It’s been two years since the vampiric virus was unleashed in The Strain and the entire world now lies on the brink of annihilation. There has been a mass extermination of humans orchestrated by the Master - an ancient vampire possessed of unparalleled powers. The future of humankind lies in the hands of a ragtag band of freedom fighters - Dr. Eph Goodweather, Dr. Nora Martinez, Vasiliy Fet, and Mr. Quinlan, the half-breed offspring of the Master who is bent on revenge. It’s their job to overturn this devastating new world order. But good and evil are malleable terms now, and the Master is most skilled at preying on the weaknesses of humans.Now, at this critical hour, there is evidence of a traitor in their midst... And only one man holds the answer to the Master’s demise, but is he one who can be trusted with the fate of the world? And who among them will pay the ultimate sacrifice - so that others may be saved?
©2011 Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan (P)2011 HarperCollinsPublishers
This is the final book of the Strain Trilogy, and I thought it was the best of the three. I love creepy and frightening books and this one delivers. The vampires in this nightmare are nothing like those of Anne Rice, and nowhere close to those of Stephanie Myer(though I enjoyed the Twilight Series). Except for the leader these monsters operate strictly in the realm of need. Needing blood. They do not think and have absolutely no emotion. And I find that more scary than the traditional portrayal of vampires. Except for Abraham Setrakian the entire crew of freedom fighters is back. They know time is running out for them as The Master is constantly trying to hunt them down. Due to nuclear winter there is only one hour of sunlight each day, so this severely limits the activity the surviving humans can engage in. One gruesome discovery is that The Master is operating a kind of concentration camp, where humans are used for their blood. But certain women are privileged, due to their blood type they are used as breeders, thus insuring a good supply of optimal blood. The humans that are still living can't always be trusted since they turn each other in for special "treatment". Which means they will survive just a little longer serving The Master.
This is a very fast paced story, with very little extraneous dialog. Some parts of the story that may stretch reader credulity, but so what! This is a vampire story after all. I found myself anxious to listen while I was trying to work or sleep. It is that good.
Say something about yourself!
Fellow Strain Trilogy Readers: (*this is not a stand alone read! so get The Strain, The Fall, and join us!) How we loved the delicious goosebumps we got each time we heard the strigoi Sardou's "pick....pick...pick"! How terrifyingly fun it was to run up the stairs in the dark and hope the "turned" weren't crawling up the sides of our house to our bedroom windows! How devotedly we counted down the days (that left our eclectic pack of heroes suspended in the dark vampire-haven of nuclear winter) and waited--as hungry for the story's conclusion as the creepy crawly Master was for world domination. How merely satisfying to cross the finish line, hmmm.
This final installment is definitely action-packed, top-notch horror, with all the loose ends wrapped up tighter than a mummy, but, I miss the del Toro/Hogan attention and creativity that set their previous work just a little ahead of the pack of scary reads: the wonderful atmospheric back-stories that enveloped you, the characters' quirks and chinks that made us care (even occassionally provided a chuckle amidst the terror), I miss the magic and fun that allowed The Strain to dwell in the realm of horror with one clawed foot crossing that genre line. The talented team of writers turned out an intelligent and worthy conclusion, but when old Abraham Setrakian died, a little heart and soul died with him. Hopefully, this great and inventive pairing will write again. Oreskes gets an A for reading...but Ron Perlman, Hogan, del Toro...that was a trilogy I missed.
I am an avid fan of the horror genre! Love to read and love to listen.
Yes and I have! The whole series (3) is amazing, unique and totally consuming.
There are so many twists and turns and unexpected surprises. I was hooked from the beginning.
Only the other two books in the series compare!
The narrator brings in the emotion and helps you connect more fully with the characters.
I highly recommend this series, it is one of my favorites!
