This is a very well written story and very hard to put down. I sat down to read it in the afternoon and realized I had been so absorbed that I was suddenly next to a dark window and quickly closed the blinds and had to compose myself to shake the creepiness. Books do not often have that effect on me. A really good scary read. I can hardly wait to read the next one.
I've got GOOD news and BAD news. The GOOD news is that this is a very good book that I couldn't put it down. It is about a vampire plague that starts in New York City. This isn't about vampires we are familiar with, but a different more deadly kind that can infect people to be vampires. If you get scared, just read it during the day and it isn't so bad. This book really kept my interest. Now the BAD news----it is the first book in a trilogy. The second book isn't published yet---so two more books to read in the future.
I got this book hoping it would be a good read. It is like watching a good horror flick. You cover your face not to watch, but can't help looking through your fingers. It was well written. I enjoyed it and highly recommend it.
Warning: If you have been referred to The Strain because you are a Twilight fan, this is not the book for you. The baddies in this novel would eat Edward Cullen for lunch, and then take on the rest of the family for seconds.
That said, I was excited to read The Strain because it has everything I love in a novel: vampires, a superbug-esque plague and an impending apocalypse. What a winning combination! The result is a book that is one part CSI, one part Stephen King's Salem's Lot and a little bit of Invasion of the Body Snatchers thrown in for good measure.
The story begins when a 777 aircraft lands at JFK International Airport with all of its passengers dead, and all its electronic and communications equipment seemingly dead, too. The CDC quickly dispatches its Canary Project team, a crew of expert epidemiologists trained to deal with the most lethal and contagious unknown viruses and other health threats. The story's leading man, Eph, is the leading scientist in the study of the spread of disease, but what he finds on the aircraft stumps him. He is soon caught up in a global threat he never imagined, and a plague that he has no idea how to contain. Led by an elderly concentration camp survivor (who just happens to be a vampire hunter, and who has been tracking the book's Big Bad for 60 years across the globe), Eph and a ragtag group of survivors from all walks of life team up to try to save New York City from the spreading disease of the undead.
I loved the authors' comparison of vampires to viruses -- and rats, for that matter. There is a lot of new ground covered in The Strain, and I appreciated the wealth of scientific research that the authors use to build the story. Anyone who enjoys Michael Crichton, Robin Cook or other medical thriller authors will appreciate this new approach to horror, but beware: there is quite a bit of gore in this novel. One of the authors was the director/creator of Blade 2, and both of the Hellboy movies, so the descriptions of the horror are vivid and at times, cringe-worthy -- even for the most resolute of horror fans. I've moved away from reading the genre much in recent years, but I did enjoy this -- maybe as a result of the merging of science and the supernatural.
The Strain is the first in a trilogy of books, with the next installments due out in 2010 and 2011. I will be looking forward to those releases -- especially in light of the monster, unresolved cliffhanger ending dished out at the end of this book. [close]
Warning! Not for the faint of heart. You won't find heart-throbbing vamps, like Sookie's undead friends and lovers, in this book. Yet, if you enjoy a good thrill, you won't be able to put this book down. It's fast paced, action packed, and wonderfully gory.