Author: Lindsay RibarSeries: standalone
Released: June 7th 2016
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
Length: 336 pages
Twin Peaks meets Stars Hollow in this paranormal suspense novel about a boy who can reach inside people and steal their innermost things—fears, memories, scars, even love—and his family’s secret ritual that for centuries has kept the cliff above their small town from collapsing.Aspen Quick has never really worried about how he’s affecting people when he steals from them. But this summer he’ll discover just how strong the Quick family magic is—and how far they’ll go to keep their secrets safe.With a smart, arrogant protagonist, a sinister family tradition, and an ending you won’t see coming, this is a fast-paced, twisty story about power, addiction, and deciding what kind of person you want to be, in a family that has the ability to control everything you are.
I strongly suspect that a title like Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies will make just about everyone grab this book from the shelf. It’s a title that demands attention, but luckily for us (and for debut author Lindsey Ribar) the rest of the book absolutely deserves it. Closer to magical realism than just about anything else, this debut title is funny, quirky and unique.
The story is told by a 17-year-old boy from a family with magical abilities. Member’s of Aspen’s family can reach into people and take things – feelings, affinities, personality traits and even physical characteristic. They do it mostly to keep the Cliff from falling and destroying the inhabitants of Three Peaks. They can also use it for personal gain, the only rule being that they can’t turn on each other.
Aspen does a lot of harm along the way, but it does it almost like a child handling his father’s gun, with no real grasp of the consequences. Still, he isn’t entirely blameless and most of his use of magic is absolutely self-serving. Ribar doesn’t offer easy fixes, not even at the end of Aspen’s journey. She merely gives us hope that he might approach things differently in the future.
Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies is unusual from start to finish, filled with original ideas and flawless execution. Ribar’s teenagers are true teens and she doesn’t shy away from them. They engage in casual sex and they drink at every available opportunity. The story is completely free of any type of moralizing, be it about drinking, sex or Aspen’s reckless actions. Things just are, as they are in life, and just like in life, there are no clean solutions.