Tuesday, July 07, 2009

THE STRAIN by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan

I have enjoyed all of Guillermo del Toro's films so although I am not a horror reader, I thought I'd give THE STRAIN a shot.

THE STRAIN is a new take on the classic vampire tale. A plane lands in New York City and immediately experiences system failure. When the plane is opened, every passenger inside is dead. Until they start disappearing from the morgue. CDC specialist Ephraim Goodwinter must enlist the help of elderly vampire fighter Abraham Setrakian to fight the vampire plague before it spreads out of New York City.

THE STRAIN is the first book in a trilogy. I can tell you right now that I will NOT be reading the other two. I think part of the success of books that come in a series is that they can stand alone. This book cannot. It ends in a clear cliffhanger that expects the reader to go out and buy the next book. The descriptions are overwrought and the plot is strangely slow. While Del Toro and Hogan come up with an interesting take on the vampire tale, the novelty wears off quickly. The vampires come off more as zombies. Part of the success of vampire lore has often been the sexiness of the undead. These vampires are not sexy. They are mindless drones with disgusting appendages.

BOTTOM LINE: NOT recommended. Die-hard horror fans might find this an interesting take on vampires but the story is weak and suprisingly boring. The writers are limited in how they describe the "vampires." If I had to read the words "fleshy stinger" one more time, I thought I was going to throw the book out the window.


Literary Feline said...

I'm sorry you didn't care for this one, Amy. In my weaker moments, I consider reading this one, but in my stronger ones, I'm not so inclined.

I don't mind cliffhangers in certain types of books. They're very common in traditional fantasy novels--where each book rarely stands alone and starting in the middle of the series will only confuse readers. I just like to be prepared with the next book in hand. :-)

Amy said...

Litty Kitty--You are right about series collections. Something about this one just rubbed me the wrong way. I think people who are more into the horror genre might enjoy it.