Review: Fear of Falling by Susan Kiernan-Lewis

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Author:  Susan Kiernan-Lewis

Genre:  Dystopian Action/Adventure

Published by: San Marco Press

Those who read my blog know that I love disaster movies and apocalyptic scenarios. So the premise of this book, which begins with an EMP attack on London that knocks out all electronics in the British Isles, is right up my alley. What makes this book different from some of the other EMP scenarios, however, are the characters and their circumstances. Matt and Sarah are staying at a cabin in Ireland for vacation when the disaster happens and must deal not only with the scenario of being without power, but also with the fact that they are Americans and strangers to the local community. Ms. Kiernan-Lewis plays well with this tension and the cultural differences that exist between people who have been living close to the land for centuries with those who are used to a more urban environment.

One last thing I really liked about the story was the main character’s personal journey to combat her almost neurotic fears of things,from horseback riding to just letting her child grow up. I liked her inner journey even more than the physical challenges presented in the book.

My only criticism was the timeline for when Matt is imprisoned and the abuse that he survives. It seemed a bit excessive and almost cartoonish, after the stark reality of the rest of the book (typical bad guy notwithstanding).  A part of my suspended disbelief was stretched too far to accept that with no antibiotics and no medical care in general a man could survive breaking his leg and being chained to a bed for over a month with as few complications as Matt endures. Also, I have a hard time believing that the society left behind in the U.S. would do as well in such a crisis as the book describes, but that’s only a minor nit as it was only in the epilogue.

Overall, I really enjoyed the tale, and would recommend this book both to those who love dystopian fiction as well as those who love the Irish.  And horses.

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