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The Night Eternal    by Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan order for
Night Eternal
by Guillermo Del Toro
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Night Eternal follows The Strain and The Fall as the third and final episode in a blood-chilling trilogy by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan. It features a War of the Worlds struggle between man and soulless vampire, in which humans are Turned by a virus into voracious alien beings with no humanity left in them.

The Strain, introduced Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, head of a rapid response team of epidemiologists, including his romantic interest, Dr. Nora Martinez. As they became aware that the virus represented a total extinction threat to humanity, allies joined them - Abraham Setrakian who first met an ancient vampire, the Master, in Treblinka; exterminator Vasiliy Fet; and Gus Elizalde a young hoodlum.

In The Fall, the Master flew in from Europe to destroy New World vampires, Ancients who hunted him. Eph attempted to send Nora and his son Zack out of New York to safety, but Zack was captured by Eph's Turned ex-wife Kelly, leaving his father in despair. Setrakian sought an ancient book, Occido Lumen, the key to defeat the Master, but the cost of its acquisition was high.

As The Night Eternal opens, Eph is in bad shape, drugging himself, unreliable, and no longer trusted by the others. Nora has turned to Fet for comfort instead. But when she's captured and taken to a camp (a farm where humans are the vampires' cattle), Eph works with Vasiliy - and a surprising ally, Quinlan, the Ancients' bodyguard - to rescue her. And Gus acquires an atomic bomb with which they hope to take out the Master.

The latter has a curious interest in Zack, keeping him close as bait to trap Eph and planning to use him as an eventual new host. In the meantime, he works to corrupt the boy. Of course, humanity does ultimately survive, because 'love was the answer to everything', but at a credibly high cost. The Night Eternal is a gripping - and fitting - conclusion to the best vampire story ever.

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