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Book Review

Book Cover

The Burning Man


Author: Christa Faust
Publisher: Titan Books
RRP: £6.99, US $7.99, Cdn $9.99
ISBN: 978 1 78116 311 5
Publication Date: 09 August 2013

In 1982 Olivia Dunham became an unwitting collaborator in Walter Bishop's experiments with Cortexiphan, a drug designed to unleash the hidden power of the human mind, a power which would not fully develop until the hormonal changes brought forth during puberty. Olivia, however, has a violent stepfather and when a crisis occurs she not only shoots and wounds her stepfather she unwittingly destroys the hand of a corrupt cop. When he gets out of the psychiatric hospital he goes on a murderous journey straight to where Olivia is living...

Fringe: The Burning Man is the second in a series of three Fringe books written by Christa Faust.

I quite liked the first book in the series, Fringe: The Zodiac Paradox, Faust had produced a reasonably paced chase novel, unfortunately what is presented here is another chase novel. The similarities between the two books give you a feeling of been there seen that.

The book's short chapters are split into roughly three areas; the first introduces Olivia, and her family, especially her sister, Rachel, before precipitating a crisis and the first major manifestation of her power. This leads to the greater part of the plot with the injured policeman, Tony Orsini, tracking Olivia in the full belief that she is some form of demon, the latter third sees Olivia trapped in a genetics lab.

Regardless of the similarities between the two books, it didn’t really spark my interest. The book is well written but I never thought the character was all that interesting in the show, so I didn’t have as much invested in the story as I would have in William or Peter. As the book covers various time periods, the pacing comes in fits and starts, giving the story an overall uneven feeling. Had it been more embedded in the show's history it might have been more interesting.

The book is well written and no doubt fans of Olivia will lap up reading her backstory. The book also has the advantage of having access to the original creators of the show, so the story will join as canon.


Charles Packer

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