Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Book Review: The Fall (Strain book Two)

The Fall by Guillermo Del Toro And Chuck Hogan

309 pages

William Morrow

Guillermo Del Toro is to horror geek-dom what Eddie Van Halen was to guitar playing in the 80’s. A master who can do no wrong, his films, his art, and now his novels are fantastic. I feel bad because Chuck Hogan who is also a bestselling author seems to be overshadowed by GDT(literally and figuratively). There is a good reason for that beyond the fact that movies are more popular (although the success of “The Town” will help), the strain trilogy is very much Del Toro’s baby. He can and will write novels on his own some day I am sure, but he teamed up with Hogan because Hogan had skills to write the police procedural stuff.

I liked The Stain book one, it was a great introduction. The authors have said that each book stand alones, and while that sounds nice, I am not sure that is true. The first book is a great introduction to the characters, and as the second book does a good job of reviewing the events it would be a shame to miss out on the first book. That being said the first book is not as strong as the second.

The story of The Fall lends itself to kicking ass. The first book was world building and information dumps it was a lot of stuff as a novelist you have to do. How do the Vampires work? Who are the characters? What are the rules. So for book two we have all those things established and we are ready to rock.

I knew I would dig this book, I love a great end of the world apocalypse novel, McCammon’s Swan Song is perhaps my favorite and while it’s not as sprawling as swan song or as intimate as I am Legend the strikes perfect balance. Not too long, not a lot of wasted fat, the story cooks along at a great pace.

It also ends with a great cliffhanger and set up for the third book that makes you wonder why no other vampire author ever thought of the end these two did.

The Fall follows the same characters Eph Goodweather the CDC guy, Fet the exterminator, and Vampire hunter Setrakian. It deepens their story and that of the Vampire ancients and master. Also introduces new characters like a retired Mexican wrestler now as the silver angel.

The pace is exciting making it a quick read, the characters are solid and fleshed out without wasting word count on it. The chapters split back and forth between setting and characters with such perfect pacing that you feel like your watching film. The film editing and writing influence GDT brings to the table works really well in this novel.

Near perfect science fiction horror end of the world novel with the addition of a vampire mythos, how can you go wrong? You can only go wrong by missing the chance to read this.

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