The last book in the Strain Trilogy leaves one on a high! RUFUS JOHN
Title: The Night Eternal
Author: Chuck Hogan
Publisher: Harper Collins
Price: Rs. 250
At the end of the second novel (The Fall), Nuclear winter had fallen upon the Earth. The Night Eternal starts off on a sombre note as the Master vampire (The ancient evil unleashed in the first book in the saga) seeking to strengthen his grip on world affairs decides to do away with the ‘intellectuals’ of the world. A systematic and brutal genocide is briefly described and kicks off this finale to the Strain trilogy.
With one-third of the world’s population wiped out and most of the survivors sympathetic to the cause of the vampiric overtaking, the final resistance seems to be fighting a losing cause. At the helm of this small band of humans is the main protagonist, the strong willed, yet conflicted Dr. Ephraim Goodweather.
Accompanying him are his ex-love interest Nora and rat-exterminator turned vampire-hunter Vasiliy. Former gang member and social outcast Gus rounds off the unlikely group. With emotions running high after the kidnap of Zack, Dr. Ephraim’s son, the survivors seek to make their final stand against the Master. Thanks largely to the efforts of the Abraham Setrakian, the wise old professor who managed to prevent the Master from getting his hands on the Occido Lumen, an ancient book holding the secrets of the vampire’s mysterious origin and said to hold the key to his destruction. The book becomes hot property as the members of the resistance seek to decode its mysteries. The fate of the already ravaged world hangs in the balance, as the members of the final resistance seek to put an end to the Master’s tyranny.
The book manages to cap off the trilogy in a largely satisfying manner. The set pieces, a tradition of the series thus far are large and grandiose as ever. However, they are too well set up and believability has to be suspended, considering the extent of damage the resistance suffers. Also the emotional quotient in certain instances seems to be dealt with longer than necessary and tends to deviate from the plot.
Having got that out of the way, this one still proves to be an enjoyable read. The mix of science fiction, mysticism and good old hero-saves-the-world may not be new but it’s quite an involving piece of fiction. In terms of the handling, there’s a little bit thrown in for fans of every genre out there. With The Night Eternal, authors Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan have managed to end The Strain Trilogy on a largely satisfying note.
Rufus is an IT professional.
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