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The Strain

The Strain - Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan This review is from: The Strain (The Strain Trilogy Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
My first exposure to The Strain was through the television show, which I found to be so awful that I couldn't make it past the second episode. I figured I would give the novel a chance, and it turned out to be better than I anticipated and far better than the television show. Despite that, there are still some plot holes in the novel that bring it down.

I think that the overall concept is interesting (which was the reason why I tried out the television show to begin with). A plane lands in New York, and all of the passengers but four appear to be dead, except there is nothing to show how they all died and the four survivors offer no incite. Ephraim is a scientist working for the CDC investigating the case. The culprit is a master vampire, whose coffin was on the plane. Even though the baddies are vampires, vampirism is considered a virus here. I never saw the virus connection, since they are still pretty much traditional vampires. My guess is that is how they make the CDC connection. There are seven master vampires spread throughout the world and the master on the plane is trying to create a war and annihilate the human race.

Although I generally liked this novel, there were some definite plot holes. The most glaring one is that the second richest person in the world helps the master vampire get across the seas from Europe to the United States to set up this invasion, which made absolutely no sense to me. Why would someone with so much to lose try to destroy the human race? The explanation provided was lame. Generally, I thought the characters were solid. I especially liked Setrakian, a Nazi prison camp survivor, who has spent his whole life preparing for a vampire infestation after the Master fed on people in his prison camp. There was some positive and some negative, but overall this was good enough that I would like to continue reading this series.

Carl Alves - author of Blood Street