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
I'll start off by saying Ron Perlman is an enjoyable and greatly versatile actor who can bring about wit like none can. As a narrator however, it took sheer willpower to get through the book. The monotone, lack of audible inflections, and annoying music snippets did not create an enjoyable listen.
The story itself had potential but, as fellow listeners noted, it quickly lost any depth and intrigue; becoming a run of the mill story with predictable directions.
Most of the reviews I've read have been fair--there are some elements of this story which some people may find hard to swallow; the creatures aren't properly zombies and they aren't properly vampires; the authorities take too long to wake up; Ron Pearlman isn't the most exciting narrator.
Still, this story is good fun. It dragged in a couple parts, but largely kept me interested and eager for more. I'll check out the sequels.
I picked this book up because of Guillermo Del Toro.
I was expecting something fresh and new but ended up with a mix of Dracula meets CSI meets Blade, which was not bad.
The story is well written but at times becomes a bit much with all of the detailed explanations.
On the whole the story flows and does not alienate the reader.
Ron Perlman did a fantastic job reading.
I will definitely be picking up the next installment of the trilogy.
Yes, Ron Perlman was not the best choice of narrator, but I've heard much worse. He does not excel at voice characterizations (except he does a good job with the old Romanian vampire hunter), and he speaks in a bit of a monotone (but not completely). For all that, I got used to his performance and was able to enjoy the book. As to the story itself, it's a bit formulaic, but the idea of a plague of vampires in New York City is novel enough to me that I was carried along by it. If you like the vampire and/or zombie genre, give this a try. I'm looking forward to the next installment.
I bought this because of the reference to Pans Labyrinth which was pure genius from start to finish. The Strain is far from it. The narration was really irritating and, as others have said, monotone. No sense of excitement or emotion in the reading. The writing did not live up to expectations. Too many examples of people dying at the vampires hands followed a set pattern and became formulaic. I was saying to myself, 'Yes, yes, get on with it. Boring.' The music at each chapter was exactly the same and I have never been so irritated by a piece before. I was getting relieved to get near the end when low and behold it's a triology. Very disappointing and if it had been half the story that Pans Labyrinth had been it would have been 10 times better than this effort. I was also thinking that this has pretty much been done/said before and was a bit cliched. Nothing really new and surprising. The point when they are fighting the Vampire Boss, and what happens at that point is the most ridiculous thing i have ever heard/read even in this story.
An entertaining listen. Nothing mind blowing but, if you read the plot summary and are still intrigued, then you will probably enjoy this book. Ron Pearlman's performance however, is far too monotone and lackluster for a thriller/action/horror book.
I liked this book,liked the narrator. If I can find one fault it was that I had trouble suspending belief.
We have scores of dead people rising and yet the authorities remained dumb. We had evidence of an unusual behavior of Bacterium and yet the head of the CDC is unbelieving.
Takes way too long for the authorities to wise up to what is happening.
I read everything (from Victorian Romances to espionage). I even like kids books (i.e. Bloody Jack series).
Exciting new thriller where the vampires are not pretty, sensuous, romantic, or talkative.
I would not classify this book as horror. It is more like the excitement of the type found in the movie Jurassic Park.
The production of the audio is excellent. It has both music and great narration.
This is the first book of a trilogy. The book ended with a completeness (as opposed to trilogies which really should be only a single book but is stretch purely for a financial gain).
The book is not totally a 5 star book, but it is much better than being ranked 4. This book is definitely book-to-movie material.
So many books, so little time...
Everyone interested in the Vampiric Genre should read Bram Stokers "Dracula", don't see the movie but read the book; also read "Vikram and the Vampire" by Sir Richard Burton. If you are really interested in Vampires; then read these books and learn the ancient and real story. Learn more about the legends of the vampire, beyond that of books like "Twilight" and "Interview with a Vampire", and other books like "Salem's Lot" and "I Am Legend". These books have their place in the genre, but "The Strain" is something altogether different.
"The Strain" the rebirth of the original genre brought to life by the original story by Stoker. It is Dark and Foreboding. Scary and yet like a box of chocolates, you want to see what is next, cream, nuts or chewy.
I did not get the book based on Guillermo Del Toro, but because I downloaded the free excerpt and in the first 10 minutes I was hooked on the story telling, and bought the full version of the book.
Along with De Toro's obvious visual story telling is the weaving of the tale is by veteran writer Chuck Hogan, who makes this story so accessable to all readers.
Yes, it is a combination of CSI and Dracula, but there is so much more in this story and how it is being told. It was delicious and wonderful.
Ron Perlman does an Excellent job telling the story. I wonder if he will be in the movie.
My only fault with the audiobook is the SUPER ANNOYING MUSIC that Harper Collins Audio uses in ALL their audiobooks. The story is well written and read and does not need the music to build suspense.
I think some of the negative reviews are in part that this is only the first book and the story does not completely end. I think this was a wonderful story. Leave it up to Guillermo Del Toro to take the romantic out and put the horrifying back into vampires.
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