1. The Strain by Guillermo del Toro
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  3. The Strain (novel)
  4. The Strain Book One HC :: Profile :: Dark Horse Comics

Main article: The Strain (comic book) into an issue story arc for the eponymous comic-book series from Dark Horse Comics. The Strain book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. A Boeing arrives at JFK and is on its way across the tarmac, when. The Strain Trilogy Book Series (3 Books). All Formats Kindle Edition. From Book 1. From the Golden Globe winning director of The Shape of Water. “A high-tech.

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The Strain Book

Editorial Reviews. Review. site Best of the Month, June Who better to reinvent the vampire genre than Guillermo Del Toro, the genius. The Strain is a vampire horror novel by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. It is the first installment in The Strain Trilogy, and is followed by The Fall and. Based upon a three-novel book series, Cuse said he expects The Strain to last between three and five seasons. The first season will cover the first book, and.

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At best, they are caricatures. The other main character is of course Setrakian, the knowledgeable old man who has been fighting evil since his days as a survivor of the Holocaust. Also, another notable writing flaw in The Strain is a bizarre tendency to explicate the strangest little things.

For example, at one point in the story, rats have invaded an apartment by vents in the walls. The narrative will suddenly break from the story and start describing characteristics of rats in apartments, i.

Norway rats — Rattus norvegicus, city rats — have a highly defined sense of smell and taste. Their front incisors are long and sharp, stronger than aluminum, copper, lead, and iron. Gnawing rats are responsible for one-quarter of all electric-cable breaks in the city, and the likely culprit behind the same percentage of fires of unknown origin. Their teeth are comparable in pure hardness to steel, and the alligator-like structure of their jaw allows for thousands of pounds of biting pressure They can chew through cement and even stone.

While this information is undeniably interesting, these textbook-like asides to the reader by an otherwise non-present narrator is distracting and…well, odd. The biggest detractor, however, from The Strain would have to be in the plotting of the story.

The first fifty pages or so are strongly gripping, engaging reader interest, but then for a good chunk of time about half of the novel the book plods along with boring exposition. The survivors go home and start to feel a little strange. Eph and Nora deal with bureaucratic BS. Setrakian works his pawn shop with a sense of impending doom. One particular problem I had was with the whole eclipse storyline — WTF why? And good. And fabulously gory. As for the vamps themselves, I really did like this new descriptive invocation of them.

Was this action enough to make up for its other shortcomings, all its flaws and lackluster writing? In my opinion…sort of. At least, it was enough to make it worth reading the sequel. He was a pale boy, underweight and sickly. His grandmother, intent on fattening him, sat across from him while he ate his soup, entertaining him by spinning a yarn.

The Strain by Guillermo del Toro

A legend. And his name was Jusef Sardu. Master Sardu stood taller than any other man. Taller than any roof in the village. He had to bow deeply to enter any door. But his great height, it was a burden. A disease of birth, not a blessing. The young man suffered. His muscles lacked the strength to support his long, heavy bones. At times it was a struggle for him just to walk. He had so much compassion— for the poor, for the hardworking, for the sick.

He was especially dear to the children of the village, and his great, deep pockets—the size of turnip sacks—bulged with trinkets and sweets. The vampire elements could have been assembled from any number of checklists. The Strain is purely "paint by numbers". The middle of the book is maddeningly repetitive. We are quickly presented with a sketch or our next victim in their home, arriving home, or leaving their home. Their routine is interrupted by Something Unusual dirt on the floor, a Haitian housekeeper sneaking into a house, the shed door being strangely open, etc.

The soon-to-be victims move forward without a flashlight or lights turned on to investigate, unsuccessfully trying to build up some tension in the reader, are faced with a "turned" vampire usually a relative, friend, or cute kid are are pounced upon, drained by the vampire's proboscis, and pooped and urinated on by the attacker.

Aaaaand scene! This is played out so many DAMN times with so many people we don't know or care about it becomes nearly unbearable. The Strain might refer as much to the effort it takes to make it through these tedious scenes as it does the vampire virus. It's actually an occultation, you fool! As I felt recently with Cherie Priest's Boneshaker book, less is often more in these cases. I won't go into all of them but the biggest to me seem to involve the virus itself.