The first one was great, the second was so so, and this one was terrible! This went from a great premise to a cheap copy of an Ann Rice novel. I loved the idea of the infection, and the fact that it was a virus that was spread from vampire to victim. But when they took a page out of “Memnock the Devil” and wrote in angles!!!!!! They flushed it down the drain, having said that the narrator did an awesome job!!
The second one was disappointing, but this one brought the series back to the level of the first book. Gory, yes. Unbelievable, yes -- but, come on, we're talking vampires and vampire hunters. What did you expect? I hope the authors collaborate on another series.
After thoroughly enjoying the first two in the trilogy, this book was a let-down. The narrator was fine, but the story just dragged, and I found it boring and repetitive. The original concept of a vampire virus, which was the interesting part, was almost completely lost, as was the interesting mythology. Maybe killing off Setrakian in book 2 was a mistake. I'm glad I finished the series, but was disappointed with this one.
I'm an avid reader who loves having my hands free to work or engage in other projects.
Dark. Surprising. Bittersweet.
I like how it challenged my concept of who I thought the main protagonist was to be.
Husky. Inconsistent. Monotonous.
I really began to dislike Dr. Ephram Goodweather. I felt like his understanding of his own changes came too little, too late.
This will make an excellent mini-series, but I doubt it will ever be made into a feature length film, due to the extreme gore, but one can always hope.
The third book was a significant disappoint. The Strain began with a premise of a scientific explanation for vampires that was only enhanced by two of the heroes being scientists. The third book, however, departs from this and almost seems to be a separate story given the disparate explanation for the vampire's origins in this book. Quite frankly, the third book ruined the trilogy for me.
There were hints of some spiritual aspects in the second book, but they could be shrugged off as medieval people attempting to explain the unexplained. In the third book, the authors completely abandon the scientific explanation and go for some biblical nonsense about archangels.
Quite frankly, it seemed as if the authors didn't really know how to finish the story. They wanted to be different and attempted to write a Crichton-esque vampire story, but when it came to the ending, they weren't able to do so. Instead, they concoct a nonsensical origin story that then allows them to basically find a "Hand of God" ending.
If you have been following the series from the beginning then you should know what to expect here. If you haven't read the other two books in the series start there.
In regards to the story here, I would say it ends the way it needed to and the way you would have expected. If you have enjoyed the other two books you will like this one.
The performance is like the story as strong as it has been all along.
Overall very enjoyable vampire story done with the speed and flow of a movie.
There was so much promise in the first book. It was as if Del Toro was brought from screen to page. He reinvented a genre that was in bad need of a face lift. Too many sparkly vampires and angst filled cliches are floating around in the media. We really needed a good old Bram Stoker take on it. The first book delivered in spades, the universe they had set up held so much potential. The characters were well developed and the plot clipped along at an entertaining and engaging pace. And then came the second book, while not as good as the first it felt like was reaching for the same goal.
I really wanted the third book to breath life back into the series. Del Toro is one of my favorite writer/directors and I held faith that the final chapter of his story would offer an original and engaging revival. Instead, as I listened, the atmosphere disappeared, the characters became wooden and shallow, and the plot meandered about as if concussed. I was bored. I am not sure if the story was trying to be too many things at once or just had an identity crisis. Post-apocalyptic/vampire/political drama/world domination/existence of God/whatever. Things were explained too late in the game, or just out right poorly placed within the story. It seemed like this last novel was phoned in, as if the writers just got tired of telling the story and just threw a bunch of fluff at their overall outline.
I'm sitting here still trying to decide if I liked it or not. As a trilogy I would say it is an ok read. Something to kill time between your favorite series. As the third installment, I would say it is the poorest of the three.
I really was hoping for something to give vampires back their dignity. Now I dread another "I am legend" abortion on the big screen. Poor Matheson, that poor bastard needs one of his books done properly. As for Del Toro, I think he supplied a solid world and a setting that had vast potential. I am not sure where the break down occurred but something slipped in the second book and fell flat on its face in the third.
On a side note, while the narrator was solid, you just cannot beat Ron Perlman.
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