The Falls by Kristine Kathryn Rusch science fiction book reviewsThe Falls by Kristine Kathryn Rusch science fiction book reviews

The Falls by Kristine Kathryn Rusch science fiction book reviewsThe 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.Diving into the Wreck by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

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.

Published in 2017. Fleet sector bases close as the Fleet moves on. Everyone knows and expects it. But still, the announcement that Sector Base E-2 will close—although still thirty years in the future—breeds a mood of tension and anxiety.So, when Rajivk Agwu finds two pairs of shoes on a trail near Fiskett Falls, but no sign of their occupants, his already heightened senses warn of danger.Those on the base fare no better. Bristol Iannazzi, working on the notoriously delicate anacapa drive for a runabout, also notices something strange, something out of place, something dangerous…Expanding the rich history of Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s captivating Diving universe, The Falls provides an exciting and crucial backstory for future events.


  • Kat Hooper

    KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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