If it's a virus, why do our vampire buddies require an invitation to cross a body of water? Is the virus transmitted by vampire blood or by these pesky inchworms? Why would silver affect the vampires the way it does?

What the heck is with the coffin, other than it being a carryover from other vampire novels. Its purpose is never explained and the reader is left wondering if there is any reason for it at all. I also wonder how a Holocaust survivor turned professor turned pawn shop owner, an exterminator, and a doctor all somehow turn into vampire slaying ninjas in a matter of hours. They are slicing, dicing, kicking, flipping, and karate chopping the vampires with such ruthless efficiency they emerge from every scuffle without a scratch.

This not only demolishes the believability of the book but also makes us even less interested in each skirmish's outcome. We already know they'll be triumphant -- even if they are picked up by the head like a basketball with dandruff, thrown clear across the room into walls, and beset upon by legions of strong, fast, toothy monsters Hell bent to destroy them.

We are given glimpses of some of the other six vampire Mafiosos near the end and are led to believe some kind of Vampire War is coming. Some kind of truce was formed and 3 Bosses got land over there, the other 3 got land over here. Our main vampire Boss in this book appears to have gotten the short end of the stick somewhere along the line and has been causing all sorts of ruckus of late because, darn it, he's had enough and he's not going to take it anymore!

With a set up like that the series promises to get a whole lot worse before getting any better.

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And I'm just talking about the writing and plot. Aug 31, bsc rated it did not like it Shelves: This just isn't very good.

After a promising and creepy opening, it devolves into repetitive ridiculousness. The writing is also just not good and sometimes laughable, providing such gems as this: Not from human to vampire, but from healer to slayer. My wife did not. I'm sure del Toro will eventually make a movie out of this and it will be one of the rare occasions that the movie is better than the book.

View all 11 comments. Apr 13, Will Byrnes rated it liked it Shelves: This is the first of a planned trilogy. Del Toro and friend - from Geek Nation The Strain is a fast, entertaining read, with a twist to the rationale for vampirism that is fun, if a bit derivative. In fact a lot of this book is derivative, cobbling together elements from a host of books and films. There is a scene that is reminiscent of the haunted ship sequence in Dracula. In the origina This is the first of a planned trilogy.

In this one an airplane manages to land, but all the passengers succumb to an instantaneous malady that appears to kill all but four of the people aboard.

Fans of Alien will recognize a smile at how these vamps bite their prey. The subcutaneous squigglies that appear here will be familiar to anyone with the SyFy channel in their cable package. There is a strong element of 24 Days here as well. How long will it be before the entire city, and then the nation is overtaken by the bloodsuckers? And the vamps here seem to share considerable DNA with zombies. There is a hint of Underworld and even Anne Rice in that there is mention of battles between factions of the undead.

No doubt fodder for volumes 2 and 3. While I found the frequent homages they are homages, right, not crass copying? Jonathan Hyde as Eldritch Palmer — from Mashable. They head to the appropriate underworld of the New York infrastructure and counterpoint a bit with the skyscraper home of a prime baddie.

A solar eclipse is imminent actually, the next one in NYC is not until and some people ascribe the extant madness to that event. There are plenty of nifty visuals here, to be expected given that one author is such a master of visual media. The authors go a bit overboard with some of their naming. I expect it would not hold up to any but the most cursory inspection.

The Strain (novel)

And how did all the passengers on that plane suffer the same fate at the same time? Surely someone saw someone else being harmed and left his or her seat, at the very least. View all 18 comments. Aug 22, Stephen rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is instantly on my list of the top five Vampire stories I have ever read or in this case read and also listened to on audiobook.

I am not a "vampire" book reader in general meaning I do not download every new vampire story that comes out. For me, what makes a great vampire novel is when you can create a completely original or mostly or 6. For me, what makes a great vampire novel is when you can create a completely original or mostly original take on the very well known Vampire mythos.

