well I'd give it about 4.5 stars, so I'll be generous and round to 5 stars as it isn't a well known novel or author.

This was an incredibly imaginative novel. It has a three act structure, the first covers a rural story set in post-apocalyptic world cursed by fertility problems. The second act covers an "Ender's game" type education of the protagonist. The third, well I won't spoil the plot, but splits the narrative between two locations.

I'm not sure the parts hang together sufficiently, and I think I'd have been happy for the novel to have stayed in the first location as that was ripe enough territory to explore - and I missed some of the characters that were left behind there. But it is ambitious, covering recurring themes of the closeness of family relations and particularly twins, issues of loss and the titular falling.

It is a book I could put down, but each time I picked it up it had something interesting to tell me, not perfection, and I was disappointed to see the author hasn't really had anything else of significance published since this in 2008 - his career has taken him in different directions by the look of it - because on the basis of this I'd be very interested to read more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Captivating as per cover comment ..., 22 Oct 2013
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This review is from: If You Fall I Will Catch You (Kindle Edition)
Cover 3.0.

22 10 13. I met Eifion at the Tenby Arts Festival and thought I would read his book as I too am writing about a situation in the future when my main character's grandson comes to Tenby after a world catastrophe. I like the pacing and surprises and give the book four stars for what I have read so far ... I read on.

5 11 13. Finished. As my editor's said about some of my writing - enjoyable and unusual not sure about genre. A lovely thought provoking read which kept me wondering all the time what had happened before and what would happen in the future and how the book would end. The story was told as if a smoldering fire with more fuel being added regularly. As in Jeanette Winterson's book Stone Gods about finding another planet it is the people who matter and what they do. Not tuned into the title yet and for me 10% shorter would have been better. I will read again as there is more depth I am sure I have missed. I have moved the book into five stars weighing up other books in comparison I have read this year. Now moved back again August 2014 as book only as strong as others I have given four stars to.

Alexander of the Allrighters
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable first novel, 10 Mar 2012
By 
Chris Lovegrove (Pembrokeshire, Wales) - See all my reviews
A remarkable first novel, 'If you fall I will catch you' is set in a richly imagined future where the narrative shifts from south Pembrokeshire to Spain, Peru and a world several light years away. Eifion Jenkins spins a tale that, following the arrow of time, springs out of the events of September 11th and the World Trade Center at the beginning of this millennium. It gradually becomes clear that while you can't change the past you can influence the shape of future events by just little apparently inconsequential acts, sometimes by just being yourself.

The horror familiar from video clips and photographs showing distant human figures plunging down past the windows of one or other of the twin towers is vicariously revisited on Gwidion, living in an isolated but near self-sufficient community that is apparently all that is left of Wales. The date is now 2084, surely deliberately evocative of 1984 and the supranational powers in Orwell's dystopian vision, and the stage is set for a series of events that lead from one nightmarish situation to another. The world has suffered a disaster, a pandemic of infertility, artificially introduced, which ultimately upsets the geopolitical situation forever. There are secret plans to send a select group on an interstellar ship to seek a habitable planet.

Gwidion is a child who doesn't yet know his father, but he has a twin, Cai (or does he?), and in the course of the book attempts to make real human connections with a number of individuals, most of them sadly unrequited. He is discovered to have singular psychic abilities, which causes him to be uprooted from his community and to become a pawn, and maybe a player, in the events that may determine the future of humankind.

Recurrent themes and images thread their way through this book, many related to the fear of falling from a high place, many related too to the connections the main protagonist makes or doesn't make with those he meets. Jenkins creates memorable characters, thought-provoking dialogue and striking settings, ranging from a village in a biodome via an academy in a depopulated Madrid to an inhospitable planetary terrain. There is a lingering sense of sadness and tragedy throughout this book, but also a sense of hope and the promise of a new beginning, though maybe not for the remnants of mankind. A stunning debut novel which raises questions of individual responsibility and loyalties.

A postscript: If you fall works on many levels, and I'm still trying to work out the relevance of the title to a pop song, the 2084 date to a film and a video game, and the significance of the Tree Alphabet that suggests itself in Book One of the novel. I'm also puzzling over the choice of names for the Spanish speakers as they seem to relate to Argentinian writer Borges, Spanish poet Lorca and so on. I'm sure that in some unguarded moment I'll have my Eureka enlightenment over one or another!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A slightly different take on the post apocalyptic formula, 16 July 2014
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This review is from: If You Fall I Will Catch You (Kindle Edition)
A good read with some well rounded characters and for the most part an interesting and evolving story line. In the end though I didn't really buy into the central premise that the solution to an under populated earth would be to leave it, why? This was symptomatic of a feeling throughout the book that intriguing situations develop but there's really no great substance to the motivation driving the characters' actions.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, 8 May 2014
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One of the best books I have read in ages. It had a lasting impact on me, I keep thinking about it. A really original story, very well told. The book was difficult to put down, highly recommended,
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3.0 out of 5 stars Weird Book, 9 April 2014
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I thought that each part was good - but basically more like two books in one, the first story doesn't really end so much as segue into another, different, story and then the second story is all a bit muddled - very little connection, although I see where it is trying to go.
Great ideas, really interesting reading, but the whole dynamic and narrative arc was a bit off.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A real gem of a book, 2 April 2014
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hard to describe what it is that is so wonderful about this book. It's sort of sci-fi...but has a parable quality to it. By the end, I felt like I'd read a much longer book - there's so much packed into it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Best sc-fi for a long time, 24 Feb 2014
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This has to be one of the best sci-fi books that I've read in a while. A well thought through story line and great descriptions made this a really good read.
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