Review of The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

the-strainI started reading The Strain on Saturday and finished it yesterday. Let me start by saying, these are not my kind of vampires. I tend to lean more toward the dark, sexy, and mysterious type of vampire. So if you’re looking for that kind of vampire story, this book isn’t for you.

While Blade II was one of my favorites of the Blade movies action-wise, I can’t say that I ever liked the “Reaper” vampires – the jaw-opening, tongue/stinger-thrusting monstrosities that were ‘mutated’ vampires in this installment of the series. In The Strain, the vampires are very similar to the Reapers in Blade II (also directed by Guillermo del Toro), with the addition of more back-story (the Masters) and the carriers of the vampire virus, the creepy blood worms.

I found the writing to be fast-paced with hard-hitting and incisive imagery, which I expected given Del Toro’s vision and flair for the dramatic as he demonstrated with Pan’s Labyrinth & Hellboy. Some of the descriptions/feelings were so incredibly well-conveyed that I felt the characters’ responses in my toes.

With its standard vampire fare of coffins, soil, feral minions, and lots of gruesome blood sucking, I’d definitely recommend The Strain to people who’d enjoy more horror-driven vampire fiction. Overall, an exciting read, but would I say it’s my cup of tea….er….blood? Probably not.

The Strain is the first book in a planned trilogy. I’d rate it 4 stars.

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