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If you're in the mood for something scary...
The Strain - Guillermo del Toro
Member Name: InchyInchy
The Strain - Guillermo del Toro
Advantages: A great read
In one week, Manhattan will be gone. In one month, the country. In two months ... the world.
At New York's JFK Airpot and arriving Boeing 777 taxiing along a runway suddenly stops dead. All the shades have been drawn, all communication channels have mysteriously gone quiet. Dr. Eph Goodweather, head of a CDC rapid-response team investigating biological threats, boards the darkened plane ... and what he finds makes his blood run cold.
A terrifying contagion has come to the unsuspecting city, an unstoppable plague that will spread like an all-consuming wildfire - lethal, merciless, hungry ... vampiric.
And in a pawnshop in Spanish Harlem an aged Holocaust survivor knows that the war he has been dreading his entire life is finally here...
I've been reading quite a lot of YA and Chick lit lately so I was keen to step away (just for a moment) and read something that was a bit different. I do love a good scary movie every now and then and the same goes for a good and scary horror novel, which I hoped The Strain would be. And it absolutely was. It was creepy, tension filled and had me checking over my shoulder while I was reading it, as well as having a pretty good story. My husband even asked at one point if I wanted to 'put it in the freezer'! :D
Right from the beginning I enjoyed this book and it was the writing style that completely drew me in, it was descriptive and really helped to build the tension and horror of the situation unfolding. I am sure some people might think that the beginning was rather slow, but I really liked it. It set the scene and allowed me to get to know the characters before all the real action started and just didn't stop. Having said that there were a few moments when the writing was a little cringe worthy and I found myself almost laughing at some of the sweeping statements about Eph going from a healer to a warrior.
"Eph too had been turned. Not from human to vampire, but from healer to slayer."
The main collection of characters was Ephraim (or Eph) Goodweather, head of a CDC rapid emergency response team as well as his colleague and girlfriend Nora, who played a much smaller role. They were also joined by the enigmatic and worldly Abraham Strakian who was a survivor of the Jewish holocaust and had been hunting 'the evil' for many, many years. Also towards the end of the book there were a few other characters introduced that I can imagine will play a larger role in the subsequent books. I really liked all the main characters and unlike some other horror stories the author didn't skip over letting you get to know them well, I was invested and I found myself screaming at them to run away instead of opening that door...
Although I really enjoyed the story of The Strain, it really isn't anything new to the genre. However, I did like that the vampire 'strain' was like a realistic disease type spread of some other virus as it would occur in a city setting. It read like the authors had done their research and the virus took out whole neighbourhoods and communities, just like a virulent disease might do. I will give a slight warning that this book did have a few gory scenes in it, but it wasn't too bad - I much more prefer the creepy kind of horror to the blood and guts type that can just make your stomach churn.
I am really looking forward to reading the next one in the series when I get round to buying it. I completely recommend The Strain if you are in the mood for a creepy, tension building horror. I know The Strain is not everyone's cup of tea but I do like a good scary read every so often, as long as my doors are locked and my puupies are on guard duty - not that they'd be much help, unless the monsters are allergic to puppy saliva :)
Genre - Adult, horror
Published by Harper Collins (April 2010)
Paperback -495 pages (£6.99)
1) The Strain (April 2010- paperback)
2) The Fall (June 2011 - paperback)
3) Eternal night (Oct 2011 - Hardback)
Summary: Five out of five stars