The Fall By Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan
The Fall is the second installment in the vampire trilogy by director Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. The two authors had readers on the edge of their seats with the first book in the series, The Strain, and this second book reads with the same spine-tingling suspense mixed with gritty vampire horror as the first.
The Fall picks up right on the edge of the precipice where The Strain left off, with the entire city of New York threatened by the vampire predators, an example that mirrors itself in other major cities across the world. The Fall focuses on the struggle between the circle of Ancient elitist vampires and the rebellious New World vampires led by an Ancient bent on seizing control.
The vampiric virus unleashed in The Strain has taken over New York City. It is spreading and soon will envelop the globe. Amid the chaos, Eph Goodweather—head of the Centers for Disease Control’s team—leads a band out to stop these bloodthirsty monsters. But it may be too late.
Ignited by the Master’s horrific plan, a war erupts between Old and New World vampires, each vying for control. At the center of the conflict lies a book, an ancient text that contains the vampires’ entire history . . . and their darkest secrets. Whoever finds the book can control the outcome of the war and, ultimately, the fate of us all. And it is between these warring forces that humans—powerless and vulnerable—find themselves no longer the consumers but the consumed. Though Eph understands the vampiric plague better than anyone, even he cannot protect those he loves. His ex-wife, Kelly, has been transformed into a bloodcrazed creature of the night, and now she stalks the city looking for her chance to reclaim her Dear One: Zack, Eph’s young son.
With the future of humankind in the balance, Eph and his team, guided by the brilliant former professor and Holocaust survivor Abraham Setrakian and exterminator Vasiliy Fet and joined by a crew of gangsters, must combat a terror whose ultimate plan is more terrible than anyone has imagined—a fate worse than annihilation.
There are some new elements and new characters however, mainly involving the effects of the vampires in New York as they take hold – we see the battle expand as vigilante street gangs fight back and the battle is taken to the vampire nests underground. Some of the scenes are quite vivid and rather visceral.
We also have some developments on what has gone before. We find out more about Setrakian’s previous encounters with the vampires in the twentieth century, and also the importance of an occult book, the Occido Lumen, which holds secrets to the vampires.
One of the more interesting aspects developed in this novel is the relationship between the Master and the other six Masters, called the Ancients. As the new vampires reproduce, the older Ancients take action, not against the humans but against the new vampires, feeling that more new vampires will eventually impact on their food supply. The Master, in return, wishes to wreak revenge on the Ancients for actions taken by them in the past.
The ending leaves you on the cliff’s edge awaiting what can possibly happen next and wondering how or even if humanity can be saved or if vampires will now rule the earth?
Well, you better hold your breath, because this is a non stop high ride.
– By George