United States soldiers, Mexican drug cartels, and brutal vampires violently clash in this conclusion to a horror/comedy
It’s 1986, and Blake Barker’s top priority is getting his son back. A former employee in New Mexico absconded with young
Nathan after Blake, infected with the vampire virus, transformed into a bloodsucker (she “had taken him deep into the
heart of Mexico to escape the seething vampiro rage that Blake became afflicted with”). Blake scours Mexico for Nathan
and inadvertently catches the attention of criminals. One drug cartel believes he’s a powerful vampire and wants to force
him into working for the group, possibly taking out its rivals. The U.S. government isn’t much help, as it shuts down its
bioweapon program in favor of containment. Quite simply, the American military plans to eliminate anyone who’s infected,
even if the individual hasn’t yet transformed. Meanwhile, infections continue as an archaeological dig unearths an ancient
skull with recognizably sharp teeth. Some adolescent vampires form a “Brotherhood” and, as aspiring assassins, put their
fangs to deadly use. With any luck, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research team hard at work on a
vaccine will finally come up with a viable solution. Hill, who completed this final installment after Cavaretta’s sudden death,
delivers a worthy finale. It falls in line with the earlier books—an even mix of action, bloody demises, and black comedy.
Fans of the vampire subgenre will have seen most of this before, from the government attempting to cover up an outbreak
to vampiric changes being equated with puberty. Nevertheless, all the copious subplots unfold among a huge cast of
striking, well-developed characters, both new and returning. Once again, readers should expect periodic ultraviolent
scenes, as some sadistic vampires don’t merely drink blood, but eat their victims as well. As this is the longest novel of the
three, the story organically moves to a satisfying wrap-up that’s neither rushed nor curtailed.
A memorable and rewarding denouement to an enjoyable vampire saga.