With the events of Frank Pettel’s stalking two years behind them, Sean and Asbjorn settle into a new routine at MIT. Asbjorn decides that he wants to graduate with Sean and so he takes on additional courses to achieve that goal. The immediate result of Asbjorn’s decision is that Sean is left to his own devices and his anxiety over the state of their relationship, as well as concerns over Asbjorn’s health as he studies almost nonstop, causes Sean’s PTSD rear its old head again.
Sean may have been exposed to toxic gases at work. Neither man has had time to spend with their friends and both are dealing with health issues, but neither is willing to share their concerns with the other. Their hectic schedule leaves no time for outside activities and so their friends decide that if Mohammed won’t come to the mountain, they will drop in to make sure Asbjorn and Sean are okay. Little does Sean know, Asbjorn is experiencing stomach cramps and has been hiding the symptoms from his husband.
They pair win a boat through the Publisher’s Clearing house, but need to fly to Bahamas to pick it up, an expense they really can’t afford. Two years of marriage and they haven’t figured out how to communicate effectively. It is no surprise that the “win” is a con, that the boat is no more than a life raft, but Asbjorn and Sean decide to make the best of the situation. Taking their “boat” out for an overnight trip to a nearby deserted island, Asbjorn and Sean are witness to a drug deal and end up stranded on the island when the drug dealers destroy their only means of getting back to the mainland.
I actually want to address the ending first. This is a HEA/HFN story, which sounds odd, but really worked for me. Their story ends on a positive note, but not all of the issues brought up in the trilogy are resolved, which felt like the right course of action to me, since in life, as in the Fall trilogy, the future truly is unknown.
What did I like? I liked that we got to know Adrian and Don better, and also got to see the dynamic of the various secondary characters or groups that have made up Sean and Asbjorn’s world. I found the tension and frustration between Sean and Asbjorn engaging, and liked how their relationship struggled as they tried to master married life and an insane course load at MIT. I liked the consistency in the three books, both in terms of characters, but also in regards to their group of friends, their studies, and the seamless references to events from the past that gave us the feeling of past, present, and future, a depth that I liked from the beginning.
What did I find off? Winning the sweepstakes and getting shipwrecked on a deserted island. Now I say “off” because the situations were well plotte, and in character for all involved, from Sean’s quirky habit of filling out contest forms, to Asbjorn’s love of roughing it, to Adrian and Don’s offer to join them in Barbados and return to Boston as a group. The fact that all of their friends pitched in to help was completely right in my mind.
In the end, I am really happy to have had the opportunity to read and review Pavelle’s work. The characters were interesting, I learned a bit about martial arts, the adventures in the first two books were not far fetched, and Landfall, having been set a few years after the events of Swordfall, quenched my thirst for a little normal before the next wild ride.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.