Tuesday 10 December 2013

The Night Eternal (The Strain Book 3) - Guillermo del Toro & Chuck Hogan

Title: The Night Eternal (The Strain Book 3)
Author: Guillermo del Toro & Chuck Hogan
Genre: Horror
Published: 2011
Formats: Hardback/Paperback/Ebook

Available at:
The Book Depository
Amazon UK

“The Night Eternal” by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan is the 3rd and final book in the Strain trilogy and follows on a couple of years after the evens of the second book in the series entitled “The Fall”. If you haven't read the previous books then I do advise that you avoid reading this review as some of my commentary is likely to include some spoilers.

Since the events detailed in “The Fall” humanity has suffered brutally with the world having fallen under the control of the Master and his vampire horde. Most of the remaining people have accepted their new life under the ash filled skies either as an underclass of society or as cattle held in camps where they are bred and bled as a food source for the vampires. A handful do still try to fight back such as Eph, Fet and Nora who were entrusted with a silver bound book called the Occido Lumen which supposedly contains the manner in which they could finally defeat the Master and perhaps give humanity some hope for the future. However, with the Master still hunting them and many humans helping him, their chances seem slim.

Once again the authors have packed some decent enjoyable action sequences into their book. However, these were interspersed amongst some slower paced and at times rather dull character driven elements. The problem here is that I have struggled to really engage with the characters and therefore anything focussed around them failed to really enthuse me. This wasn’t helped by some of the developments thrown into the book such as a new romance between Fet and Nora, Drug addicted Eph and more importantly his son Zack whose brain washing led me to really disliking him. I basically found myself not caring about any of the characters so their sacrifices and choices didn’t bother or interest me.

Whilst on the whole the characters were a let-down for me I did appreciate the exposure given to the mysterious Mr Quinlan who is revealed here to actually be a son of the Master. Whilst he wasn’t around much in terms in page quantity, this solemn and interesting character has an important role in the overall story and it was nice to see his own personal story revealed here and given some room to shine.

There are also some other nice touches to the book such as the dark, depressing and brutal world that the authors have created. Bleakness and a lack of hope pervade this book and to be honest I am not sure the ending could really be classed as a happy one either. This is then all supported by the Vampire creation story which is finally revealed in this book. I won’t go into much detail here as I don’t want to ruin in for anyone who hasn’t read the book yet but it was an interesting take on the mythology and I enjoyed the way in which it linked into biblical stories.

Overall, whilst I have enjoyed reading this book and the series in general I do think that this book has again highlighted one of the real flaws and that is the characters. They just aren’t engaging enough to carry the slower sections of the story and I think this has really reduced the overall impact of this novel in particular due to its elements of sacrifice. In the end, if you have made it this far in the series then you really should read it if only to see how it all began with the vampire creation story and how it all finally ends.


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