Posts Tagged ‘The Strain trilogy’
Wednesday, March 14th, 2012
As you’ll recall from my recent post regarding Jonathan Maberry’s DUST & DECAY, I promised you a review of the most terrifying book I’ve read in years.
Well, Preciouses…here it is. :0)
Call me a wimp (remember I’m the girl hiding behind the blanket, stuffing Lucky Charms in my face while watching “The Walking Dead”), but this novel is seriously for hardcore creepfactor peeps. You know, the ones who love to sit and squirm cuz they can’t bear to watch the horror, but it’s so graphically absorbing that they can’t NOT watch. (And then they pee themselves.) It’s creepy. It’s plausible. It’s CSI and Michael Crichton challenging Stephen King to a dance-off to see who can best spin the yarns of H.P. Lovecraft. It’s pull up those granny panties you’re wearing cuz…well, it’s Guillermo del Toro.
A Boeing 777 lands at JFK airport and comes to a dead stop on the tarmac. The lights go out. The shades are drawn. The coms are silent. When no one emerges from the aircraft and no response is elicited from inside, Dr. Eph Goodweather’s CDC team is brought in to investigate the possibility of biological warfare. What they find is a plane full of dead passengers (save four), iridescent white matter splattered all over the cockpit and cabin, and a giant box of earth (which is very Draculesque).
Then the box disappears right in front of Dr. Goodweather’s eyes and, shortly after, the dead bodies from the plane begin rising in the morgues and heading back to their homes to feed on/infect their families with a vampiric plague. And it’s not the angsty, sparkly kind.
Pawnbroker, Abraham Setrakian, is old enough to remember the legend told by his grandmother of the Stroigoi, a vamp. He’s also old enough to remember lying awake at night in the WWII Holocaust death camps, listening to that same Stroigoi feed off of his dying bunkmates. While the rest of New York is trying to hush-up the horrors, Setrakian is the only man who knows what’s up: the Stroigoi has arrived. And Setrakian has been preparing for it his whole life. (Seriously. He’s got a very cool arsenal of weaponry. Well…that and a vampire heart he keeps in a jar that shoots a stinger if you get too close.) In his words, ”It will take this thing less than one week to finish off all of Manhattan, and fewer than three months to overtake the country. In six months – the world.”
Crammed with a diverse (and excellent) cast of characters, ranging from Eph and his son, to Abraham (“My sword sings of silver!”) and Vasiliy Fet (the pest exterminator / ghost buster who’s quite awesome), THE STRAIN manages to balance a fast-paced plot with many an excellent prose and a nice old-fashioned “good versus evil” theme. Oh, but toss in some swearing, intense gore, 6-foot stingers (a tad B-movie-ish IMHO), and a lot of traumatizing horror. Would I watch it as a movie? Probably not. But as a book with great writing and fabulous medical-thriller-babble, I enjoyed it. Also, I appreciated the father-son relationship between Eph and Zach, and the marriage-divorce discussion between Eph and Kelly (so well done).
Will I read it again? Er…no. Will I ever sleep again? Not likely. But will I read the next in the trilogy? Oh yes. And I’m putting together my arsenal of awesome weapons as we speak. You know…just in case.
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