Monday, September 2, 2013

The Strain (trilogy)

I used to like vampires. One of my all-time favorite TV shows is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Then Twilight took over the world. The biggest problem with Twilight is not the books and the movies. The biggest problem is that vampires turned up EVERYWHERE for a while. Such is the nature of popular culture. But there was something about this book and trilogy that caught my attention. That something is Guillermo Del Toro. One of my favorite movies is Hellboy (and the sequel). You may know him as the man who directed Pacific Rim. This was one of the big summer movies. I did not know he wrote books and I found them in a sale rack at a Barnes and Nobles store. I read the entire trilogy in just about four days. I could not put them down. He restored my faith in the vampire genre.
This story is really like a mash up of several styles. Initially the book starts like a thriller/mystery when a plane full of peope lands and then dies. The plane loses all power and sits on the runway. The CDC is called in when it is discovered that everyone on board was dead except for four people. As the investigation proceeds the CDC learns that the problem is not a disease or typical virus. Within days all the dead come back to life as vampires. Not the Dracula type. Scary and dangerous vampires who begin to take over neighborhoods, towns, cities and eventually the planet. The book then turns into a great horror book. Then it becomes a fantasy when the history is folded in. Then it becomes a science fiction book. Then it becomes a story about the power of family. Then it becomes......you get the point. This series is amazing.
There characters we well developed and you care what happens to them. When someone dies (not a spoiler) you feel bad for them and the survivors. There are some cliche moments, but they are handled so deftly that I never once felt cheated. It is not a gory book although it is very descriptive when the vampires attack.
Great books! I think it is time for me to revisit the horror genre. It was always my favorite. I have the first book on my Kindle and the others I have in hardcover. I can lend the last two but you really need the first one. Why the two formats? I bought the second two in a store and then realized they were parts two and three. I then found the first book for $1.99 on amazon.com. Total price for the trilogy? About $12.00! This is how I buy books. I like them cheap my money goes a little further.

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