The Night Eternal
|Publisher||William Morrow and Company|
|October 25, 2011|
|Media type||Print, audio|
|Preceded by||The Fall|
Two years have passed since the vampires, led by the Master, used atomic weapons to create a nuclear winter, blocking the sun almost continuously and allowing the vampires to move freely, except for 2–3 hours when sunlight filters through. The vampires have restructured society as a police state. The strongest and most influential humans have been exterminated; and those spared are used as slaves, while the infirm and weak have been herded into camps to harvest their blood.
A few survivors continue to resist the vampire occupation. Epidemiologist Dr. Ephraim Goodweather grows distant from his friends: the Master, now occupying the body of rock star Gabriel Bolivar, has adopted Goodweather's son, Zach, as his protégé and is grooming the boy to be his next host body. Goodweather's lover, Dr. Nora Martinez, leaves him for exterminator Vasiliy Fet. Following his friend Abraham Setrakian's death, Fet struggles to decipher the Occido Lumen, a tome possibly holding the key to defeating the Master. He is aided by Mr. Quinlan, the Master's vengeful half-vampire son.
Flashbacks to biblical times reveal the vampire race's origins: the seven Ancients, including the Master, arose from Ozryel. Ozryel was an archangel of death, one of the three angels that God sent to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for their wickedness. Ozryel was overcome with bloodlust while the cities were destroyed. God punished him by having the other archangels cut his body into seven pieces and scattering them across the Earth. Over time, Ozryel's blood leaked from the burial sites and became sentient, thus spawning the Ancient Ones. The Master was spawned last, from Ozryel's throat, and so was referred to as "the Young One" by the other Ancients.
Goodweather finally deciphers the Occido Lumen and determines that the Master originated on one of the Thousand Islands in Lake Ontario. The survivors detonate a nuclear weapon on the island. Goodweather, Zach, and Mr. Quinlan are killed, but the Master's strain is permanently eradicated. In the aftermath of the explosion, Nora and Vasily witness Ozryel, presumably purified, reunited with Gabriel and Michael, who have come to return him to Heaven. This was possible because Mr. Quinlan brought the other Ancients' ashes with him, following instructions he read in the Lumen. All the vampires disintegrate, and the surviving humans rebuild society. Nora and Vasiliy move to Vermont, where they have two children: a boy named Ephraim after Goodweather and a girl named Mariela after Nora's mother.
Stephen King wrote: "There's a certain amount of perhaps dispensable hugger-mugger about vampires in Rome and archangels in Sodom, but the main attractions here are the resistance fighters' fierce dedication to their cause ... Heroes of tragic dimension are rare in popular fiction, but Goodweather fills the bill nicely. ... The action is non-stop, and the fantasy element is anchored in enough satisfying detail to make it believable ... there's something about seeing vampires massing for an attack in a Wendy's parking lot that makes them more real." The San Francisco Chronicle's Alan Cheuse wrote: "The novel comes to us in a weird, loose style in which multiple points of view proliferate, constantly shifting and re-forming the story, which, in its essence, resembles nothing less than a montage of fear-making moments we love to hate."
- King, Stephen. "Amazon Guest Review: Stephen King on The Night Eternal". Retrieved January 22, 2013.
- Cheuse, Alan (November 5, 2011). "'The Night Eternal,' by Del Toro and Hogan: review FICTION REVIEW". sfgate.com. Retrieved January 22, 2013.