Examples of well done, original vampire stories IMHO include: The Strain adds to this legacy by handling the vampire "mythos" in a very effective way. In addition to making the "vampires" completely alien and scary i.

Another very interesting and original aspect of the book is the way it explores the struggle of the "newly infected" in coping with what they are becoming and the danger they pose to their friends and family. Very well done. Highly recommended!!!! View all 3 comments. If you have found yourself reading vampire fiction and thought, "You know what this needs?

Vampires urinating and defecating on their victims. Also, tongues that shoot out of their necks with stingers on the end. And, make sure that they have worms crawling out of their milky white blood. As for me: You need rubber gloves to touch this book, it is so gross. This book is so disgusting that I need a bath in bleach right now to clean off the yuckiness in my brai If you have found yourself reading vampire fiction and thought, "You know what this needs?

This book is so disgusting that I need a bath in bleach right now to clean off the yuckiness in my brain. I need some therapy. Maybe something with bunnies and unicorns.

Ah, that's better. This book reads like a disaster movie where it is following the story of a few different characters as this vampire "virus" starts spreading.

It even starts with an airplane that is down. It really seemed like something that could easily be adapted to film - and might actually be better than the book. I know, I know. Impossible, right? It also reads like a total guys book.

Instead of chick-lit, it is a bro-book. There are so many descriptions of things that seem incidental to me, but might interest a guy. Especially an engineer. Like, when the plane is sitting on the tarmac, we get to learn all about planes, the different models, how the air traffic control system works, and airport protocol. When there are bodies in the morg, we get to learn exactly what goes down at an autopsy.

Waaaay more than I wanted to know. And, we get this kind of stuff throughout. In the big picture, it didn't really matter what type of plane it was, or how an autopsy is performed, but for some reason, we had pages of this stuff. That was where you found me skimming. If I want to learn about airplanes, I'll google it like a sane person. So, our main hero is a guy who works for the CDC and is called in when the airplane of dead things arrives.

All kinds of weird and creepy shit is happening, and when a strange old man tells him it is vampires, he feels like this is a reasonable explanation. Some peoples don't got it. So, they pick up their next guy to join their superhero vampire killer group - an exterminator. This brings us the a place where we get to learn everything there is to know about rats. What's next, grossy-mcgrosserson? How the sewage system works?

How sausage is made? And, that's really what I kept telling myself. Stop reading this book, it is making you miserable. But, my OCD made me finish it. And, now, I'm just relieved it is over. Yes, it had an open ending. Yes, there are more of them. But, no. Not going there again. View all 19 comments. Music fades. Welcome back to the studio everyone, we have a wonderful surprise for you. Joining us for a few minutes on the airwaves today are two men that have transformed the vampire world: What a great movie.

And joining Mr. Tell me Mr. Another joke…moving on! What inspired you to take on the awesome challenge of rewriting the vampire tale? It was easy, really. I hate sparkling vampires. Well said, sir. They want to feed on you and rip you apart and savor the blood in your veins.

Okay, thanks. There are too many vampire stories now that show vampires as gentle and understanding creatures that have been misunderstood or marginalized in society. This type of storytelling is a disservice to vampires everywhere. They see us humans as nothing more than cattle. A source of food. To them, we are no better than rats. Elaborate, please. You see, like rats, humans have become a plague on this planet. We have managed to infiltrate every known surface and populate it with our kind.

And what do we do when he have successfully populated a place? We harvest it for its resources or whatever we think is valuable. Like rats, we spread our disease through consumption. A pleasant thought. Excuse me; I need to use the restroom.

Down the hall and on the left. Guillermo Del Toro leaves the room. Okay, Chuck, do you mind if I call you Chuck?

We have only a few moments and I need to get some things off my chest. First off, you are the writer of the two. Stop taking a backseat. Del Toro has an incredible imagination, and you two are sitting on a potential game-changer here. But you need to man up and take the reigns. Let me shoot you straight. The book sucks. The writing in places shines. But, overall, it seems as if you were practicing your secretarial skills. You have a whale of a story that is lost in the murky shallows. I expect big things in book two.

