The Strain: Book I of The Strain Trilogy

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Cover of "The Strain: Book One of The Str...
Cover via Amazon

Something dark and menacing is about to fall across the globe, something that has been waiting, biding it’s time for centuries.  On the eve of a solar eclipse, a plane will land and go silent, and what happens next will set into motion a series of events that will cross many different lives.  Some will not survive, some will come together with the truth, and some will never know what hit them.

Forget what you think you know about Vampires.  Director Guillermo del Toro and author Chuck Hogan brings us their take on the legendary figure with The Strain Trilogy.

This is every thing a Vampire novel needs: it’s dark, humorous, violent, bloody, full of new mythology and a great read.  I am seriously having problems putting the book down, and when I do, all I can think of is getting back to it and finishing the next page.

The characters have their flaws, but no more than most novels you’ll read about.  The main character, Ephrim Goodweather, who is already going through a custody battle and having a fling with his team mate, is strong as the lead, but I have a hard time believing the sympathetic aspects of his character, such as how he is handling the possibility of losing custody of his son.

Abraham Setrakian is the most interesting, as he is the oldest and most informed about the “virus.”  He has encountered the evil before, has battled it and studied in his time.  He also has the richest backstory, having been captured while trying to flee the German’s and then taken into a concentration camp as a boy, finally escaping at the age of 19, just as he was about to be exterminated.

Nora, a team member of the Canary Project and also the woman Eph is having romantic relations with on and off, is there to ask the questions the readers want to ask.  She’s the mouthpiece for us, not really serving any other purpose, at least not as far as I can tell.

There are a few other characters, from a Mexican street thug to an pest control exterminator who realize what is going on and come together to save the world.  I love the writing style, the intricate details to how things work and even how the narrative changes up between main characters and folks we may never see again.  That is another aspect I love about the story: no one is safe.  You may meet a team member of Eph’s, and the next thing you know, they are toast.  A character may appear for two pages, then be killed, turned or vanish in the next.  Stories that keep you wondering who is next to go keep you on your toes and, in my opinion, means the author knows what he/she is doing.

The first book is basically setting the stage and explaining everything we need to know.  It is a vampire biology lesson, a history/mythology lesson and an introduction to the main players of our story.  The setting is New York and the tragedy of 9/11 is mentioned and dealt with in this book as well, connecting it to the reader’s world and blending our reality with the novel’s fiction.  I’d recommend picking up The Strain and giving it a shot.  I’m not one to pick up a book on a whim, especially by someone I’m not familiar with, but I absolutely have enjoyed this book.

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