THE FALL by Guillermo del Toro

THE FALL

KIRKUS REVIEW

The second book in Guillermo del Toro (director of Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy, etc.) and Chuck Hogan's (Devils in Exile, 2010, etc.) The Strain trilogy finds civilization teetering on the brink.

The Strain (2009), the first book in the trilogy, was built on a compelling premise: What if vampires were not campy, caped bloodsuckers, or dark-but-hunky Twilight-esque heartthrobs, but rather the victims of a ravenous blood-borne parasite? And what if, as part of an elaborate plan, an ancient carrier of said parasites set out to sow its bloodsucking oats by starting an epidemic in New York City? A vampire threat like that calls for an epidemiologist, in this case Dr. Ephraim Goodweather of the CDC. The Strain closed with Ephraim and his companions—CDC colleague (and sometime love interest) Dr. Nora Martinez, exterminator Vasiliy Fet and Holocaust survivor and seasoned vampire hunter Abraham Setrakian—narrowly failing to destroy the Master, orchestrator of the outbreak, as his pandemic was starting to pick up steam. As this book opens, things have gone from worse to much, much worse. With more and more of its citizens turning into vampires, New York plunges into anarchy. Dr. Goodweather and his cohorts face increasingly long odds as they attempt to stem the tide, while protecting Dr. Goodweather's son Zach from his mother, a newly minted vampire bent on "turning" her beloved son. Meanwhile, the Master, working with sickly but fabulously wealthy Eldritch Palmer, continues to engineer the contagion's spread and the collapse of human society, much to the chagrin of a group of powerful vampires known as the Ancients, who prefer to wield their substantial power and influence from the shadows. The key to stopping the Master seems to lie in a very old, silver-bound book, but against the Master's minions and Palmer's wealth and influence, the book appears to be well out of our heroes’ reach. The series stands out from the recent spate of vampire-themed entertainment thanks to its semi-scientific premise, convincing characters and wealth of almost cinematically vivid scenes of terror. This book continues in the same chilling vein.

Relentlessly paves the way for what promises to be an epic third book.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-06-155822-1
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2010




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