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Monday, June 18, 2012

Review: The Night Eternal

Title: The Night Eternal
Author: Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan
Series: The Strain Trilogy (#3)
 HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: 
 October 25, 2011
Reviewer: Ethan

Summary: The Earth lies shrouded in darkness...And it is our world no longer.
Two years have passed since the vampiric virus was first unleashed upon humanity—and nuclear winter has cast the poisoned world into eternal night. The remnants of the living who were not turned have been subjugated—with many imprisoned in camps to be bred and bled for the sustenance of the Master's vast vampire army.
Yet the fight continues. Dr. Eph Goodweather, of the Centers for Disease Control's biological threats team; his former colleague and lover, Dr. Nora Martinez; and the exterminator Vasiliy Fet lead a band of freedom fighters aided by Mr. Quinlan, the half-breed offspring of the Master, who now is bent on revenge. At humankind's darkest hour, one of them may hold the key to salvation. But a traitor is among them. And who will be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice so that others may live?
Review: Over the years, Mexican film director Guillermo del Toro has become well known for his fantastic horror films. Disgusted with the recent treatment of vampires in film and literature, del Toro sought to write a novel that portrayed the monsters as he thought they were meant to be. He enlisted the help of seasoned author Chuck Hogan (The Town) to create The Strain Trilogy, a set of novels about vampires taking over the world.

The Night Eternal, the third and final novel in the trilogy, begins two years after the events of the previous novel. After a nuclear holocaust, the entire planet has been shrouded in darkness. Vampires have essentially taken over the world. Because the creatures rely on human blood to survive, they have set up camps, where humans are farmed (think a dairy farm where blood is harvested instead of milk). The entire vampire race is lead by The Master, an ancient being that has been planning this takeover for thousands of years.

There are, however, some humans who have managed to escape the fate of the rest of their peers. Dr. Eph Goodweather, a former doctor from the Center for Disease Control, leads a rebellion with the help of another doctor, an exterminator, a half-breed vampire who seeks to kill the vampires, and a couple of former gangsters who refuse to be turned into the creatures. Eph mourns the loss of his son, who was captured by The Master, and vows to do whatever it takes to rid the earth of the monsters. With the help of an ancient book, the group has one final shot to kill The Master, ending the strain and destroying all of the creatures.

This is one of those novels that really only works if you have read the others in the trilogy. After reading the first two novels, I came into this one with an attachment to the characters and desire to see how the story would pan out. Del Toro and Hogan write in a very cinematic style that works well for this kind of story. They give just enough to keep the reader hooked, while still maintaining a sense of suspense. The action sequences fly off of the page and the characters are written in a way that really made me care what happened to them. There are some plot holes and continuity issues that bugged me, but in a story of this nature, I didn't really mind them. This is a fun B movie of a novel that does a fine job in ending what began as an exciting horror trilogy.

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