Domino Falls: Your Zombie Apocalypse Continues

domino falls

Domino Falls is the second book in a series. SECOND BOOK. I say this because I was 100 pages in before I realized this was a sequel. At that point, I wasn’t going back to read Devil’s Wake. In the end, it didn’t matter. Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes did a good job of adding details from the previous novel so that I wasn’t confused. In fact, I thought it was clever that the book started during the action, after the zombie apocalypse known as Freak Day occurred. That would have been clever, but …yeah. Boo, me.

In Domino Falls, the teen survivors travelling on a school bus reach their destination: Domino Falls. The town is well protected from the Freaks, humans who were infected by a mysterious virus and now bite and attack the uninfected. The outbreak began when people ingested a hallucinogenic mushroom, but is spread when the infected bite another person.

Domino Falls has guards, guns, food, and supplies. It also has a fence. The town, once occupied by farmers, gained importance when a Hollywood movie star made it his home base. Wales is a L Ron Hubbard like character who has his own religion, followers, and the money to publish books and make movies about his ideas. He is charming, but there is something a little off in the way he treats the young people.

At first the kids are anxious to ingratiate themselves with the residents of Domino Falls, both the townies and the “threadies” (the followers of Wales). Life outside the fences is harrowing, with danger in the form of Freaks and pirates around every corner. Soon though they start to wonder if they will can ever escape alive.

Maybe I missed a few things here and there, but I liked this world Barnes and Due created. What happens when the smoke clears after a global disaster? What will civilization look like? How will the survivors work together? I’ve read plenty of zombie novels: the protagonist sees mom bite dad, and has to kill dad. It’s standard. The stuff that comes later is the interesting bit.

The story dragged somewhat at times. There was a plot point early on that was a big issue, but then never amounted to anything later. I didn’t know what the point was. Once the kids figure out that something nefarious was going on, the pacing picked up.

As for the characters, I liked sweet Kendra and her boyfriend/protector Terry, their friends Sonia and Piranha, the former soldier Ursilina, and the cousins Dean and Darius. Oh and their little dog, Hipshot. Some of the characters have more important roles in the story than others, but I had a good sense of who they were and what it was that made them tick.

The ending was surprising to me and left me wanting to know what will happen next. The authors hint at another book in the series, though it isn’t listed on Goodreads.

This series is a good YA addition to your zombie apocalypse collection. I liked it a lot.

2 comments:

  1. Ahahahaha I am so glad that I am not the only person who has done this. I had this exact same experience with Ramez Naam's Nexus series. I picked up the second book without realizing it and thought how clever to begin in medias res with our heroes already on the run etc. -- NOPE. And I was at least two-thirds of the way through the book before I noticed.

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  2. It really makes you wonder how necessary it is to divide a book into three parts. Is it required to develop the story at this point or has it become a marketing tool, a way to get us to buy one book for the price of three.

    But, glad you had fun with this one. If you aren't having fun with a zombie book, then go out and get another one, I always say.

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