They have always been here. Vampires. In secret and in darkness. Waiting. Now their time has come. In one week, Manhattan will be gone. In one month, the country. In two months - the world.
A Boeing 777 arrives at JFK and is on its way across the tarmac, when it suddenly stops dead. All window shades are pulled down. All lights are out. All communication channels have gone quiet. Crews on the ground are lost for answers, but an alert goes out to the CDC. Dr. Eph Goodweather, head of their Canary project, a rapid-response team that investigates biological threats, gets the call and boards the plane. What he finds makes his blood run cold.
In a pawnshop in Spanish Harlem, a former professor and survivor of the Holocaust named Abraham Setrakian knows something is happening. And he knows the time has come, that a war is brewing....
So begins a battle of mammoth proportions as the vampiric virus that has infected New York begins to spill out into the streets. Eph, who is joined by Setrakian and a motley crew of fighters, must now find a way to stop the contagion and save his city - a city that includes his wife and son - before it is too late.
©2009 Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan; (P)2009 HarperCollins Publishers
Really enjoyed this book. I was surprised by how quickly I went through this, given its length. I've seen other criticisms of Ron Perlman's narration, but I thought his reading and cadence were dead-on for the subject matter. The story's very cinematic, but what would you expect when of the authors is del Toro. Can't wait for Part 2.
My reviews are honest. No sugar coating here.
I decided to start on "The Strain Trilogy" because of much fan fair from my friends. I'm not into vampires because most of the books that I heard of are gear to teens and I'm not into blood sucking heartthrobs or underage girls with short skirts. No time to ruin my brain and I'm way past my puberty.
Unlike other vampires that I heard of, the vamps in "The Strain" seems to be more real. Instead of teen vamps, these vampires are more like the terror in "Blade."
Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan attempted a horror series that has yet to scare me, but I'm only through the first book. It didn't scare me per say, but I wanted know more about the vampires who drank the rats and how the CDC is getting involve.
I don't see the vampires cohabiting with the humans, but in the first book so far, it hasn't been a blood bath either. The first scene of the book is pretty creepy and rad regarding the plane. That scene really caught my attention to read more.
I just hope that FX doesn't screws up the show when it debut this summer.
For those who are interested in vampire stories and the end of the world will really enjoy this. A little spooky. First time listening to a book that had people coming out of the dark and it was very thrilling. Even those who do not like sci-fi will like this book 1 of a 3 part series because there is a scientific way in which they try to explain the characteristics of people bitten and turned. Very interesting point of view. Recommend a listen.
This is not for bed-time. Genuinely creepy and suspenseful vampire story that reminded me of a modern version of "I Am Legend". Some interesting mythology that I hope continues to be developed, and very suspenseful at times. Ron Perlman gives a suitably scary performance. I feel a film version in the future.
I know way to much about nothing.......
I really liked how this book chose to take a more scientific approach to the vampire mythology. I'm not a huge vampire fan, I prefer the zombie/post apocalypse type stories, however I would highly recommend this book to anyone with even the slightest bit of interest in the vampire mythos. The only down side to this book is the sometimes ridiculous actions of some of the characters. As in many zombie books which I'm more familiar with, there always seems to be characters that inexplicable do the most inane and self defeating things. Overall a decent story.
Pearlman as a narrator was fine -- his voices were all mostly the same with a few accents thrown in here and there, but he managed to get the tone down well and he relayed the action pretty cleanly. I expected a little better given all the voice-work he's done over the years, but I wouldn't be scared off of another audiobook if I saw him listed. He'd be great for non-fiction.
The book itself started out quite well, but went downhill quickly, especially in the last third of the book. I'd wave it off as first-timer's learning, but Del Toro had an experienced co-writer, so you can't even do that.
The first third of the book describes a Vampire infestation of NYC, and this is pretty good. The pseudo-science seems to stand up, and the actions of both the vampire bad guys and clueless good guys are logical and understandable. Del Toro obviously did a lot of research into various areas (rat infestations, how morgues operate) and this comes through nicely in creating a believable first act. The characters are pretty one-note, and despte an honest effort, they never quite get past the cardboard cut-out stage.
The second third of the book steadily grows weaker as each of the main characters settles into a pre-ordained "Dracula" role of Van Helsing, Harker, Quincey, etc. The careful "real science" that they cultivate in the first part starts to fall apart a bit as the rules they came up with are bent or broken to serve the plot, and the characters start to do dumb things that fly in the face of their earlier pragmatism.
The last third of the book is just a mess. The main characters blunder around like buffoons with weapons that Joss Weadon would have rejected from a "Buffy" script as too campy; the once uber-powerful vampires are now dispatched casually; and the super bad-guy alternates between demigod and staggering idiot as the action requires.
It seems a lot of people don't like Ron Pearlman's narration, but I completely disagree. His narration is superb, and each character is separate and unique - exactly what I would expect from a veteran actor. It's a great story and I can't wait for the next book.
The reader made a LOT of difference. Smoothly transitioned between characters. The material is not especially original but the beginning is uniquely creepy and all the characters are well thought out. Kept me coming back for more. Ending was a bit anti-climactic but will say that I was HOOKED throughout.
And del toro is even better. Chuck hogan rocks! this entire book is awesome!
And BTW I thought the corny music fit the book really well . got me into the mood of this book really well
I thought that I was going to strongly dislike this book, but I remember that I listened to it around Halloween of last year, and it seriously gave me chills. You think that you have heard all the vampire stories but there is nothing out there like this. Del Toro is the king of horror movies, in my humble opinion and in all honesty this book is so visual that when I was listening to parts of it at night, I would actually pull off my sleep mask and look around.
I am going to try not to be too long winded but Ron Perlman has the perfect voice for this kind of book and I hope that he will be back to read the rest of the trilogy. Another thing that I loved about this book is it had a mid-sentence ending, which is my way of describing when an author writes a book but there is no clear conclusion, something else is about to happen but not yet.
It left me wanting more, and on a cold snowy Wisconsin night, it gave me a good scare, reminding me of my mom when she talked about listening to Alfred Hitchcock on the radio. Good listen, totally worth the credit!
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