Actual rating: 2.5 stars.
In my review of The Strain, the first book in this series, I said that it started off well but quickly degenerated into an illogical mess. The Fall is the second book in what is planned to be a trilogy, and it starts in the illogical mess phase. Where does it go from there? Into an extended setup for volume number three. Reading The Fall, I felt like the only reason for this book's existence is to keep interest alive for the eventual release of the third book. The background situation is horrific, and intrinsically interesting ... one of the world's seven vampire masters has come to America and unleashed a plague of vampirism, and society is rapidly crumbling vampires feed and convert more humans into vampires. But del Toro and Hogan keep most of that in the background, focusing instead on three or four unlikely characters who are clearly destined to save humanity. By keeping the overwhelming disaster in the background, they mute the story's main thrill, and instead of reading a truly scary vampire thriller, I felt like I was reading an airport bookshop thriller. Why three stars? Because Goodreads won't let me give it a 2.5, which is what I think it really deserves. Worth reading, but not worth buying. Borrow it from the library instead.