Author: Chuck Hogan, Guillermo del Toro
Series: The Strain Trilogy #1
Published by: HarperCollins
Publication Date: June 2, 2009
A Boeing 777 arrives at JFK and is on its way across the tarmac, when it suddenly stops dead. All window shades are pulled down. All lights are out. All communication channels have gone quiet. Crews on the ground are lost for answers, but an alert goes out to the CDC. Dr. Ephraim "Eph" Goodweather, head of their Canary project, a rapid-response team that investigates biological threats, gets the call and boards the plane. What he finds makes his blood run cold.
In a pawnshop in Spanish Harlem, a former professor and survivor of the Holocaust named Abraham Setrakian knows something is happening. And he knows the time has come, that a war is brewing.
So begins a battle of mammoth proportions as the vampiric virus that has infected New York begins to spill out into the streets. Eph, who is joined by Setrakian and a motley crew of fighters, must now find a way to stop the contagion and save his city - a city that includes his wife and son - before it is too late.
FINALLY! The Strain had eluded me since its release. I bought it when it was first published, read a few pages, and then lost the book. I eventually bought it again, and that copy disappeared before I could read it! So I gave up. I figured it just wasn’t meant to be.
That is, until October 3, 2011. I had a Kindle by then and I saw The Strain was one of Amazon’s deals, so I snatched it up. Third times a charm, right? Besides, no way could I lose it now. But then, it just sat there. For years it was neglected and ignored.
Then a few weeks ago I discovered it was going to air as a television series! That was it! I was going to read this thing no matter what. After years … five long years … I read it. You know what? It was really good! Thank goodness. Could you imagine if it had totally stunk after all that?
So. Vampires. They’re in this book. However, they’re nothing like those swoony vampires that have running amok. No, the vampires in The Strain are truly monsters. The author did a great job with them, they are preternatural, but can be explained scientifically. To an extent. I loved this! Untimely though, they are creepy suckers.
Dr. Ephriam Goodweather (we call him Eph for short) is a brilliant epidemiologist working for the CDC. All the guy wants to do is spend some time with his son, but no, he gets thrown into a shit storm when he’s called in to investigate a plane full of dead people. Not only did I like Eph, I liked the whole group of characters he aligns himself with. Mostly Abraham Setrakin, the old Holocaust survivor. This guy knows his stuff and surprised me with his badassery.
Eph, with the help of a couple others, race to stop the spread of an outbreak, but they are going up against something more evil than they could ever imagine. I don’t really want to get into what all went down, because, you know, spoilers. But I will say that it was very interesting and kept me engaged the entire time.
Yes, this is a horror, but it’s also a mystery/thriller. It isn’t all blood and guts and gore, it actually gets your heart pumping from the thrill, the anticipation of what going to happen next. That is what I love.
I also love the way the story is laid out. A lot. We get all angles of what’s going on throughout the book. As we follow Eph’s storyline, we also get to see what is going on with certain victims throughout the city. It was really cool, because it was like mini horror stories that were connected, and all fit together to form one big one.
Overall, I enjoyed The Strain a lot. It ended with a bit of a cliffhanger, so I plan to read the second book in the trilogy very soon. I guess there was a plus side to not reading it all those years ago. Now the entire trilogy is available so I don’t have to wait!
The series will start July 13th on the FX channel. I’m excited to see how they do with it. Guillermo del Toro is a good director, and I’m pretty sure he’s involved with that aspect. So I have high hopes.
Have you read The Strain? Do you plan to watch the series?