The final book in director del Toro and thriller writer Hogan's (The Killing Moon, 2007, etc.) epic vampire trilogy.
Since the end of the previous book, the Master, an ancient being and source of a blood-borne parasitic infestation with vampire-like symptoms, has exerted near total control over the world. His vampire minions and a few human collaborators have set up concentration camps dedicated solely to harvesting blood for vampire consumption, while the rest of humanity scratches out a meager existence, watching re-runs on television and waiting in terror for their turn to be hauled to the camps. Hope for humanity is at a low ebb. Nuclear explosions have left the planet in a state of near-perpetual night. Abraham Setrakian, the old-world vampire hunter who has been trailing the Master for decades, is dead, and Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, the epidemiologist who first understood the nature of the new threat, now spends most of his time in a pill-induced haze, pining for his lost son, who, though still human, is under the Master's thrall. There are still pockets of resistance, though. Gangbanger turned fearless vampire hunter Augustin "Gus" Elizade has set up base in the now-unused Columbia University campus, and exterminator Vasiliy Fet is working to translate an ancient, silver-bound book that Setrakian seemed to think contained the knowledge necessary to destroy the Master for good. When Dr. Nora Martinez, Goodweather's former colleague and lover who is now attached to Fet, is taken to a blood camp, Goodweather, Fet and Elizalde, along with the mysterious half-vampire Mr. Quinlan, must come together to free her, and then to find a way to end the Master's reign once and for all. While one of the principal charms of the series so far has been its unique, near-plausible scientific treatment of vampirism, the third book introduces elements of the supernatural, which is somewhat disappointing. Still, the prose crackles, the plot barrels forward with increasing momentum and the authors' knack for thoughtful horror and striking imagery remains intact.
A satisfying conclusion to an intelligent, utterly chilling horror trilogy.