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Publisher's Summary

A plane lands at JFK and mysteriously 'goes dark', stopping in the middle of the runway for no apparent reason, all lights off, all doors sealed. The pilots cannot be raised.

When the hatch above the wing finally clicks open, it quickly becomes clear that everyone on board is dead - although there is no sign of any trauma or struggle. Ephraim Goodweather and his team from the Center for Disease Control must work quickly to establish the cause of this strange ocurrence before panic spreads.

The first thing they discover is that four of the victims are actually still alive. But that's the only good news. And when all 200 corpses disappear from various morgues around the city on the same night, things very rapidly get worse. Soon Eph and a small band of helpers will find themselves battling to protect not only their own loved ones, but the whole city, against an ancient threat to humanity.

©2009 HarperCollins Publishers (P)2009 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    13
  • 4 Stars
    17
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    11
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    2

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9
  • 4 Stars
    9
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Fjolnir
  • Isafjardarbaer, Iceland
  • 10-29-09

Great vampire story

I liked this one, no pretty vampires suffering from existential crisis, just disgusting evil things. It has a lot of atmosphere and I will get the sequel when it comes. It owes a lot to Dracula of course but so do most stories in that genre. Ron Pearlman does a good job. Feels like watching a scary vampire movie.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

excellent, scary and enjoyable

i really enjoyed this. the story was novel and gripping. the narrator was excellent, conveyed the different voices very well. i look forward to the rest of the series. one of my best downloads ever!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A gripping, heartwrenching thriller

The most horrifying outbreak-story I've ever come across. The gripping, suspensefilled, science-y beginning and middle gets changed for more of a common action-y tone by the end though. I'm hoping it'll find back for the next sequels but I'm not counting on it frankly.

The narration is quite good. Ron Perlman doesn't have a big range of voices but the one he has is very pleasant to listen to.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

mediocre

With the names involved, I thought this would be much better than it was. It was a let down, especially Pearlman's narration (which I had expected to enjoy). The musical interludes were also very irritating.

  • Overall
    out of 5 stars
  • Chris
  • Blackheath, Australia
  • 02-11-10

Great Adventure Story

Very enjoyable and well narrated

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Good, but stretched

Interesting characters and plot, however the story became quite repetitive in parts and plodded along a little too slowly for my liking. There is definite potential.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Matt
  • 07-17-09

Great Read

This is one of the best books I have listened to in a long time, kept me hooked from start to finish, can't wait to get next installment

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Darren
  • 07-27-09

Brilliant

I have not had a horror story like this in ages, I love it! Good old fashioned horror, well written with a good plot. I can't wait for the next one.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • O
  • 07-28-09

Infected from the start

The story is a mix of classic vampire/zombie mythology in a very modern and recognisable setting. Skillful suspense of disbelief all along. With colorful characters that quickly come to life and a very visual, often cinematic style, you're lost once bitten. Most of all, it's bloody scary. A genuine adrenaline boost that leaves you sweating and looking over your shoulder for many days to come. Excellent and truly engaging performance by Ron Perlman.

I'm looking forward to the other installments of this trilogy. Keep it coming!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tom
  • 08-04-10

A cracking thriller

The authors will not win any prizes for their prose style, originality or depth of characterisation - and at places this reads more like a movie screenplay than a book. But they certainly know how to tell a story. A multi-threaded plot is drawn together very cleverly and there is plenty of genuinely creepy horror and some terrific action - the narrative just hurtles along. Clearly part of a longer work as lots of threads are left dangling; I shall certainly get future instalments.

Like other reviewers, I didn't give the narrator top marks. Very monotone with little variation in pace. But persevere as it gets better as it goes along.

Recommended to all who like a good post-apocalypse horror story.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kirstine
  • 08-23-09

Grippingly preposterous!

I think that Hammer Horror films, with their hammy treatment of vampires, have made it well-nigh impossible for an novelist to create a serious story about an incursion by vampires into the world of the living. I enjoyed this book, but couldn't take it seriously. It should have been frightening, but I found it almost funny it seemed so preposterous.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • AJ
  • 10-26-12

Really wanted to like it...

The premise is good, the characters are good, the problem is it’s driven by what is called “The Idiot Plot”.



IE



“The Idiot Plot, of course, is any plot that would be resolved in five minutes if everyone in the story were not an idiot.”



So much of the story only moves forward because the characters do the book equivalent of the ole “teen walking backwards through a darkened house” thing seen in bad slasher films.



The quality of the writers & the over-whelming wish that this would turn out to be great kept he reading, but in the end I’ll skip the next 2. I just can’t take a book seriously is it only actually works if everyone (and I mean everyone) in the book does the exact opposite of what any average person would do.



Narration is OK, but good narrators add character to the various voices, Ron is just Ron.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Jack
  • 06-01-16

Blow by blow action

More action based than story based. Zero characterisation of anyone.
Predictable plot.
The story is just a blow by blow account of different families interaction with the affected but it's the exact same for all of them just with different names. I found that really jarring in trying to get into the story.
It has no feel or life in it

Narration was good though. The voice suited the story

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Adrian
  • 03-24-16

A good thriller hindered by a monotone narrator

Bought the book but didn't have time to finish reading it so got the audio instead so I can listen on train journeys.
The story had me hooked and, which has been said by another reviewer, it sounded like more of a screenplay for a film then a book. Unsurprisingly it became a TV show.

The only thing that hindered my enjoyment of this audiobook was the narrator. At times it was hard to distinguish who was who when characters were speaking as the narrator didn't really try to differentiate the characters voices. I found that he got better at it nearer the end of the book. There were many times when I would have to rewind to listen which character was talking, which disrupted the flow of story. I know narration is no script reading, but it would of made the book more engrossing to listen to if there was more emphasis on the characters voices.

Other than the mainly monotone narration, I found this audiobook to be a great listen and it will get you hooked as you get more into the story. Definitely will be getting the second book in this trilogy, whether that would be audio or the actual book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Alison
  • 11-04-10

The Strain

I loved this book, had I known what the story was actually about, I would probably not have read it. So glad that I did, pacy, exciting and left me wanting more

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Roger
  • 01-07-10

Loved it

Wasn't sure at first but then it suckers you in and now I love it and cant wait for the next installment. You will be hooked :)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • 09-04-14

RON PERLMAN!

What does Ron Perlman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Ron Perlman brings masterful narration to this book. His use of accents is outstanding and really helps bring the ethnicity of the characters to life in a way I just wouldn't be able to voice in my mind if reading the book. If Hellboy is reading it, I'm listening to it!

Any additional comments?

This story can really slow down and get repetitive in places, to the point where I found myself losing my concentration through certain chunks of the story. It is however a great one to listen to at night time for the creepiness of it all, and it can be quite grotesque when it conjures up the images of these infected blood suckers. Overall the story is great, and definitely worth continuing with the next two books in the series, whose pacing is much improved. It's just nice to have vampires back where they belong....burning up (not twinkling) in sunlight and scary as hell!