This is one incredibly late review. When I first received the ARC, I couldn’t put it down. Despite being in the middle of exams. The review was hashed out right the next day. Only…I completely forgot to post it. In keeping with ‘better late than never’, here it is!
Rise & Fall is the fourth book in the popular THIRDS series and when I say popular, it’s with reason! The series has it all, adventure, romance, action, danger, suspense, mystery, a rounded cast of characters and a plot that keeps you on the edge of your seat or rolling on the floor laughing. All that in a well-written package.
The above is no less true for the fourth installment. However, Rise & Fall is a bit more on the darker side than the previous books. This adds a new dimension to the series.
The story picks up right where Rack & Ruin left off, right in the middle of the action and a heartbreaking scene. From there the reader hits the ground running. Dex goes to Dark Side (with his gummy bears) in a bid to catch Beck Hogan and his crew by any means necessary. In his almost obsessive quest he disregards everything and anyone. The question is, will he stop before he crosses a line?
Like with all the books, Dex and Sloane are the focus of the story and the story is told from alternating point of views. Like all of the books, the reader also gets to see into the lives of the other team members and what goes on with them.
In Rack & Ruin there is a pivotal scene between Calvin and Hobbs. Alongside we get a better understanding of Ash. He’s still an ass of epic proportions, but he now has a more human side than he did in the previous books. It’s quite clear that the author is setting the characters up for their own stories.
I can rave quite a bit about this book, but there was also a niggle. Dex. gasp Yes, I dare say it. He became quite the loose cannon. He constantly puts himself in danger and later on the team and even his brother. While understandable – he does go Dark – it niggles me that the THIRDS isn’t keeping an eye on him. Or even Tony. Throughout the book the THIRDS is put on the background and for an organization that is well versed in technology, not once do they catch up or keep an eye on the team. I felt this was a weak side of the story.
Another little niggle is Letty and Rosa, the female members of the team. They don’t get put in the background, but we see a lot less of them as characters than we do the male members. They could be inserted a little more in the story, I think.
The author’s strong point is her writing and the ability to spin a story that captures the reader’s imagination. The writing has a professional quality to it. The characters have their own voices in the story and do not borrow each other’s mannerisms or slang. The writing is vivid and flowing and draws the reader into the story. I like the use of pop culture in the story without it being overwhelming.
What stood out: Ooooh now. Quite a bit. Without laying out the whole story, there is a scene with Calvin, Hobbs, a surveillance van, Dex and ZZ Top. After that you will never be able to listen to ZZ Top without being reminded of this scene!
Dex as a character. We get to see a whole new side to his character along with some new insights.
A scene between Dex and Sloane that I can’t share here without giving an important development in their relationship away. But daaaaamn! Oh and I love the purring Sloane can do!
Tony and ‘Old Betsy’ right at the end of the story.
Sloane being sneaky with food!
Why you should read it: Rise & Fall is a wonderful addition to the series. Not once does the story get boring or feels like it’s on repeat. There is a clear development in the series and the characters. This installment was a bit slower than the previous books, but not so slow as to take your attention away.