The Fall

In Book Reviews on April 20, 2014 at 6:00 am
The Fall

Harper 2011

This is the second book in this series. Here are my thoughts on the first book, Strain. I’ll try to give you my opinion of this book without spoilers.

Nutshell blurb: A deadly virus was let loose in NYC and has spread throughout the world. The characters from the last book are now trying to stop it in this book.

Most of the books I’ve been reading lately are part of series. It’s strange how that happens sometimes. It isn’t intentional. What I’m finding is this strange thing where the first book is good, but barely. Then the second one comes along and it is sooooo much better. Such is the case with this book. As well as the book I’ll be talking about next week and the one the week after. You might start seeing a bit of a trend in these next few posts.

I would like to take a moment to let you know how much it annoys me. I’m very unforgiving when it comes to books. There are so many books out there and I’ll never get to all of the ones I want to read in my lifetime. So if something doesn’t grab my attention, I let it go and move on to the next one. I don’t feel the need to invest my time in something that doesn’t hold my interest just because I started it. Strain kind of held my attention. I was able to finish it but it didn’t inspire me and it took me quite a bit longer to read than it should have. I felt that the pacing was painfully slow and there seemed to be a constant build-up that resulted in not much happening. In fact, I wasn’t going to pick up the second book but ended up doing so since I saw it in the library.

As it turns out, the second book is where all of the action is and I really enjoyed this one.

It made me think, though, because I’m reading these other books that are part of series and the first books are a bit slow. Why does it have to be that way??? If I pick up a book about vampires or military clones (next week) or zombies (the week after next) I want it to be full of peril and to be fast paced. In places these first books seem to drag. I understand the need to set the scene and to make us understand the world that we’re visiting and how things work in it, but surely there is a way to do that while stuff is blowing up/being eaten or exsanguinated. It’s not that I have a short attention span but I’ve found in these books that the character development is pretty slow as well. We don’t get to know the people very well in the first one and I found that I cared very little about them to begin with. I need something to latch on to and to care about!

Cut to the second book. This is where it’s all at. The characters are much more developed and now I’m starting to care about them. There’s a really cool character that I like in The Fall called Vasiliy Fet who’s an exterminator. He really comes into his own now that he has to fight vampires. I also feel more sympathetic towards the main character. I’ll definitely pick up the next one.

It’s also making me think twice about my policy of not picking up the second book in a series if I find that the first one is a bit lacklustre. Perhaps I need to try to be a bit more forgiving.



  1. Maybe it’s because I read a lot of YA, but the trend seems to be otherwise for me – first book is good and the second (usually the middle book in a trilogy) is just stringing the first book to the last book. Hmm. Not the case with Mercy Thompson though – the first one was kinda all over the place, and the second one, now that the story world had been established, was *much* better.

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