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24 October 2010 @ 07:59 pm
The Strain  
With all these "vampire" books coming out you would think that I've had enough of vampires. Well, in a way I have, but I like Guillermo Del Toro, and I was ordering other books so I gave this one a shot. Man, was I glad that I did.


The Strain is part 1 of a trilogy.  Part 2 is already out (and I just started reading it) not sure when part 3 comes out but probably sometime next year. The book got me hooked from the beginning.

It starts out with a grandmother telling her grandson a legend about a giant (about 7 or so feet tall). The giant is the only tall one in the family and he and the men of his village go out to hunt wolves (like a rite of passage type thing). One by one each man is picked off until only the giant is left. The giant finds their bodies and buries his kinsmen then goes to face the beast. He returns to his village but he is a changed giant. Skip roughly 60 years later (2010) to JFK airport in New York. A pilot asks permission to land and is given it. A few minutes later everyone realizes that the plane has landed but it hasn't moved from the runway. The plane is completely dead and no one is answering. There are over a hundred people inside and there is no movement in the plane. Now, this isn't much of a spoiler. Why? Oh... all this happens in the first 17 pages. Not even joking. And the blurb at the back tells you more. I was intrigued. 

There are few areas in the book that seemed slow to me. I loved the main character, Eph Goodweather who is  head of a CDC rapid-response team. He has flaws like a normal person. He is going through a divorce and is fighting for custody of his son. However, because of his job (being called away at random times) the courts chose in favor of the mother. You can see how desperate Eph wants his son to live with him and not only visit him every other weekend. Eph is very human and relatable in this book. 

But... What about the vampires? These vampires aren't romantic or even think about sex (as in normal human sex... I don't know about weird creepy monster sex). One human male is specially turned and in the book they specifically say that his penis was no more and that the area was smooth (once he turned total vampire). These beasts are brutal and super hungry attacking anyone (family members first because of the whole memory thing of going home first). They are a mixture of parasite/zombie/demon at least the minions. These vampires are killed by silver, UV Light, the sun, and a couple of other things. There are smart vampires but this book focuses more on the new "plague" that has been unleashed into the USA. 

I recommend this book.

*Note: At first I was confused by the description of the vampires. They had a long sucker tongue but then I remembered that Del Toro directed Blade II and the new vampires introduced in that movie was probably his idea. So I'm assuming that's the type of vampire he is writing about in this book. Well... Co-writing. Chuck Hogan is the second author.
 
 
 
Alice R. Keezeralicetheowl on October 25th, 2010 01:32 pm (UTC)
I just wasn't that impressed. It seemed like a lot of the stuff was gross-out for the sake of turning the reader's stomach, and I didn't actually like Eph. I felt like there wasn't a single character I could like or relate to. It was creative, but I just can't see myself picking up the next one, unless I hear they introduced someone sympathetic and/or cut it out with the gross-out stuff.
Dannylionthe1stdannylionthe1st on October 25th, 2010 06:29 pm (UTC)
I've been in a zombie phase for the past few weeks which is probably why I didn't really seem to care about the gross stuff (or notice it that much).

As for the characters, I still like them (Except for Nora... she really seemed useless to me). I think the only thing that I was starting to get annoyed about was that there seemed to be way to many characters.