The Fall by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, narrated by Daniel Oreskes
Published in audio by Harper Audio, published in print by William Morrow, an imprint of Harper Collins
In this sequel to “The Strain,” New York – and much of the rest of the world – has fallen to the vampires, although many people are still denying exactly what is happening. Vasilly, Eph, Nora, and Abraham Setrakian are still working together to fight this viral vampiric scourge, but their actions are becoming increasingly independent, this Nora trying to remove her mother and Eph’s son from the city, Setrakian working with a gang – literally – of vampire hunters, and Eph bent on his own act of vengeance.
Thoughts on the story:
The more I listened to the “The Fall,” the more I realized I wasn’t really buying the idea, so central to this series, that this form of vampirism is a virus. As with traditional vampires, victims are infected when struck about the neck – although these vampires do not strike in the same way traditional vampires do. While the vampires feed, their blood worms make their way into the body of the victim, which is what then creates a new vampire. I believe at one point it was explained that the real cause of the vampirism was a parasite carried by the blood worm. So if it is a parasite, it clearly is NOT a virus, and you would really think that Eph and Nora, both formerly of the CDC, would get that. I suppose it really isn’t a major issue, but it was starting to really bother me.
Besides that realization, there was a bit of middle-of-the-series-slump about “The Fall.” I really appreciated that del Toro and Hogan advanced the storyline and took things in a new direction instead of just making this a second book of fighting against the vampires for New York City, but it took me well over half of the book before I got into the story. There was not quite as much action in the first half of the book, which made it a bit slow, compared to “The Strain.” Still, the storyline itself was strong and interesting, and I appreciated more of a look at the mythology of this vampire, as well as Setrakian’s earlier vampire hunting days.
Thoughts on the audio production:
Oreskes did a good job with the narration, I may have even liked him better than the man who narrated the first book (yes, there was a narrator change between books one and two in this series). I did have one problem with the audio production, though, and that is the way that the book switched between different characters’ stories. Most chapters include multiple points of view of different characters, but the editing of the finished product did not contain enough of a pause or any other indication that the setting was changing, occasionally confusing me as it seemed that we were going from Vasilly to Nora almost in the same breath when they were in very different situations.
Although perhaps not quite as captivating as “The Strain,” still an integral part of the series. It would probably work pretty well either in audio or print. I’m looking forward to the last book in the trilogy next year.
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