Guillermo Del Toro reenters the room. View all 5 comments. Nov 09, Dyuti rated it it was amazing Shelves: Security Question: Please answer the following question to proceed with the review. What is your idea of a vampire? A sparkly 'Monster' like this: A vicious, stinger flaring Monster like this: If you answer b , read on. Else, you might find this review a little offensive. The First Bight: When I saw that Guillermo del Toro had written a book, I simply could not wait to read it.

He's the Master of dark fantasies. No no, not paranormal eroticas, which people try to pass off under the Security Question: No no, not paranormal eroticas, which people try to pass off under the same title, but real horror, the occults, the tabboos So, as soon as I laid my hands on this book, I fell upon it hungrily and started devouring it. The Transformation: As I slowly started getting drawn into the story, I realized that it was ages since I'd last read a good horror tale.

This can be a really tricky genre. You overdo the gore, it becomes a slasher-tale. You overdo the suspense, it gets tedious. You overdo the cheap thrills and it becomes plain stupid. But this book had all the ingredients in the perfect proportions.

The plot: A Boeing arrives at JFK carrying the of dead bodies of all the passengers and the crew. It falls upon Dr. Ephraim "Eph" Goodweather, head of their Canary project, a rapid-response team that investigates biological threats, to solve the mystery.

With each new clue unearthed, he finds himself drawn into a battle of mammoth proportions as a virus spreads through the city, turning it's population into vampires. He is helped by Abraham Setrakian, a former professor and Holocaust survivor, who is the only person who knows how to fight the evil force. Credible, and at the same time amazingly scary. A Thank You note: Early in the story while talking about vampires, the author says: Funny accent. Now take away the cape and fangs.

The funny accent. Take away anything funny about it. View all 10 comments. May you never leave me alone. Guillermo del Toro is used to making movies and you can feel the sense of 'scene changes' in the book. You can tell it's for the sake of reading the story and plot rather than reading through character's experiencing story and plot. Lots of tell, little show, there is no sense of care or realism with the paper people.

I watched an episode of the TV show, which worked because they made the characters come alive, but also because this story isn't done in TV show format much. Yeah, we get the popular vampire strains in True Blood and Vampire Diaries, but how often recently have we gotten TV shows about bad vamps like this on the TV screen?

For the TV media it was new and inventive. In book form it is dull and so overdone that I couldn't bring myself to care. There were no surprise twists, I didn't care about the victims, the story was stale. I could predict most of the events that took place as they came around. To stay fresh and intriguing, this book at least needed fleshed-out characters I cared about.

Instead we get semi-dry people who blended together after a while. It didn't help that I'd seen the show first - no surprises in store for me - but the dry writing combined with the familiar plot makes this one an average read. I needed more substance. Apr 12, Evelina AvalinahsBooks rated it liked it Shelves: This series was very problematic, in my opinion. Please read the full review for the series here on my blog.

Book one was the only book truly worth the attention. Like I said, it started out quite original, like any catastrophy or epidemic story, and I have to say, it was very cinematic! No wonder, it's co-written by Guillermo del Toro. The book reads pretty much like a show — in scenes. Most things are indeed tell, and not show, which put you in the middle of the action.

The tension is very This series was very problematic, in my opinion.

The tension is very strong, and it's built up so well with all the infuriating interludes that are not in the same timeline, that you're simply on the edge, like in a psychological thriller movie. It's also a very interesting take on vampires. The Strigoi are something between vampires, zombies and those infected by parasites.

The resulting story is quite believable — one balancing right on the verge of scientific and paranormal, so it's a read that could appeal to both scifi and paranormal fans.

The story works well in bringing those two together — Eff as the voice of science, and Setrakian as the voice of tradition, or learning by experience and history. At times, I felt like there were too many scenes that are just killings for the sake of killing. They served no purpose and got very old, very fast — at least for me. It might be that the thriller reader and watcher expects this from a book and it might work for them, but I felt like they were unnecessary scenes that brought nothing extra to the story.

