7 member(s) found this review helpful.
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]
3 member(s) found this review helpful.
I actually started reading this book at night while traveling on an airplane and had to put it down after the first few chapters because it gave me a case of the willies. The story begins with the discovery of a plane which had landed at JFK with all aboard dead, not something that I wanted to be reading up in the air. After I got home and picked it up again, the willies disappeared and disappointment set in.
The Strain has its moments, but if you've read any vampire novels at all, you've read this book. Not only are there replays of several vampire books (especially Matheson's I Am Legend, but also They Thirst by McCammon, Salem's Lot by Stephen King, Brian Lumley's fabulous Necroscope and more) but if you've read any of the Repairman Jack series or the Adversary cycle of F. Paul Wilson (especially elements of The Keep), you will recognize basic character and plot elements in the story. In short, this has all been done before, which is very sad, because basically reading a rerun tended to make the book much less suspenseful, and I have to say that I accurately predicted the end which most likely leads to the action in book two. I haven't really had a good horror novel in my hands lately, and had been hoping to allow myself a good scare, but alas, it was not to be with this book. I really wanted to like it, but I did not.
However, as noted above, the overall rating everywhere seems to be a 4/5, so maybe I'm just more demanding in what I'm searching for in a horror novel. I'd recommend it to readers of vampire horror fiction, with the caveat that if you've read some of the best books in the genre, be prepared for a rehash mishmash.
1 member(s) found this review helpful.
I'm a big fan of del Toro's movies. Was very excited to hear he co-wrote a trilogy. So when I started this book I had very high expectations. When it started out I was very disappointed. Things were happening but there was not enough there to keep me interested. I had no intention on giving up on this book though so I pushed myself to go on. It really didn't start to grab me until a little more than 1/4 of the way through the book. As I read I became more into what I was reading and started enjoying it.
It's about a kind of plague that is going around. This plague is spread by vampires but not by the typical vampire we've read about or seen in movies. I like the twist on this version. It's a bit different and quite creepy. There was even one part that made me gag a bit which surprised me because there is not much out there that bothers me.
For most part I liked the book and look forward to book 2. The only thing I didn't like about it was at times I was a bit confused on the whole vampire background. Not sure if it was because I was not focusing well or because it will be covered more in book 2. I would recommend this book if you are looking for a different vampire story.