The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro

(The Strain Trilogy #1)

In one week, Manhattan will be gone.

In one month, the country. In two months . . . the world.

At New York's JFK Airport an 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 . . .

“ all the monsters in my nursery: May you never leave me alone.”

While the Strain may deliver a nifty TV show, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a great book.

While that may sound contradictory, trust me, that’s the way it read. Guillermo del Toro is used to making movies and you can feel the sense of 'scene changes' in the book. You can tell it's for the sake of reading the story and plot rather than reading through character's experiencing story and plot. Lots of tell, little show, there is no sense of care or realism with the paper people.

I watched an episode of the TV show, which worked because they made the characters come alive, but also because this story isn't done in TV show format much. Yeah, we get the popular vampire strains in True Blood and Vampire Diaries, but how often recently have we gotten TV shows about bad vamps like this on the TV screen? Since it’s not done to death, it works for watching – but in book form, the story has been sucked dry, so it needs other redeeming qualities to keep people returning for more.

For the TV media it was new and inventive. In book form it is dull and so overdone that I couldn't bring myself to care. There were no surprise twists, I didn't care about the victims, the story was stale. I could predict most of the events that took place as they came around. To stay fresh and intriguing, this book at least needed fleshed-out characters I cared about. Instead we get semi-dry people who blended together after a while. Having a custody battle thrown in wasn’t fun either.

It didn't help that I'd seen the show first - no surprises in store for me - but the dry writing combined with the familiar plot makes this one an average read. If you’re a die hard fan of the show you may be impressed, but for me? I needed more substance.

   Book Quotes:

“Never fly commercial. That's the moral of this story.” 

“Night is not an absence of light, but in fact, it is daytime that is a brief respite from the looming darkness…” 

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