Boycop's Reviews > First Against the Wall

First Against the Wall by Manna Francis
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Sep 12, 11

Read from August 31 to September 10, 2011

Everything changes, but everything stays the same - an epic ending to
the Administration series (without being the last book in the series).

First Against the Wall expand upon the previous books in the series, but it also covers totally new grounds - the plot is more intricate and more multilayered, but it is also darker and partly more distressing.

There are also great advances in character development. Sara's character is greatly expanded, and Toreth's near psychopathic behavior is often reflected through the eyes of Sara. Their symbiotic relationship finally take some sort of form (its existence is hinted in the previous books). It's definitely not love, but more like mutual codependency.

Still, Sara is human and has human flaws and weaknesses. The way Toreth handles the failures of Sara shows the insight Manna Francis has of human behavior. Toreth stays true to his character -
a psychopath does not fundamentally change, ever. For a psychopath, love will not conquer all - but hard-earned trust will.

Carnac - the vengeful philanthropist - steps into the limelight and is, apart from the very end, a worthy adversary.
Regrettably Warrick is somewhat lost and forgotten, and his mindset is a bit too straight forward compared to the other characters.

Still, a highly recommended book for all Administration fans.

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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

I would say that Warrick tries to straddle the fence here. He wants to keep Toreth and yet he wants I&I eliminated. This internal conflict keeps him paralyzed and out of most of the story until the threat to Toreth's life forces him to make a choice.

Manna is being the psychologist again with Warrick's stubborn dithering and the resulting pissy behavior. Because he really, really likes to have his own way and generally gets it by acting like an unstoppable bulldozer. A very straight forward mindset that hates to settle for only part of what he wants.


Boycop Story-wise deeper involvement from Warrick might have been better, even though you are right, that might not fit his character very well.
I still would have liked more conflictual behaviour on Warrick's side, even though he was heroic in the end.
Warrick is capable of love, while Toreth's capabilities in this sense are quite limited.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

A lot of people are frustrated by Warrick's role in this book and think he is too passive (which is what I think you're saying also?) or that he has turned into a non-entity and been made unimportant for most of the story.

My take on it has always been that Warrick's being his normal stubborn SOB self, and he is resisting supporting Toreth because he believes that;

a)Carnac won't harm him. (Toreth is a MUCH better judge of what motivates people than Warrick) and

b) he will get a BETTER Toreth in the end. One without the ugly career.

Warrick gives in to that almost irresistible urge to tweak the one thing that will make your lover perfect. To remove the last source of conflict.

So Warrick is in the background in FATW but he's the real source of all the conflict between Carnac and Toreth. For me this is Warrick being rather cold blooded and making a deliberate intellectual choice instead of a loving one. Of course, it comes back to bite him on the ass in the end.

You are right that Warrick is capable of love, but he doesn't always choose to be motivated by it. Here we see the more calculating side which I find really interesting and makes him a lot like his parents.

And all this plays into Family Values, which shows what happens when Warrick flips around and lets emotions take over.


Boycop I'm not actually saying that he is too passive for his persona. I agree with you that Warrick is here extremely calculating (and therefore in the end passive), but he is also taking a HUGE risk, because
a) I was not totally convinced that Carnac wouldn't hurt Toreth

b) changing Toreth will not work in the end (it only works in HEA, and Warrick builds his life on his intellect and love for Toreth)

So, with those claims I think he should have been concerned about the outcome.


Boycop I know Warrick hopes he will be able to change Toreth to some degree, but Warrick is not a person that relies on hopes, but on facts, and therefore taking a bet like that easily is not like Warrick.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Boycop wrote: "I'm not actually saying that he is too passive for his persona. I agree with you that Warrick is here extremely calculating (and therefore in the end passive), but he is also taking a HUGE risk, be..."

Oh I agree. By "better Toreth" I didn't mean he expected Toreth to change, just that his problematic career would be eliminated and that would please Warrick.

Carnac presents a different side of himself to Warrick and so he doesn't see the viciousness early enough. I don't think he should have trusted him either.


Boycop Of course, I should have read your post more carefully. b) certainly fits Warrick's goals.


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