The Fall


Fiction - Dystopia
289 Pages
Reviewed on 06/22/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

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.

Lit Amri

"It all started around the Fall of 2022 … you know, after we all thought we were clear of the coronavirus. And it all happened kind of slowly. As slow as an autumn leaf falling from a tree." In The Fall by Michael S. Vassel, Paul Davidson and his wife Lorie decide to move to Florida to be with Lorie's father after losing their jobs. However, the world is deteriorating in a mysterious way no matter where they go; decreased birth rates, animals perishing, and people dying in their sleep while some go crazy and only venture out during the night to wreak havoc. The bizarre phenomenon has a name; The Surge. Paul is determined to survive but fate has a different plan for him, whether he likes it or not.

It's fascinating and eerie and at the same time how the post-apocalyptic concept of The Fall reflects the world's current situation. It's easy to relate to the protagonist and narrator, Paul Davidson, as his opinion and approach when it comes to dealing with a difficult reality is logical - at least in the early chapters of the story. Excerpts of song lyrics at the start of each chapter indicate the events that readers can expect. As The Surge progresses, Paul comes close to death many times while dealing with significant losses and precarious moments; there were times when I questioned his decisions in critical situations. As chaos and doom intensify in a major battle of survival between two human factions, the Norms and the Crazies, fans of the genre will be entertained by the memorable characters in Michael S. Vassel's The Fall.

Pikasho Deka

Set in a fictional near-future after the coronavirus pandemic, The Fall by Michael S. Vassel is a dystopian survival story. On vacation from their hectic schedules, Paul and Lorie Davidson discover that something is amiss about their surroundings. They find a general lack of birds and animals and start witnessing abnormal behavior in other people. The couple soon learns about the outbreak of a new pandemic called The Surge that causes people to commit suicide or turns them into Crazies who attack each other. Paul, alongside Lorie, now travels to Fort Myers, Florida to take care of Lorie's father, Bill. But Bill and Lorie soon fall victim to The Surge. Feeling abandoned and alone, Paul decides to heed the calls of Nina Blackwood and head to Los Angeles in search of a community.

If you enjoy apocalyptic dystopian shows such as The Walking Dead or movies like Zombieland, grab a copy of The Fall. Author Michael S. Vassel's survival tale blends emotional and heartfelt moments with gritty, no holds barred action and lighthearted humor to make for a wildly entertaining ride. Michael S. Vassel keeps a pacy narrative that is easily accessible and feels like a breeze to go through. The characters are colorful and quirky, and their personalities make them easily distinguishable. Paul Davidson feels like your everyday man who has been dropped unawares into difficult circumstances, and it makes him easily relatable. I particularly enjoyed his taste in music. Overall, I very much enjoyed The Fall. I will recommend it to readers who love dystopian survival stories.