Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Domino Falls

Domino Falls by Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due
Atria Books, 2/19/2013
Hardcover, 384 pages
ISBN-13: 9781451617023

It began on Freak Day—that day no one could explain, when strangers and family members alike went crazy and started biting one another. Some thought the outbreak was caused by a flu shot, others that it was a diet drug gone terribly wrong. All anyone knew is that once you were bitten and went to sleep, you woke up a freak.

My Thoughts:
Domino Falls by husband and wife writing team Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due is a sequel to the story they began in Devils Wake.  In this post-apocalyptic thriller, Zombie-like freaks abound as a small rag-tag group makes it to Domino Falls, California. Along their trek they have heard broadcasts from Joseph Wales, the leader of the Thread group. He has a Threadie sanctuary/compound in Domino Falls. After the group manages to gain admittance to the town it almost seems too good to be true - and that may, in fact, be the case. Could fighting the freaks on the outside be preferable to the sanctuary Wales' group provides?
An infection has caused the outbreak of freaks. One bite from them and a healthy person is infected. Once the freaks fall asleep, they turn into the dangerous runners. After that they change into the slower shambling freaks. Although Domino Falls doesn't quite have the full, detailed explanation of what happened, it certainly provides enough information to enjoy the novel. The explanation given is that the freak outbreak was caused by receiving a flu shot after eating a certain mushroom. After that the freaks infected people through their bites.
Characters include: Kendra Brookings, Terry Whittaker, Sonia Petansu, “Piranha” Charlie Cawthorne, Corporal Ursalina Cortez, Darius Phillips, Dean Kitsap, and Hipshot, a black terrier mix. (Dogs can detect freaks before people can.)  These characters are well-drawn in this novel especially for the second book in a series. Actually Domino Falls is more of a character driven novel and the freaks are simply there, as an ever-present threat that everyone must consider. But there are other threats in this novel that may be just as creepy.
Clearly, from the ending, there will be more books in the series. 
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It was engaging and the plot was gripping from beginning to end. I haven't read the first book in the series, but if  it is close to the quality of Domino Falls, then I'd very highly recommend it too.
Disclosure: My Kindle edition was an uncorrected proof courtesy of  Atria Books and Netgalley for review purposes.

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