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Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite
The Fall by Michael S. Vassel follows a couple, Paul and Lorie, as they leave their home in Ohio, Cleveland in search of a normal world with normal people after a devastating pandemic that has had dire repercussions on humanity and other mammals. A sickness has transformed people into beasts, making them act violently, destroying everything in their way; some just shut themselves in until death claims their lives. Paul is still not affected and he and his wife must find a place where there are people unaffected by the disease and where they can also have power. But can they move faster than the Surge, and where on Earth will they find a place not yet touched by this strange affliction?
The setting of The Fall is in the autumn of 2022 and at a time when humanity is supposed to have recovered from the Coronavirus. It is then that the weirdest of things begin to happen, including insanity, deaths, and human alterations. The novel starts with a gripping premise and I loved the way the author captures Paul's state of mind as he struggles to leave a recorded message, stammering, using fragments of sentences, and rambling over a lot of things. Most importantly, the primary theme of the story is introduced right off the bat and the apocalyptic setting is brilliantly presented throughout the narrative.
Michael S. Vassel crafts an engaging story with strong and believable characters, a setting that builds on the experience that contemporary readers have been through, and a plot that is twisty and suspenseful. It is filled with humanity and realism, a tale that is never lacking in pathos. The Fall is a tale of survival and grit, a high-speed story with emotionally rich characters and plausible detail.