Jan 31, Becky rated it really liked it Shelves: I have had this book on my To-Read list for a while, but never got around to reading it until now. I'm glad that I read it because it was pretty good, and parts were very creepy. I didn't find it scary and had no problem sleeping or anything reading it, but there were parts that had a higher than average creep factor, and it was nice. I liked that this book had a realistic baseline, and felt like it could truly happen.

Don't get me wrong, I like the tradit 3. Don't get me wrong, I like the traditional vampire lore that is based on a curse or some evil or something, a changing of the soul that's manifested in the body, if you will There were things that I felt could have been stronger, and more fleshed out, mainly the characters. There were a few references that didn't really bear out in behavior, and some behaviors that didn't quite match the information that we had, like Setrakian's stamina, or Ephraim being a recovering alcoholic of less than a year and not craving a drink I mostly didn't have any trouble liking or caring about these characters, so the little inconsistencies didn't become issues for me.

Also, I feel like there were one or two unresolved issues in the story or maybe they were resolved, but not exactly clearly? I also liked the writing for the most part. It had a sort of "For Everyday Use" feel, but then some parts were written in such a way as to just feel like they were more. Again though, there were sections that, for lack of a better term, tried too hard and felt a little forced or out of place.

For instance, this line: I just feel like the first part of the line makes it awkward and takes me out of the story.

I think of myself as if I were in the story: I'm fighting my ass off to stay alive here, I see my target, I communicate my intention in the shortest possible command to save my breath, to not waste time, to not give anything a chance to kill me while I'm waxing poetic.

Who has time for similes in life or death situations? Sure the hell not me. Anyway, I'm curious where this story is going to go Horror October View all 6 comments.

Sep 04, Apatt rated it really liked it. A nice and breezy read, though nice isn't quite the right word and the breeze is a bit fetid! The Strain is an increasingly rare ahem strain of badass vampire novels. There are no well-coiffed, sexy, maudlin vampires in this book, they just "vant to suck your blood" without the Lugosi style Euro-accented declaration.

Of course talking about how de-fanged, lame and sparkly vampires have become since the advent of Twilight has become a trope for vampire books review so I just want to get it ou A nice and breezy read, though nice isn't quite the right word and the breeze is a bit fetid!

Of course talking about how de-fanged, lame and sparkly vampires have become since the advent of Twilight has become a trope for vampire books review so I just want to get it out of my system. Besides, I believe Anne Rice started the trend with Interview with the Vampire , to her credit she told her story in a more thoughtful, literary and intelligent manner than Ms.

Meyer of no-link-to-author fame. Artwork for the graphic novel edition Anyway, back to badass vampires and the fun times to be had with them. The Strain starts off very well with a plane mysteriously landing with all the lights off and no communication or activity from the crew or passengers. Given the synopsis of the book not to be found within this review , you can probably guess what happened to them. In this case being somewhat predictable does not detract from the fun as the story is nicely built up and the excitement mounts.

I do enjoy the sci-fi-ish vampire design that is some crazy proboscis! For example: The arterial structure had been altered also, the circulatory system grown more simplified, the arteries themselves covered over with a dark, cancerous blight. I am leery of reading vampire fiction these days, I am afraid very afraid of coming across more Edwards, Stefans, Damons etc. The prose style and characterization seem a little pedestrian to me, no linguistic flourishes to be found here, not that such a thing is necessary of course, but they add to the reading experience.

The book's action scenes do seem to be quite cinematic and visual, though I could have done without some of the soap opera elements. His co-author Chuck Hogan was a very popular wrestler in his heyday before turning to writing is the author of several best sellers which I have not had the pleasure of reading I do wonder what his prose style is like in his solo endeavors?

The end of the book is inconclusive without being a cliffhanger, clearly due to this being the first book of a trilogy and the authors want to entice the readers to come back. The book is fun but I am somewhat ambivalent about reading the rest of the trilogy, something is missing here, may be a staked heart. It is mostly set in a far future post apocalypse world.

It better written than The Strain I think, but suffers from excessive length. Didn't really work for me, the acting and the script was not up to par I think; some of the special effects were fun.

