A Boeing 777 lands at JFK Airport in New York and stops dead in the middle of the runway. All the shades are drawn and all communication has suddenly and mysteriously stopped. The CDC is called in, and Dr. Eph Goodweather, head of a rapid response team, boards the darkened plain. What Goodweather finds is beyond what his scientific mind will believe and far beyond what he can imagine.
Guillermo del Torro and Chuck Hogan take readers through a fantastic tale of a terrifying virus or contagion that begins to sweep through the city of New York in The Strain, the first installment of The Strain Trilogy. Goodweather and another CDC infectious disease specialist from his team, Nora Martinez, will be called on to try to stop the spread of this disease. Little do they understand at first that what they are facing is not simply a disease but something far more sinister. It is only when Goodweather and Martinez meet up with Abraham Setrakian, a Holocaust survivor, who owns lives above a pawn shop in Spanish Harlem that they begin to understand the scope of the horror they are facing and that the battle to save the human race has begun.
Del Torro and Hogan weave a complex tale of vampires that keeps you hooked from nearly the very beginning. When the story first begins 10 years before Nazi Germany takes Poland, you wonder how the authors are going to weave together the strands of this vampiric tale, but they do so easily and seemingly seamlessly.
The strigoi are not the sparkling vampires of The Twilight Saga in any way. They are more horrific, and the manner in which people are infected to not only keep you awake at night but to find ways to protect major blood vessels. I would not recommend that those who are faint of heart read this because a few scenes of infection are shudder worthy.
The book reads almost like a movie, with the del Torro and Hogan’s words painting in intricate detail not only the scenes of the tale but the plot and characters. What especially stood out for me as the character of Goodweather. I love that he is a “flawed character”. A devoted father, Goodweather is battling the demons of divorce and custody hearings when he is called upon to battle these vampiric demons. del Torro and Hogan do a wonderful job of painting the Goodweather the scientist who at first seems to refuse to believe what he sees with his own eyes.
The descriptions of the spread of the vampiric contagion throughout its host bodies and the turning of those hosts is an ingenious combining of science and fantasy that works exceptionally well and one of the best parts of the book.
If you are looking for a keep-you-up at night creepy tale of vampiric horror, this is definitely the book for you.
I will definitely be going to buy the next two installments in the trilogy. I can’t wait to see where this tale leads.
4.5 out of 5 stars