Monday, November 28, 2011

The Night Eternal – review

Authors: Guillermo del Toro & Chuck Hogan

Release date: 2011

Contains spoilers

The blurb: The nail-biting vampire thriller from the world-famous director of Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy.

The night belongs to them, and it will be a night eternal…

After the blasts, it was all over. Nuclear Winter has settled upon the earth. Except for one hour of sunlight a day, the whole world is plunged into darkness. It is a near-perfect environment for vampires. They have won. It is their time.

Almost every single man, woman and child has been enslaved in vast camps across the globe. Like animals, they are farmed, harvested for the sick pleasure of the Master Race.

Almost, but not all. Somewhere out there, hiding for their lives, is a desperate network of free humans, continuing the seemingly hopeless resistance. Everyday people, with no other options – among them Dr Ephraim Goodweather, his son Zack, the veteran exterminator Vasily, and former gangbanger Gus.

To be free, they need a miracle, they need divine intervention. But Salvation can be a twisted game – one in which they may be played like pawns in a battle of Good and Evil. And at what cost…?

The review: So, first there was The Strain, which I rather enjoyed. Cinematic in its construction, hardly surprising with the great director del Toro involved, with a CSI-vampire vibe. Then came The Fall. Running perhaps that tad better than the first book it was an excellent read.

Now we have had The Night Eternal, the wrap up of the series and… well… this is going to spoil the first two books so look away if you haven’t read them yet…

…At the end of book two the Master, the über-vampire controlling the apocalyptic outbreak, detonated nuclear power stations that had been built over the birth places of the other ancient vampires, consigning them to dust, and all their broods too as they are all symbiotically reliant on the first from their line.

It is two-years on and the world is enslaved, bar Britain (which was a cool if odd throw-away), the nuclear winter has caused sunlight to be limited to just two hours per day and the only thorn in the Master’s plan is the resistance (made up of the rather flawed characters from the first two books) who happen to have a sacred text that might be able to reveal the masters birth place, something he himself does not know, and thus allow them to do unto him, what he did to his brothers.

There was, of course, an underlying mythology to the first two books that strayed from the scientific. If it strayed then this has diverted. We discover that an angel went rogue at Sodom and Gomorrah, drank the blood of humans and then another angel. God had the angels chop him up and bury his body parts – and it is from these that the blood worms emerged and birthed the ancients and it is those parts being destroyed at the birthing sites. We shifted from a supernatural element to a full on theology and I have heard a lot of folks complain about this.

I suppose it does take some getting used to. Especially when, the once very scientific and now strung out junkie, Eph starts having divine inspired visions. However I could live with it. But…

There is no other way to describe it, the book was a slog. Perhaps I was in the wrong mood? It’s possible, but it was an effort to make myself persevere and I can’t really tell you why, just that it was. It wasn’t as though I didn’t actually enjoy the book when I was reading it, but put it down and I was reluctant to pick it up again.

This has left me feeling disappointed with the book, but I don’t know exactly why. However it is a book you’ll want to read if you have read book 1 and 2.

5 out of 10.


Zahir Blue said...

I quite enjoyed it. Grant you in some ways not as compelling as the first two, but also much thinner so it didn't feel like a slog, at least not to me.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

As I said, it might of been me, but it did feel like a slog to me. Glad you enjoyed it :)