Neurodivergent Communities in THE FALLEN
How the Seven, all neurodivergent and traumatized, support each other - and why it works as well as it does.
Much of the action in THE FALLEN centers around a group of characters - Yasira, Tiv, and seven others - who share certain things in common. They're all (except Tiv) former students of Evianna Talirr's, who have been touched in some way by Outside. They're all former prisoners of Akavi. They're all some form of neurodivergent and/or mentally ill, either because of Outside and trauma or in pre-existing ways. (Tiv is less so, but even Tiv, to some extent, has trauma.) They're also running a planetary resistance movement! And what I've heard from disabled readers who liked THE FALLEN- is that they really like how this group of people is portrayed, as a mutually supportive neurodivergent community.
Neurodivergent people often band together in real life, of course (minus the planetary resistance). We're more likely to feel close and supportive with people similar to us than we are with neurotypicals. It doesn't always work out, but when neurodivergent communities work well and last for a significant time, I've found they have particular traits which the Seven, in THE FALLEN, also have.