The Falls by Kristine Kathryn Rusch science fiction book reviews
The Falls (2016) is the eighth novel in Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s DIVING series but, since it takes place in the past and features a completely different cast of characters, you can read it as a stand-alone at any point in the series. The author recommends reading it after The Runabout (which was published later) because it gives us the backstory of a character, and solves a mystery, that we encountered in that book.
The Falls has some of the best scenery we’ve encountered so far in the DIVING universe. It takes place on a planet that hosts one of the fleet’s sector bases. The people who work in the base have just been told that it will close in 30 years, so they need to prepare the base for closure and, if they want to stay with the fleet, plan to move themselves and their families from the place they’ve lived for generations to an entirely different place in the galaxy.
Near the base is a gorgeous nature trail with a dangerous waterfall. When our protagonist, Rajivk Agwu, discovers two pairs of shoes at one of the fall’s lookout points, he wonders if the owners of the shoes have forgotten them, jumped into the falls, or been pushed.
Another, concurrent, mystery involves a fleet ship that gets stolen from the base from right under everyone’s noses. The two mysteries converge, of course, and the story turns into a police procedural. They suspect they may have a serial killer on their hands.
I enjoyed The Falls, especially when I realized how it was connected to The Runabout (which I had already read). The mysteries were exciting and the police procedural format was a nice way to change up the DIVING stories. In The Falls, we learn a little more about fold space and the anaconda drive – just enough to wonder if it might be possible for the crew of the Ivoire to get back to the fleet after all.
The audiobooks, produced by Audible Studios and narrated by Flora Plumb, continue to please me.