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Jack Taylor makes a suborbital jump from 60 miles above earth, in the upper-most reaches of the atmosphere and vanishes; ending up on an alternate Earth where he died five years earlier. Each world has a version of his wife, Angela, and his best friend, Pete; the story alternates between worlds while following Jack in his effort to get back to his own universe.
Felix Baumgartner made a suborbital jump from 24 miles above the ground in October 2012; facts like this are utilized by the author to make the story feel realistic. Pineiro gives details that help the reader visualize and feel like they are in the moment. In the beginning some of the character descriptions were a bit frustrating to me, but once I got past that it, it was smooth sailing.
The story can be loosely compared to a TV show like “Fringe” with a bit of Liam Neeson’s character from “Taken”. There were a few times in the recording that had some mouth noises, or irregular pauses, but not enough to retract from the story.
I was captivated by the book, I didn’t want to stop listening, and when I did, I would hypothesize about what would happen next. I suggest you take the fall with Jack Taylor into this fast-paced and realistic sci-fi thriller.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful
Every now and then, I like to take a chance on a book that I haven’t heard anything about. I’ll admit that cover shopping can play a big part of this. It’s probably what made me pick up R. J. Piniero’s The Fall. That and the tagline that read something like: “A man takes a jump from a weather balloon only to end up on another Earth where he’s been dead for five years.” Ok, probably not the premise of high brow literature, but hey, it does sound like fun.
I don’t know if it’s me, but I keep pulling up parallel dimensional travel books a lot lately. It’s definitely in vogue right now. And where it used to be confined mainly to space stories involving intergalactic anomalies like ST:TNG’s “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” now it seems like they happen in science fiction more and more on Earth. This probably says something about how self-absorbed we are with ourselves, or maybe it’s just to tell stories that are relatable. Either way, the dimensional travel aspect of this book is fairly basic and is really just a so-so plot device to create tension.
Jack Taylor, ex-Navy SEAL, is one of those “I can do anything” military MacGyver supermen that parade through throw-away action novels. He’s got some relationship troubles (so he’s not actually Superman); but all in all, he does whatever he wants however he wants. When confronted with his alternate Earth, he’s momentarily confused that this America uses the metric system, but ultimately he adapts in about a half hour to his surroundings. His brilliant wife – who happens to be part hacker, part biker chick while actually the lead scientist on big NASA projects – has her own adventures against a power obsessed general who is basically a one man Illuminati. Together this typical American couple has to try to get Jack back to his own Earth and real timeline.
I know suspension of belief is necessary for the rollercoaster rides of today’s action genre, but even though I thought I was in with the “balloon jump” premise mentioned above, this cliché-ridden construct was ultimately too much schlock for me. I don’t want to impugn Clive Cussler by saying this is Clive Cussler-lite, but that’s what I felt while reading this. If unstoppable heroes in pseudo-science stories are what you’re looking for – and you don’t want to travel to Mars with John Carter – then The Fall is the book for you.
Audible listeners: George Newbern's narration was fine. Nothing special to make me seek him out, but he handled a mediocre story up to its level
4 stars out of 10
2 of 2 people found this review helpful