Cool artwork for the TV show. Look at that damn proboscis! View 2 comments. I have not seen the show created from this material. That may have been for the best. The Strain begins when a passenger plane lands with its windows all darkened and none of its passengers getting off the plane. Is it a terrorist attack or something even more insidious? There was something on that plane that is now wreaking havoc on the family membe I have not seen the show created from this material.

There was something on that plane that is now wreaking havoc on the family members of the extremely unlucky passengers aboard the plane — and on society at large.

This story is basically pandemic via vampiric strain and focuses a lot of time on the rush for experts to discover exactly what the hell is going on and how to stop it before everyone dies a horrid death or worse. He is deadly serious as well he should be for a story like this! But you need to know something. Terrible things happen to people, to children, and to dogs gawd, the dogs!

I wish I had. That scene had me in complete dread mode guessing what was going to happen and wishing I could unhear it and pretend it never happened after it did. But I only sometimes enjoy thrillers and vampire stories. This one combines the two and I mostly enjoyed it before it got too gross and boring because the vampires are evil, hungry and not at all sexy. Nope, there is no sexy to be had here more on that in a minute.

I know not everyone necessarily needs that but I do with very few exceptions. As I said, this book is deadly serious but there is a moment of dialogue that I must share because I am still laughing about it. I wish there had been more unintentionally funny bits to break up the slaying. Towards the middle it gets rather gross and I rarely say that. And they do it as they feed!

There is just entirely too much yuck to behold. Even my cast iron stomach was screaming for it to stop. I was also totally fatigued by the story at this point. I just wish it had all gone another, perhaps less grosser, way in the latter half. Vampire fiction fans. I like the Del Toro's movies. This was probably a 3. It was good, but it could have been better. I think the writing lacked a certain polish, although I did like some of the imagery. And it definitely was scary!

The vampires in this book were both disgusting and fearsome. I admit that thinking about the vampires and their nasty stinger and how they would excrete their waste products gave me the shivers both in repulsion and fear.

I liked the scientific angle employed in this story, taking an ancient This was probably a 3. I liked the scientific angle employed in this story, taking an ancient evil, and giving it a scientific explanation.

The potential for exponential and catastrophic spread of the vampire plague in this novel gives me the shudders. Books like this make me glad for the light of the sun, which is what a good vampire novel should do. This book touches both on my primal fear of ancient evil and infection, so it really did push my buttons. There were some characters that were so beautifully written that they spoke to me. Others were too cardboard for me. Abraham Satrakian, the elderly Jewish Shoah survivor was a wonderful character.

He was like Van Helsing, with even more credibility, having earned his slayer status deep in the trenches. Hearing about his horrendous time in the Treblinka concentration camp added a deeper sense of horror and anguish to this story. He's one tough old guy, and he's definitely my favorite character in this novel.

Ephraim is a pretty good character. At times, his narrative seemed a little half-baked. Over the course of the book, he gained a little more life and authority in my mind. I think his co-worker Nora was woefully under-used. I wondered what the purpose of her character was, other than being a soundboard for him. I felt very badly for Ansel and his situation, with his wife Anne-Marie.

I didn't really care for the lawyer woman Luss, although I want to see what happens with her perceptive, Haitian nanny and the kids she saved from their mother. I like Fett, the ratcatcher a lot. He's a smart guy, street smart, intelligent, and resourceful. He knows how to handle himself.

The Strain Book One HC :: Profile :: Dark Horse Comics

He is a huge asset to the small vampire slaying group that Abraham forms with Ephraim. The Master Vampire, well, I'm kind of undecided about.

He wasn't in this book enough for him to resonate with me. I think Abraham is a much more powerful, and iconic character. The Master is more like Patient Zero to me, just a disease vector, one who comes around and sneers into the camera. He didn't really establish a lot of credibility with me as the Great Villain or the Big Bad. We'll see if that changes with the other books in the series Overall Thoughts: This was a suspenseful, scary book to hear on audio.

I was definitely sucked in. My aunt who was riding with me on Friday also got sucked in. Unfortunately, I think the characterization could have been more even-handed.


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