2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Sci-fi Old Testament vampire horror,
This review is from: The Night Eternal (Strain Trilogy) (Hardcover)The final book of the Strain trilogy is a fun-enough read: after The Strain, which was a modern-day retelling of Dracula where he does not die at the end, The Fall is about opening up a whole new world, and the stripping away of illusions. The Night Eternal then opens 2 years later with the world under nuclear winter: perfect for vampires, and the Master (in a new body) rules them all. The opening is well done: starting with absolute despair we are shown a glimmer of hope which is all we can focus on to keep the story moving. After that though the road gets a little rocky.
After the events of The Fall, Ephraim Goodweather, Fet and Nora remain alive and kicking: Setrakian is dead. Goodweather is still a very flawed character, or at least selfish and self-indulgent. Yes, he has lost everything, but so has everybody else too. The chilling "new" world we see is intriguing - and given the past human tendency towards collaboration, all too horribly realistic. We don't see much of this though - just a few hints, including that the UK has somehow stayed vampire-free - as the focus is largely on Eph and his son Zach, now a pet of the Master.
I wont talk specific plot points so to spoil the story. The descent into a strange religiousity - literal deus ex machina in some cases - is surprising given the tone of Strain and Fall, and also raises questions about the total absence of religion per se: no one even thinks that talking to a priest might be a good idea (probably it would not, but if I was in their shoes it sure would not have hurt). I found the end effectively tolerable if not great.
All in all, I think that the story might have better left as simply the Strain, with the good guys winning at the end. Not everything needs to be a trilogy, and its easier to relate to (and be thrilled by) horror when it does not become post-apocalyptic sci-fi with an Old Testament twist in the last third of the story.