So, The Fall continues the story begun in The Strain (which I reviewed here) and begins almost immediately where the last novel left off.

Our main cast (and I really should stop treating this as if it was a movie script, but I just can’t seem to) and as a reminder they are:

  • flawed scientist hero
  • lady scientist love interest
  • scientist’s son
  • old man with secret knowledge
  • exterminator chappie

have not yet recovered from the shock at the end of book one which I won’t go into here, and are re-grouping to decide how they are going to deal with the big bad guy that they failed to stop and whose nefarious plan is coming to fruition. The Big Bad Plan is more extensive than anyone thought, and it becomes really, really, seriously important to discover how the vampires originally came into being, and so the search for this story’s McGuffin – an ancient text called the Occido Lumen – becomes the focus for a large portion of the book.

And that’s probably enough plot, because let’s face it, the main thing this novel has going for it is its plot, so not fair to give more away.

I’m not going to say that the writing is bad as such, but it is pretty workmanlike and totally  in the service of driving the story forward. There are huge chunks of exposition throughout which were on occasions a bit distracting, as were the flashbacks (some of which at least served to give some context) and various diversions, including one to the International Space Station which, unless I missed something, didn’t really serve any purpose apart from a bit of gosh-wow-this-is-really-serious-stuff.

Having said all that I did stay up late to read the last third of the story and I will be buying the final volume just to see how on earth (if at all) they all get out of this one. But if you are planning to read this (1) don’t start here and (2) expect a certain amount of middle book of trilogy syndrome. Would still love to see it as a mini-series.

This was on my master list for RIP VI but not read as part of that challenge.