Posts Tagged ‘NYC’

This aint no Twilight… The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan

In Sci-Fi, Vampire Novels/Series on January 2, 2010 at 5:23 am

The Strain

Title: The Strain (Book One of The Strain Trilogy)

Authors: Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan

Genre: Horror/Vampire/Thriller

Rating: ***/****


I am happy that I waited until the New Year to finish this book, because it has been a great way to open 2010!  I love vampires, but haven’t read many series or single novels in my time aside from the Southern Vampire Mysteries (AKA Sookie Stackhouse novels/True Blood novels), the Twilight series, & a few of Anne Rice’s vampire chronicles.   Hopefully, I’ll be re-reading those this year to review them, but with twenty-two holds in my library queue & another fourteen books (of various genres) to be read it may be a while.

The book opens with a bizarre incident at a NYC airport, a plane has landed on the tarmac, but has suddenly went offline completely.  There is no radio communication between the pilots, all the window shades are closed, & the lights are off.  The plane is dead!  Considering the tragedy of 9/11, the plethora of airport & government authorities are at a loss; hoping that nothing bad has happened to the passengers & crew.  Well, since we all know this is a horror novel, we’ve already realized that something bad has happened inside the plane.  But what protagonist Dr. Ephraim Goodweather of the CDC finds isn’t fully understood nor explained by his scientific & medical knowledge.

What is this substance that seems to coat the walls of the plane?  Why are all the passengers dead when no toxic gas is present?  No appearance of a struggle?  What made all the passengers die on board–or who?

What I enjoyed about ‘The Strain’ was that Del Toro & Hogan didn’t paint a simple picture of a vampire invasion of a modern city.   The vampires start out as either humans who survived the flight or eventually, the dead who rise again, but they all end up as essentially humans who are infected with a virus.  Yes, it sounds like a lot like what we’ve seen in the ‘Blade’ series/films, but the authors fully develop the idea along with developing their characters.  These are not two-dimensional people: they have struggles with marriage, raising their children, minority marginalization, classism, & eventually with the doctors, medical ethics.  Plus, the infection is set against the backdrop of tragedies e.g. the holocaust & then post-9/11 NYC.  It shows a message of hope for people to unite after we are attacked.


Read more about ‘The Strain’ trilogy here at the official site: