The Fall by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan
Summary from Goodreads:
From the authors of the instant New York Times bestseller The Strain comes the next volume in one of the most imaginative and frightening thriller series in many, many years. Last week they invaded Manhattan. This week they will destroy the world.
The vampiric virus unleashed in The Strain has taken over New York City. It is spreading and soon will envelop the globe. Amid the chaos, Eph Goodweather—head of the Centers for Disease Control's team—leads a band out to stop these bloodthirsty monsters. But it may be too late.
Ignited by the Master's horrific plan, a war erupts between Old and New World vampires, each vying for control. At the center of the conflict lies a book, an ancient text that contains the vampires' entire history . . . and their darkest secrets. Whoever finds the book can control the outcome of the war and, ultimately, the fate of us all. And it is between these warring forces that humans—powerless and vulnerable—find themselves no longer the consumers but the consumed. Though Eph understands the vampiric plague better than anyone, even he cannot protect those he loves. His ex-wife, Kelly, has been transformed into a bloodcrazed creature of the night, and now she stalks the city looking for her chance to reclaim her Dear One: Zack, Eph's young son.
With the future of humankind in the balance, Eph and his team, guided by the brilliant former professor and Holocaust survivor Abraham Setrakian and exterminator Vasiliy Fet and joined by a crew of ragtag gangsters, must combat a terror whose ultimate plan is more terrible than anyone has imagined—a fate worse than annihilation.
I think I liked The Fall as much as I liked The Strain. This, the second book in the trilogy, goes into more of the history behind the strange happenings of The Strain. I could slow down to read and enjoy the back story presented in The Fall whereas the pace of The Strain seemed just frenetic to me. We find out how Setrakian first encountered the Master and what happened to his wife and just exactly why he goes to such extremes to be prepared. But then, naturally, towards the end, the pace picks up and leads to the ending which has me anxious to see how it all ends.
The vampires in these books are nothing like many of the vampires I've been reading about lately. I wouldn't say that they are "better", but they are most definitely creepier and dangerous and very worrisome. This is a dark book with little hope for the future of humankind. There is this thing that the vampires do -- going back for their "Dear Ones" - family members, those they were closest to in life - because of a need to bring them into the new group. And, in this book the vampires are the victims of a parasite - so they are no longer really themselves, but controlled by the parasite from inside. The description of this parasite is very gross, but actually seems to be based on something that exists in nature - making it even creepier.
The struggle between the Master and The Ancients is interesting and I hope there will be more history about them in the third book. I really enjoyed the storyline with Angel, the Mexican wrestler turned movie-star and the local gang members who are new and interesting characters and kept the action and tension going in this book.
This is not a feel good type of book, but it you are in the mood for a creepy, dark tale in time for Halloween, you might give it a try -- after reading The Strain, of course. I am eagerly awaiting the next book, The Night Eternal. The title doesn't sound very optimistic.