NetGalley Top Reviewer

NetGalley Top Reviewer
NetGalley Top Reviewer

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro

4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and fun -- don't take it too seriously!, September 1, 2010

This review is from: The Strain: Book One of The Strain Trilogy (Hardcover)
Despite almost being put off by some negative reviews, I found the book to be a fast-paced and entertaining tale about a new breed of vampires -- perhaps changed by some "strain" that could be identified later as a virus or parasite (easier to eradicate in a future book?). Led by an ancient Master, these vampires have a long sucker that springs out of the mouth to acquire sustenance, unlike the vampires of old with fangs that bite into the neck. These zombie-like creatures roam the streets and subterranean tunnels of New York, the changed ones tending to return home to their loved ones to infect them as well. Fighting this new horde is a vampire hunting and killing team, quite a motley crew, composed of a CDC doctor and his associate, a Holocaust survivor turned pawnshop owner, and a city rat exterminator. These folks are intent on saving New York, and the world, from extinction.

Many have pointed out the flaws in some of the action sequences, the stilted dialog, the lapses in logic and the strained credulity they experienced while following the story line. My advice -- don't take it all so seriously, quit analyzing and just enjoy the ride! The narrative moves quickly advancing the action and the reader is treated to all manner of vampire killing methods (not the ones you're familiar with from other novels of this nature that have the typical vampire lore), vivid descriptions of the changed ones, and the hunt for the lair of the Master. Meanwhile, a very wealthy human is trying to live forever by enticing the ancient vampire to the "New World" and acquiring whatever means will allow that to happen. Along the way are some side stories involving abusive husbands, divorce, custody issues, nosy neighbors, bad mothers, evil lawyers -- well you get the picture!

The book starts out strong (the dead plane on the tarmac at JFK airport) and will keep you turning the pages until the end...of this volume in the proposed trilogy by this author duo. Although not a cliffhanger ending, it did leave me wanting more. Thank heavens I have The Fall: Book Two of the Strain Trilogy waiting in the wings to start tonight!

All in all -- it's a fun and fast read -- don't take it seriously!

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