The Fall, Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan, William Morrow, ISBN 978-006-155822-1, 320 pgs, $26.99
September 23, 2010 Leave a comment
The Fall is book two of Del Toro’s and Hogan’s updating of Dracula. Set in New York City the story unfolds as a jet lands at JFK then goes silent. A CDC response team finds the plane full of dead people but has no answers. Soon afterwards the dead begin to rise and seek blood. Eph Goodweather is at the head of the CDC team that investigates the plane but his insistence that a vampire virus (from vampires) is spreading across the city and elsewhere only gets him in trouble. Soon Eph, along with his assistant, is forced to run and hide if they want to try to fight the virus. It may already be too late as the master vampire behind the entire crisis has his own agenda and it involves breaking the ages old pact of vampires keeping a low profile in order to survive. As the virus continues to spread Eph begins to connect with others who are aware of the truth. There’s Holocaust survivor Abraham Setrakian and exterminator Vasiliy Fet and a bunch of gang bangers who have become true believers. Armed with technology mixed with old word myth they begin to take the fight to the only place they can: the master vampire himself.
Del Toro and Hogan have created a very interesting series. It is inventive yet follows the original Dracula story without insulting it. The moody atmosphere of a New York City under siege is riveting and captivating. The nature of the situation and the reactions of those who become trapped inside it is both intriguing and horrifying. Since the book does not come out until the first week in October you have plenty of time to run out and pick up a copy of the first book in the series: The Strain, which I also reviewed.
Del Toro and Hogan manage this series by doing what every big disaster series needs to do; manage the small, character driven stories within the larger context of the broad disaster. So, it is not enough that Eph is on the first response team and soon struggling to fight the virus on his own but his ex-wife becomes infected and his son becomes a target. Likewise all of the other characters have both personal and global reasons to be involved in this fight. This keeps us involved and interested. The master vampire is the other piece that they have done extremely well. This guy is no pushover. He acts like he’s been around for a while and his plan has few holes in it. He’s a bad guy with a lot of power and he acts that way.
Del Toro and Hogan have created a very entertaining read. Unless you happen to live in NYC then you might find it all too creepy, like reading a ghost story and then hearing noises in the closet. This is a fun series, an entertaining read, and highly recommended.