on May 26, 2016
In the second book of The Strain trilogy, civilization is rapidly falling, only most people may have not realized it yet. Vampires are spreading uncontrollably, yet are being dismissed as looting and rioting, as unexplained disappearances in the media.
Dark and morbid, this is humanity at the brink, pretty close to no hope - an excellent read. Some really interesting depth into the nature of these particular vampires, their origins.
Nobody else today does vampires like Guillermo del Toro -- gross, nasty, parasitic monsters with stinger tongues and bloody eyes.
So unsurprisingly, you won't find any sparkling hotties in the second book of the Strain Trilogy, "The Fall," in which Del Toro's talents mesh seamlessly with those of thriller/mystery author Chuck Hogan. It's deliciously, horrendously dark and gruesome, although it takes some chapters to really launch itself off the ground.
A week has passed. New York is crumbling as vampires overrun it every night, and the human population is STILL semi-unaware of what's going on. Abraham Setrakian's little group is in hiding, especially since the newly vampirized Kelly is determined to grab her son Zach. And to make matters worse, a rich, dying man is willing to buy his own immortality via the Master.... an immortality filled with mindless animalistic horror, but whatever.
But as Eph, Fet and Nora battle the vampires in their own small way, another force is rising: the Ancient vampires who want to stop "the unclean strain spreading so promiscuously through your people." And the only way to stop all vampires worldwide may lie in an ancient book that details the way to destroy the Master... and without it, humanity is doomed.
"The Fall" is a nightmare -- crumbling civilization, an intelligent and monstrous villain, and humanity slowly being devoured by sucker-tongued monstrosities. I can't think of any other series that I would like to be in any less, because the entire world is about to become a giant vampiric petri dish. And it. Is. Awesome.
The one downside: it takes some chapters for Hogan and Del Toro to build up all that tension; it was actually kinda boring and confusing near the beginning. But fortunately, once the momentum starts building again, Hogan and Del Toro paint the blood-colored nightscape with with gore, hardcore action, astronauts and a nuclear meltdown (YES! Top that, Twilight!). Not only does del Toro carefully crafts a sweeping, epic backstory for his vampires across the world and time, but he also brings up some interesting questions about where the vampires came from.
And fear for the characters, because things are getting pretty dark for them. Elderly Jewish pawnbroker Setrakian is fleshed out even more, as we see the decades of vampire-hunting. Eph is struggling with the fact that not only is his ex-wife now a vampire, but she's determined to do the same to their son Zach (who is understandably kind of upset).
And we're introduced to a wonderful new character in Angel, an aging Mexican ex-wrestler who now does full-time vampire-slaying. This is quite possibly the coolest character in the whole series.
Chuck Hogan and Guillermo del Toro's "The Fall: Book Two of the Strain Trilogy" is a solid middle chapter to this brilliant horror/adventure series. And it's going to get much darker before the dawn!
on December 13, 2015
Things slow down considerably in this second novel in The Strain Trilogy. Where discovery of a new threat and its gradual takeover of the world is a natural foundation of storytelling, repetition of the same events and situations in a second book just makes it boring.
Regardless, the characters that had been established as the key players in this war against deadly vampires, continue to shine in this book. Setrakian's quest for the Occido Lumen, an ancient book that contains the secret for defeating the vampires and Fet, whose common sense, street smarts and bravery make him a perfect ally for any mission, were my two favourites in this book too. Gus, recruited as the vampire's "day hunter" forms a team comprising such memorable characters as Silver Angel. The luchador whose glory days are far behind him, has one of the more heroic and memorable moments in this tale. Even Eph appears to be set to take on a more active role in the coming days.
While the majority of this book was rather slow, the final scenes - including the ride in the Amtrak train and the confrontation between Setrakian and the Master in the nuclear power plant - were brilliant. Fast-paced and exciting, they changed events around quite a bit, and paved the way for an exciting final installment.
on October 31, 2010
The Strain trilogy, up to this point has been competent. I've never found the series to retain it's initial intensity, but it does generally hit all the notes you'd expect, and enjoy.
Problem however, is this type of story is told often, and unfortunately or fortunately I suppose, it's been done better. The point? You've read this novel before, the old man with the answers, the protege's, the unsuspecting public, and for me the most uninteresting is the very typical human response. Which bothered me more here because of the way it's described. This nation fell, this country reacted this way, it all reads in an amazingly understated manner. Instead of involving us in the particulars, it just occurs, and you accept it because your glass is half empty.
