Folsom (End of Men #1) – Tarryn Fisher, Willow Aster


Genre: Romance, Distopia, Feminist

The nation as we know it is a thing of the past.

With the male species on the verge of extinction, a society called the End Men is formed to save the world. Folsom Donahue is one of twelve men whose sole purpose is to repopulate the Regions. The endless days spent having sex with strangers leaves Folsom with an emptiness no amount of women, money, or status can fill.

Until Gwen.

Gwen has wanted a child for as long as she can remember, but when she finally gets a chance to have her own, she uncovers a long hidden truth. The injustice she sees moves her to help save the men whom no one else believes need saving.

A forbidden love, grown in a time of despair, ignites a revolution.

Folsom and Gwen, torn between their love for each other and their sense of duty, must make a choice. But some will stop at nothing to destroy them.

With echoes of The Handmaid’s Tale, Fisher and Aster have crafted a compelling dystopian romance that offers an insightful look at gender norms, reproductive rights, and the lengths people are willing to go to control those rights.

Fisher and Aster have placed Folsom snuggly in the genre of contemporary romance with hints of dystopia. I, on the other hand, believe Folsom should be categorized under erotic speculative fiction (is that a new or undiscovered genre?). Folsom flips gender norms on their head by creating a society ruled by women as they do everything in their power to repopulate the world after the majority of the male population became sterile. Though this echoes The Handmaid’s Tale, Folsom’s flip of the typical use of genders is genius. When comparing Folsom to other speculative fiction novels where women are subjugated it’s interesting that despite being sex slaves for the government, the men are given every material luxury they could possibly want while women are completely controlled in horrible circumstances. Even within the genre there are double standards.

The reason I rate Folsom 4 stars instead of 5 was because the ending felt rushed and there were a few moments throughout the novel that needed to breathe. The ending of Folsom comes at the reader fast and furious packaged in the written equivalent of a montage. There are a few moments, especially near the ending, that needed a few more pages to simmer in what was happening. These rushed moments make the main character feel like passive rather than active with what is happening around her.

Overall, Folsom is one of the better speculative fiction novels that borrow heavily from The Handmaid’s Tale (and, trust me, I’ve read a lot of them). Though, be warned, I used erotic to describe this book for a reason.


Have you read Folsom? What did you think?

5 thoughts on “Folsom (End of Men #1) – Tarryn Fisher, Willow Aster

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