Book Review: The Fall by Guillermo del Toro & Chuck Hogan

The Fall is the second installment in the vampire trilogy by Academy Award winning director Guillermo del Toro and bestselling thriller novelist 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.

Breaking from the recent flow of the vampire genre which often casts blood-drinkers as romantically inclined yet tormented soulful heroes, del Toro and Hogan return to the image of vampire as parasitic monster with a nearly insatiable thirst for human blood.  In this new trilogy, the vampire population spreads like a virus, threatening world domination and the total subjugation of humanity as an animal food source.

“The Kelly-thing stood poised on the edge of the roof, indifferent to the suffering city all around her.  She knew only thirst.  A craving, for blood and for her blood kind.  This was the frenzy that compelled her; a virus knows only one thing: that it must infect.”

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.

Our unlikely group of heroes is comprised of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, his young son Zack, his Center for Disease Control colleague Dr. Nora Martinez, World War Two concentration camp survivor and lifelong vampire hunter Abraham Setrakian, and a resourceful New York exterminator known as Fet.  In this second book, the group are joined by a handful of vigilante gang members recruited by a group of Old War vampires to fight the New World strain.

The writing portrays an array of imagery that plays on all the senses.  It reads almost like a scene from an action movie and would no doubt translate well onto the big screen if del Toro chooses to make it one of his future film projects.  The characters and settings are vivid and life-like, allowing the reader to easily visualize the threatening bleakness of a dark tunnel, the sound of a crashing train, or the stench of a vampire den.

For fans of The Strain, The Fall is an essential follow-up.  This trilogy is certainly a must-read for dedicated fans of horror fiction, particularly if the original vampire or zombie monster tales are of intrigue.  However, for readers who prefer their vampires young, attractive, and romantic, this might not be the series for you.

Please click here to read my review of the first book in the series, The Strain.

This article was first published as Book Review: The Fall by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan in Blogcritics Magazine.


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