Review: The Fall

TITLE: The Fall (The Strain Trilogy #2)
AUTHOR: Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan
PUBLICATION: 2010 by HarperCollins
FORMAT: Hardcover


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.

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 ragtag gangsters, must combat a terror whose ultimate plan is more terrible than anyone has imagined—a fate worse than annihilation.


The first thing that a reader will notice is that the second installment of this trilogy of a vampire apocalypse is that it doesn’t really stop for breath. I like this approach because the slow build-up was what The Strain consisted of (find my review here) and it shouldn’t continue in the subsequent volume. Now that the characters are aware of the threat facing them, it should be about action and that’s what this book delivers. Would you really want people just sitting around doing nothing or do you want their swords singing of silver?

I liked how there was more delving into what could be the origins of these parasitic creatures, something that was alluded to in the previous book by Setrakian when he mentioned that they were not of this Earth. The questions about why the Master would seek to spread his strain of eternity when it would eliminate the food source are also addressed.

Setrakian remains my favorite character, but I confess I find myself intrigued by Mr. Quinlan. Even among the vampires, he is… unique. Gus makes the observation of how the blood worms do not wriggle underneath his skin, as they do among the Ancient Ones. The reason for this is never explained, but perhaps the answers will become clear in the final volume since it appears he was spared the destruction that the Master plotted for his adversaries.

It’s interesting to see how the world might be in the face of global destruction. I think that it’s summed up best early on in this book when amidst looting it is observed that one just needs to wait and see what happens when people are no longer able to charge up their laptops and phones. Could you imagine the chaos? People would actually be forced to talk face-to-face! The horror!

Personally I found that The Fall was the better of the two books in the trilogy that I have read so far. My hold on the final book The Night Eternal is currently in transit at the library so I am hoping to start reading the trilogy’s conclusion next week. If you haven’t read this trilogy, what are you waiting for?



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