A Book Review of And Then Acid Fell, by AU Gonzales
Not acid rain. It’s pure acid that produces third-degree burns on contact and melts concrete, and it pours from the sky for days. The author doesn’t really need to explain why. In the days of the BP oil disaster, global financial crisis, and an ebola epidemic to chill us to the bone, aren’t we all wondering when commercial fertilizer will mix with Fukushima radiation and the newest food additive, to coalesce into something deadly over our heads? Where will you be when acid falls from the sky?
That’s where we enter this story—or stories, I should say—and that’s where Gonzales shows his strength; he spins miniature tales with vivid description and delicately interweaving action. Each character we meet is robust, ranging from a lovable, neurotic hermit to a sniveling, double-crossing coward to an irate, shiv-wielding wife. All players react differently to the sudden catastrophe of the stinking, relentless deluge, and we turn page after page, wondering how each life will change. Or end. Don’t wait for the heroes to save the day or the bad guys to fall in this book, however. Gonzales lets the bad guys off easy, while he can be ruthless with his heroes.
This is a writer to watch, as he hones his skills and stretches his range. He seems willing to take risks and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next. A reader may not find flawless prose here, this being Gonzales’s debut novel and a little rough around the edges. But, if you’re looking for a fresh young look at the world and surprisingly insightful observations, check out And Then Acid Fell.