Saturday, 18 September 2010

URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: The Strain and The Fall - Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

Release Date: 01/04/10


High-concept thriller with a supernatural edge from world-famous director, whose films include Pan's Labyrinth and Hellboy. A plane lands at JFK and mysteriously 'goes dark', stopping in the middle of the runway for no apparent reason, all lights off, all doors sealed. The pilots cannot be raised. When the hatch above the wing finally clicks open, it soon becomes clear that everyone on board is dead -- although there is no sign of any trauma or struggle. Ephraim Goodweather and his team from the Center for Disease Control must work quickly to establish the cause of this strange occurrence before panic spreads. The first thing they discover is that four of the victims are actually still alive. But that's the only good news. And when all two hundred corpses disappear from various morgues around the city on the same night, things very rapidly get worse. Soon Eph and a small band of helpers will find themselves battling to protect not only their own loved ones, but the whole city, against an ancient threat to humanity.


Fame film director Guillermo Del Toro has brought the tale of his latest adventure to the world of literature and whilst he wrote the original premise for Chuck I can’t help but feel that the tale has been more of a homage to the vampire tales of old than anything else. For example we have the trip via the airplane that felt like a hark to the ship that Dracula travelled on to get to Grimsby. That said, it has some great moments of horror, some serious moments of heart in mouth syndrome for the reader leaving the reader believing that Chuck had a lot more to go on than just twelve pages of work by Del Toro. Add to the mix, some novel twists on Vampires alongside a few touches to titles like I Am Legend and the reader will have a good bit of fun reading this you can definitely see this title imagined with the visual and visceral aspect of film and I got exactly what I wanted as a reader, some chills, some thrills and plenty of spills (hey there’s a body and blood count.) Good fun and a tale with plenty of bite. I really am looking forward to the second novel.

Release Date: 16/09/10


The tension-filled sequel to The Strain, from the world-famous director whose films include Pan's Labyrinth and Hellboy. Humans have been displaced at the top of the food chain, and now understand -- to their outright horror -- what it is to be not the consumer, but the consumed. Ephraim Goodweather, director of the New York office of the Centers for Disease control, is one of the few humans who understands what is really happening. Vampires have arrived in New York City, and their condition is contagious. If they cannot be contained, the entire world is at risk of infection. As Eph becomes consumed with the battle against the total corruption of humanity, his ex-wife, Kelly, now a vampire herself, is ever-more determined to claim their son, Zack. As the Biblical origins of the Ancient ones are gradually revealed, Eph learns that there is a greater, more terrible plan in store for the human race -- worse even than annihilation!


The second novel by the duo that picks up where the first one left off. It’s beautifully creative and where the first one paid homage to other Vamp titles this one has struck out on its own in a similar sort of vein as the film Daybreakers has.

It’s dark, it has mystery alongside a scarily high body count and relies on mankind’s paranoia to do most of the work. The two author’s work well together and I really am looking forward to seeing what occurs in future instalments.

1 comment:

Anne Michaud said...

Gareth - I fell in love with the Fall and The Strain left me so cold...Didn't you find that the action felt stretched a tad?
I'll read the third - of course, how could I not? - but I fear this is a case of spreading a strong story into a trilogy to make a buck more than anything. *sad face*

ps - still cannot get over how many books you read per day/week/month/year!!