Reviewed by Elaine Lamkin
Published by William Morrow
Last year a book was published to much fanfare. A vampire novel, The Strain by Oscar-nominated director Guillermo del Toro and award-winning thriller writer Chuck Hogan (a film based on his best-seller The Town is currently in theatres), hit the best-seller lists and with good reason. A fast-paced, horrific tale of vampires attempting to take over the world, The Strain (review here) was packed with fascinating information on nearly every subject relative to the story as well as a VERY memorable cast: Abraham Setrakian, the concentration camp survivor who has made it his goal in his waning years to destroy The Master of the vampires. His “assistant”, exterminator Vasiliy Fet. Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, a doctor with the CDC whose young son, Zack, is in danger from his mother, Kelly, who has turned AND is a bit of a loose cannon. Dr. Nora Martinez, another CDC doctor and protector of young Zack as well as various other characters all trying to survive. AND vampires with some very interesting and horrific anatomy.
Well, rejoice, fans of The Strain!!! The second book in the trilogy, The Fall, is being released September 21st by William Morrow, and it does NOT disappoint! Picking up the action one week after that mysterious airplane landed at JFK Airport, del Toro and Hogan have really ramped up the action and horror. And most of the usual suspects are back, assisting Abraham Setrakian in his search for The Master: Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, Vasiliy Fet, Dr. Nora Martinez, and Zack Goodweather.
Additionally, several new and colorful characters, many of which are gang members, are also trying to help Setrakian in his search for an ancient tome, the Occido Lumen, which will hopefully end the vampire reign of terror. And there are some creepy Ancients trying to wipe out the “new” vampires as well.
But Sardu, The Master, has some assistants himself: the billionaire Eldritch Palmer and some vampire Nazis (hopefully you have all seen Dead Snow and know JUST how nasty those suckers can be…although they were zombies) – Herr Doktor Werner Dreverhaven from Treblinka (shades of Josef Mengele of Auschwitz), SS-Sturmscharführer Hauptmann and Commandant Thomas Eichhorst.
With action ranging from Setrakian’s past life at Treblinka to the various boroughs of New York City to a harrowing chase scene through New York’s subway system, a nail-biting auction at Sotheby’s, even to the US Space Station, del Toro and Hogan keep the story moving with lots of blood and gore for the hardcore fans and even more fascinating minutiae on just about anything you could want to know. I personally cannot wait until the third book in the trilogy, The Night Eternal, tentatively due out in 2011, a title which sounds as though things do not go well for our intrepid vampire hunters.
And a movie would be a lovely idea. Just to SEE how someone would present THESE particular vampires. I hope del Toro is involved in that project.
4 1/2 out of 5
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