Author: Rudy Gaborno and Chris Hollier
Pocket Books
RRP £5.99, US $6.99, Cdn $10.50
ISBN 1 4169 0245 7
Available 03 October 2005

Sorokin, his wife and daughter, Faina, seem to have made a good life in post modern Russia, but some comforts can turn to cold comforts. Without warning the family are kidnapped by Victor, a highly trained operative from the old Soviet Union with an agenda of his own. With the family in danger and the economic fate of the world at stake, APO swings into action. But is their intel correct or have they underestimated the real reasons behind the kidnapping..?

Faina is another original novel based on the successful Alias television series. Written by Rudy Gaborno and Chris Hollier, it's a real page turner. Not surprising when you discover that they are writers assistants on the show and have already penned the episode Façade for season three.

It's difficult to say why the book is so good without giving away some of the major plot twists. Gaborno and Hollier are obviously comfortable with the format of the show and so they include just enough background information, hints really, to explain the relationships between the various characters. Thankfully they have not felt the need to be overly referential to the parent show and thus putting off the casual reader.

The plot is laid out well with tension arising less from big set pieces that would be impractical or overly expensive to produce for the small screen, and more from the type of slight of hand writing that keeps the reader guessing as to the eventual outcome. We all know that the major players are never in any real danger, can't see Alias agreeing to any book killing of any of the central characters, but there are a hell of a lot of other uncomfortable things you can do to them to keep the tension going.

The character of the APO operatives are drawn well, with some fleshing out, all the shows favourite characters Sydney, Vaughn, Nadia etc. are included, but Faina does not fall into the mistake of making the book one long dull introspection.

The real joy of the book, though, comes from the characters of Victor and the Sorokin family. These characters are fleshed out so well that you actually get to care what happens to them. They have understandable motivations and emotions which raise them above the old villain and victim of the week syndrome.

Even if you don't know the show this is a good stand alone thriller and well worth a couple of hours of anyone's time.

Charles Packer

Buy this item online
We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal! Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

£3.90 (Amazon.co.uk)

All prices correct at time of going to press.