‘The Fall’ by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

A vampire virus is running rampant in New York City and threatens to overtake the United States as well as the world if it is not stopped soon. It’s up to a small group of dedicated scientists and vampire hunters to prevent the end of the world as we know it.

“The Fall,” by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan, is the second book in “The Strain” trilogy. It is a horrific, fascinating roller-coaster ride of a scary tale that pits good vampires against bad, good science against bad, and good people against bad.

New York City and other major metropolises across the world are in chaos as an all-out war between ancient vampires intent on controlling the world battle it out. Humans are stuck in the middle, used as bait and new recruits for the bloodsuckers.

Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, the country’s leading epidemiologist with the CDC, has uncovered the cause of the new virulent strain of vampires and has teamed up with Abraham Setrakian, a Holocaust survivor and longtime vampire hunter, to put an end to the madness overtaking the country. But as Goodweather and his team struggle to stop the violence, the scientist also must protect his young son, Zack, from a great danger — the child’s mother Kelly, who has become infected with the virus, is determined to bring her son into the vampiric fold.

Hogan and Del Toro, who is best known as the Academy Award-winning director of such deliciously scary movies as “The Devil’s Backbone,” “Hellboy” and “Hellboy II,” as well as “Pan’s Labyrinth,” have created a spine-tingling, action-packed story that grabs the reader by the throat at the first page and doesn’t let go to the very end.

“The Fall” is written in such a fashion that you can absolutely see the events unfolding before your eyes as you breathlessly read along. That is the mark of good storytelling. The writers introduce enough back story from “The Strain” to make “The Fall” a novel that stands well on its own.

It’s a fun and wild ride, and I guarantee you’ll never look at a manhole cover the same way again.

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