The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
***** SPOILER ALERT******
I felt very conflicted in deciding how many stars to give this book. In the end I decided that three stars is not really enough but that four stars would not have represented how I felt about The Strain. So I'm giving it three and a half stars (sorry on Goodreads you can't choose three and a half!). I really liked this book. It creeped me out and intrigued me from the very beginning. But I quickly realised that it was definitely something that I had heard/saw/read before. To me its a bit of a cross between Blade III and I am Legend. Although I think the writing was very good and I loved the plot and some of the characters, I just can't credit a lot of originality to this book.
The story follows Eph, a CDC scientist who stumbles upon a very mysterious incident in a airplane is found shortly after landing with all the passengers having died mysteriously with no sign of distress. Soon enough these supposedly dead passengers start rising with a serious craving for blood and relatives. These newborn vampires carry a never before seen type of bloodworm that infects their bodies and cause a strange stinger to grow in their throat which is flicked out when they attack and which they use to drink the blood of their victims. The victim is then also infected. When Eph meet a few other strange characters who have some knowledge of this new vampire threat, they team up to try and stop the spread of the infection. To do so they have to try and kill the Master, an ancient vampire who caused the "deaths" on the airplane and who is the source of the Strain. But this is easier said than done and the Eph and his haphazard team have a difficult time in fighting the Strain and remaining alive at the same time.
WHAT I LIKED
I liked the biological and scientific twist in the normal vampire lore and I like how one gets to know the characters (even some of the minor ones) very well. I like the pace of the book and I must admit to feeling very eager to keep on reading the story. I even felt a bit jumpy when reading this story and even feeling frightened every now and then which I suppose spells success in a horror story.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
As I said herein above although I really liked this book, you kind of have this feeling of de ja vous throughout the book and a lot of the story is very familiar (right down to the UV bomb from some of the movies I've seen). Whilst the fact that the book is well written does help a bit here, and whilst I accept that most vampire stories have probably already been told, I do think there could have been some more surprises in this book.
SO WHAT’S THE VERDICT?
I did like The Strain and I will certainly continue reading the series, but my praise does come with the reservations listed above.
The second book in The Strain Trilogy is The Fall which was released during September 2010.
View all my reviews
Aimee Carter (1) Alexandra Adornetto (1) Alyson Noel (4) Amy Plum (1) Andrea Cremer (1) Awards (1) Book Boyfriend (1) Book Release (1) Bree Despain (2) Caption This (2) Carolyn MacCollough (2) Cassandra Clare (1) Challenges (3) Colleen Gleason (3) Covers Revealed (1) Diane Stringam Tolley (1) E-cards (1) Eden Maguire (2) Featured Contest (14) Fict Fact (1) Follow Friday (13) Gena Showalter (1) General (2) Guillermo Del Toro (1) Holly Black (1) In My Mailbox (5) Inbetween (5) J.R.Ward (1) Jeaniene Frost (2) Jennifer Armintrout (1) Jill Monroe (1) Josephine Angelini (2) Julie Kagawa (4) Kami Garcia (3) L.A. Weatherley (1) L.J.Smith (1) Lauren DeStefano (1) Lilith Saintcrow (2) Margaret Stohl (1) Melissa Lemon (2) Michele Hauf (1) Mills and Boon (1) Nalini Singh (9) P.C.Cast (1) Rachel Hawkins (1) Read-Along / Talk-Along (1) Richelle Mead (1) Sarah Porter (1) Saundra Mitchell (1) Sherrilyn Kenyon (1) Sophie Jordan (1) Top Ten Tuesday (8) WoW (12)