Wednesday, 1 February 2012

The Strain-My Thoughts

The Strain is book 1 of a trilogy of the same name. Book 2 is The Fall and book 3 is The Night Eternal.

Let me be frank here...This is NOT a book about sparkly, romantic vampires.
These vampires are horrible, nasty, blood-sucking freaks and they WILL scare you.

The only book I can think to compare it to is Stephen King's Salem's Lot, although, sadly, this book isn't as good.

It sucks you in from the first, with an airplane sitting on the tarmac at JFK airport. There are no signs of life from the people on board. All the window shades are pulled down, all the lights are off and there is no communication from the crew.

If you're alone, at night and reading this in bed at 2am (like I was), you WILL get the heebie-jeebies. You WILL hear funny noises in the other room and be too scared to investigate. You WILL see shadows moving on the wall that looks suspiciously like stingers.
There's one part that includes a child that was deliciously creepy to me.

The characters are interesting...especially Abraham Setrakian, the pawnshop owner and Holocaust survivor.

However, this book does have its faults.
I found the writing rather choppy and the book itself was slow-moving.
They glossed over many of the more interesting characters (like Gabriel), and I wish they would have spent much more time with them.
The vampires themselves are kind of boring in a mindless zombie kind of way.
I found it a bit difficult switching between the characters points of view every few chapters. It was a little disorienting.

If you're into horror books and you're a fan of either Hogan or del Toro, you'll probably like this book.
If not, I don't think I'd recommend it.

I give it a 3/5.

Have you read The Strain? What did you think of the book?
Let me know! Comments are always welcome!


  1. I listened to this one as an audiobook (read by Ron Pearlman) and found it really scary at times. What kept me listening was mostly trying to figure out what was going on, since so much of the book is just building you up to discover exactly what the vampires are.

    1. I wonder if I might have liked it more if I'd listened to someone else reading it. That might have added the bit of edginess it needed...with the right voice!