Near the end of this novel it feels as if they simply got tired and phoned a few final details in. Simply expecting you to buy it all, but they didn't earn it, in my opinion, so it felt forced and lacking.
The characters, don't arrest you in a detailed way. In that sense you only really find them interesting when they die. They exist more as topical characters, detailed physically, their emotional pulse weak and predictable. You're also saddled with a character who I find immensely aggravating, AKA - Goodweather. Note to writers, if your character is supposedly intelligent, have them not be so stupid. Just a thought, but I've rarely met anyone this dissatisfied. Someone who consistently never realizes they have a lot, until they've lost something. Maybe once that's fine, but how many somethings need you lose before it hits you that you can always lose more? Things can always get worse. But Eph just keeps getting the ladder shortened without ever realizing there's still some ladder left.
Perhaps if I hadn't read "The Passage" already this year, I'd be more forgiving of this novels faults. But having read that book, which details, almost exactly this type of story, but also gives you characters with which to bond. It's simply such a superior novel, and fresh comparison that I can't shake the lacking vestiges of the The Fall from my head.
Having said all that, and accepting the ease in which one can be negative, I did enjoy this book, and if you read the first one, and are still looking for more, I imagine you will too.
on October 26, 2010
I am wowed again by another fantastic book by these two authors. The action picks up where it left off and the story does take a turn for becoming more bleak. Yet the action sequences are very well written and it's like as if you're watching a horror movie instead of reading a horror book. There are plenty of moments that bring a chill to your spine, and moments where you're wondering if a certain character has survived or not. There's quite a number of cliffhanger moments making you want to read the book further. The descriptions are well done and leaves the reader to their imagination which makes the scenes more creepy and scary.
I really enjoyed the chapters in between the storyline where they focus more on Setrakian's past. You do get a lot of questions answered and there's more to his story than just a simple monster slayer. These parts I did like reading the most, and I wish there really was a small book just dedicated to Setrakian's story and his life (those little chapter bits just weren't enough for me). Zack annoyed me. Sure, he's not over what happened with Kelly but he just ends up being stupid in the end. Yet in the climax of the book I expected something like that would happen, predictable but still fun to read.
The characters stay the same, and there are a few new additions but nothing major to change the impact of the story, despite this, be prepared for some drastic changes to the cast. I'm not sure if I'm happy with the way it ended but it does leave room for a lot more to happen. There is more blood and gore than the first book, so those who are squeamish are warned to either skip those parts or just skip the book all together as it's more graphic and more detailed.
I'm anticipating the final book of this trilogy and I'm hoping it is every bit as good as this one and the previous one. It's definitely a series to get into for those into horror and vampires but also for someone wanting something that's a bit different from your typical vampiric horror. Give this trilogy a try, it's definitely worth it.
on November 26, 2010
The second book in the Strain trilogy doesn't fail to deliver. The story continues to unfold as to can the Master be stopped. Will he reach his goal to infect all of New York, and the world? Why is he destroying his own food supply by turning everyone into vampires? All these questions are answered in the Fall. Which character meets a vampiric end? Find out at the conclusion of the The Fall.
This book is as exciting to read as the first. The pace set in the story doesn't let you put it down. You will continue to wonder the source of every creak outside your house as you read this second chapter in The Strain trilogy. The only downfall, we have to wait until 2011 for the third installment.
on May 31, 2014
Most of what I could write for this review would be what I've written for the predecessor, "The Strain." I thought the scene with the blind children was the most tasteless and disturbing and effective I've read in a while. The end of the book was probably the textbook way to finish the second of a trilogy - it, too, was effective, as I will be reading "The Night Eternal" soon.
P.S. Thalia's dilemma was the first time I've seen this scenario in an end of the world book. Kudos to Del Toro and Hogan for coming up with what should have been thought of before!
on January 5, 2011
I was expecting more from the book and from the authors. Compared to the 1st book, the story sort of stayed in the same place without moving to much. Some developments have been made while others stayed in place. I'm really hoping that the 3rd and final book will be as good as the 1st!
on December 28, 2012
I would recommend this trilogy to all my friends. Its a fantastic story !! I can't read it fast enough and the best part is there's 2 more books just like it. The story flows nicely. There's nothing bad to say about this book or the trilogy. Its well worth the read !
on December 31, 2013
Enjoyed this 2nd installment in the Strain series. Starting Book 3 asap . I am in reader heaven right now even though the series is rather frightening and quite disturbing! Loving it :)