Book: The Strain

the-strain.jpg“The Strain” is a 600-page collaboration between Chuck Hogan and film director Guillermo del Toro, published in 2009. It’s the first in a trilogy. Since del Toro is a big movie director (“Pan’s Labyrinth,” “Hellboy”), I wonder if they envision a movie trilogy? If so, they need to make it more interesting.

An airliner lands at New York’s JFK airport, and stops dead on the runway. All the power is off, the window shades down, no communication. It just sits there. Turns out all but four people aboard are dead, and those 4 are pretty close. Autopsies show a tiny slit in everyone’s throat.

It comes down to vampires. This is a new take on the vampire legend, and a very different one at that.

The protagonist is Dr. Eph Goodweather, who works for the Centers for Disease Control. After it’s discovered that everybody aboard the plane is dead, it is quarantined and Goodweather and his team are called in. When the survivors start “turning,” and the dead regenerate, things get hairy.

A variety of people come together, and are no doubt characters in the remaining two books. The most interesting character is a pawnshop owner who has been stalking vampires for years, and waiting for an occurrence such as this. He’s a Treblinka survivor who encountered a vampire there. He fills everybody in about these creatures.

The story is moderately interesting, and the book ended all set up for the second volume. But I’m not sure that I’ll read it. We’ll see.

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