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The Fall
Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan
Narrated by Daniel Oreskes
Harper Audio, 11.5 hours

The Fall
Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan
Born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico, Guillermo del Toro made his feature directorial debut in 1993 with the film Cronos, and has since gone on to direct Mimic, The Devil's Backbone, Blade II, Hellboy I, Hellboy II, and Pan's Labyrinth, which garnered enormous critical praise worldwide and won three Academy Awards.

Chuck Hogan is the author of several acclaimed novels, including The Standoff and Prince of Thieves, which won the 2005 Hammett Award and was called one of the 10 best novels of the year by Stephen King. Prince of Thieves will soon be a major motion picture.

ISFDB Bibliography: Guillermo del Toro
ISFDB Bibliography: Chuck Hogan
SF Site Review: The Fall
SF Site Review: The Strain

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Gil T. Wilson

The teaming up of Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan to create this trilogy has turned out to be a pretty haunting affair. The Strain (the first book in the trilogy) introduced the horror world to a different view of vampires. This time around, the heroes are not the vampires nor are the vampires the subject of lustful desire. Instead, the mythology of vampires returns to the dark horror of life-stealing blood-suckers to be feared and staked or, in this case, killed with silver.

Differences in the vampire myth of del Toro and Hogan are that the spreading of vampirism is through parasitic, virus-like blood worms and vampires have stingers under their tongues rather than fangs. Also, there are seven "Ancients" that are the leaders of the vampires and have been around for centuries.

The story behind the Ancients is where this book focuses. The first book told of the spread of the strain of virus turning New York City back to ground zero, this time as a result of the vampire virus and the spreading of vampires through the city.

The heroes are Abraham Setrakian, a professor from the old world who has been hunting vampires since before World War II and Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (who goes by Eph), formerly with the CDC and listed as a criminal when he tried to alert the world of the vampire invasion. There's also Eph's son, Zach, whose mother was turned and is now hunting him, and Fet, an exterminator who now has a new form of vermin to hunt.

Setrakian has revealed to all that he has been hunting "The Master" for most of his life and that The Master is responsible for the sudden influx of vampires in the New World. The Ancients have all been around for centuries and have maintained their anonymity, so why do they now become public and seek to potentially wipe out their food source? The secret lies behind the Master.

Setrakian, Fet, and Eph join up with a battle force from the Ancients in order to prevent The Master from completing his plans. Using silver weapons and UV lamps to battle the vamps, the various skirmishes lead up to one big battle with The Master. A new character brought into this story is Angel, a former masked Mexican wrestler (Luche Libre) turned movie star. His movies usually have him pitted against vampires, but this is no movie!

The reader, Daniel Oreskes, does a great job of reading this book, his voice adds to the drama and horror underlying the story. Using subtle vocal changes, he is able to let the listener know who is talking or thinking within the story.

The nice thing about this audiobook is that, although it is part of a trilogy, the authors write enough of the backstory into it so that it's not necessary to have read the first title before jumping into this one. This is also a big help if there's been enough time between reading the first and second installment to forget some of what has happened. Don't get me wrong though, listen to the first book if you can because both of these books have some great storytelling of epic proportions.

Copyright © 2010 Gil T. Wilson

Gil T. has spent a quarter of a century working in radio and has lots of spare time on his hands and reading or listening to books takes up all that time. Check out his blog to find out what he's up to at any given moment.

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