The Night Eternal (The Strain Trilogy)
by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan
Review by Steve Sawicki
Harper Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780061558276
Date: 26 June 2012 List Price $9.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
This is the third and final book in this series which began with The Strain and continued with The Fall. It is, essentially, a retelling and modernization of Bram Stoker's Dracula. In this, the third book, the master has taken over much of America. He has killed the older vampires who were keeping things in check and has turned North America into one large breeding pen where humans are bred for food and drained regularly of blood.
The master is also hand-raising a boy, the son of protagonist, Dr. Eph Goodweather, to be the body replacement for himself. As the master watches his plans come to fruition, one after the other, a sparse underground, partially led by Goodweather continues to fight on. But the fight seems pointless. There are too many vampires, they are too quick, and without some significant advantage the fight is doomed to failure.
There is one thing, an artifact that could destroy the master and turn the tide. All they have to do is find it, get the master in the right position for it to be used, and go for it. Unfortunately, and unknown to the group, there is a traitor amongst them. As things get, literally, darker and darker and hope seems to be forlorn, a solution presents itself. But, Goodweather and the few left with him must be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice if they have any hope of succeeding.
This is a long series and the final book is the biggest of the bunch. Much of this, I think, falls to Del Toro who is writing based on his movie experience. You can almost tell those places where he is setting the scene. Of course in film you set the scene in a couple of seconds, here he is using thousands of words. This creates slow spots in the book and encourages the thought of skimming. Maybe you can and maybe you do and miss something important. In any case this book needed an editor. This is not to say that the story is slow or boring, just that there is a lot of incidental filler along the way. The basic story is very sound--well it is based on Dracula--and moves progressively toward the end, even if it is, at times shambling a bit.
So, this is Dracula in the modern world, with all the technology and the CDC and the disbelief in legends and myths and all of the issues that would arise if things started falling apart with someone available to take advantage of that falling apart. It's an interesting premise. And the characters who populate this dismal world are interesting as well, all working their own agendas for different reasons but still working for a single purpose.
All things considered this is an interesting read. I'd be shocked if there wasn't a movie in the near future but until then, you should, assuming you like reading about vampires, go out and get yourself a copy.