REVIEW: Strain #3: The Night Eternal by Guillermo del Toro

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars, Genre: Fiction/ Horror/ Vampires, Pages: 371, Level: Easy

Book Description from Barnes & Noble:

“From the authors of the instant New York Times bestsellers The Strain and The Fall comes the final volume in one of the most electrifying thriller series in years

It’s been two years since the vampiric virus was unleashed in The Strain, and the entire world now lies on the brink of annihilation. There is only night as nuclear winter blankets the land, the sun filtering through the poisoned atmosphere for two hours each day- the perfect environment for the propagation of vampires.

There has been a mass extermination of humans, the best and the brightest, the wealthy and the influential, orchestrated by the Master- an ancient vampire possessed of unparalleled powers- who selects survivors based on compliance. Those humans who remain are entirely subjugated, interred in camps, and separated by status: those who breed more humans, and those who are bled for the sustenance of the Master’s vast army.

The future of humankind lies in the hands of a ragtag band of freedom fighters- Dr. Eph Goodweather, former head of the Centers for Disease Control’s biological threats team; Dr. Nora Martinez, a fellow doctor with a talent for dispatching the undead; Vasiliy Fet, the colorful Russian exterminator; and Mr. Quinlan, the half-breed offspring of the Master who is bent on revenge. It’s their job to rescue Eph’s son, Zack, and overturn this devastating new world order. But good and evil are malleable terms now, and the Master is most skilled at preying on the weaknesses of humans.

Now, at this critical hour, there is evidence of a traitor in their midst… And only one man holds the answer to the Master’s demise, but is he one who can be trusted with the fate of the world? And who among them will pay the ultimate sacrifice- so that others may be saved?”

Eh.

Guillermo del Toro wraps things up very nicely. And I like that he didn’t take the easy way out. I won’t include a lot of spoilers, but regardless of who the victor is, everyone does not live happily ever after.

But why only three stars? The third installment of the series wasn’t as intriguing for me as its predecessors. For about half the book, sitting down and reading felt like a chore. The unfortunate thing is that it isn’t something like the whole first half, or 30 or 40 pages. It was intermittent. Sometimes I was completely into the story, and then I would get to a part that wasn’t all that great. Maybe a little more editing and snipping was in order?

Possibly an itty bitty spoiler, if you haven’t figured this out already from The Fall and the cover of The Night Eternal: What I liked the most was the whole tie in with angels. In my review of The Fall, I mentioned that I have been wanting and waiting for someone to combine vampires with angels, i.e. vampires are actually angels. I love that del Toro comes close. I have also been waiting for someone to write a phenomenal epic about the war in Heaven and maybe del Toro can do that as well. End of possible itty bitty spoiler.

Regardless of the fact that it wasn’t a five star story as the previous two books were, the series as a whole is a great read. Del Toro is a phenomenal writer and develops the story and characters well. I imagine it is difficult to write a breathtaking finale to a series that has been so engrossing, so I try to look at the series as a whole. Indeed I have encountered this same issue with other series as well. It doesn’t mean the series is not worth reading, in fact, if you read the first two books, you really kind of have to read the last one. Otherwise, the stars stop shining and the planets all fall out of alignment.

In conclusion, I absolutely highly recommend The Strain series.

Reviewed by Christina

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