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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars After the sexy vampires of True Blood - These Blood suckers are what they were always intended to be: really scary monsters,
.
Possible Spoilers

If you are looking for another Vampire Diaries - well this is the wrong book for you!

This book one of a trilogy of novels by Guillermo del Toro and crime novelist Chuck Hogan. The Strain tracks a group of humans as they battle the spreading vampire blight which arrived in New York City on a Boeing 777 from Germany, after a...
Published on 30 May 2011 by Amazon Customer

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful writing
I was asked to test read this by the publishers, and as usual i was happy to do so, always a pleasure to get a free book, and often a rewarding experience.

Stop.

Not in this case...this book was utter bilge.

First the cover put me off...ok its a different cover to the one that is on amazon, the one i got was a naff bridge with some bad...
Published on 12 Jun 2011 by Parm


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is no Twilight!, 12 Dec 2014
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This review is from: The Strain (Kindle Edition)
Fast paced and entertaining debut from del Toro. If you are a fan of his film work, this novel is the sort of take on vampirism you would expect from his unique mind. This is not your average vamp romp, none of the s*** spewed out by twilight'esque romanticised dark and brooding vampire wannabes. This is more along the lines of Justin Cronin's excellent Passage, only lacking Cronin's panache. My vamp-bar is set by Cronin, and unfortunately del Toro just isn't as good. BUT, this is still a very enjoyable read.
These are the Strigoi, humans infected with deeply unpleasant parasitical worms, they s*** while eating, their genitalia shrivels up then blackens and falls off, riddled with cancers and very unpalatable to behold. Once infected, the person that once existed is no longer, the parasite prevails, taking control of its host body. The Strigoi are a disease that threatens all humanity, an uncontrolled outbreak has the potential to be an apocalypse event.
I'm not quite sure why this book has so many negative reviews, perhaps it's that vamp-lovers are let down by the lack of gothic romance, or that the subject matter is not in keeping with the genre. There is certainly an association with zombie-apocalypse literature here, only reined in, more tightly controlled, less gruesome, more scientific.
The main protagonist heads up a CDC department, backed up by an 86 year old Strigoi hunter, a scientist colleague and a rat exterminator. Aside from 86 year old Abraham, the personalities are not quite fleshed out as well as they could be (the reason I knocked a star off my rating).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars After the sexy vampires of True Blood - These Blood suckers are what they were always intended to be: really scary monsters,, 30 May 2011
By 
Amazon Customer "Sussman" (London CA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
.
Possible Spoilers

If you are looking for another Vampire Diaries - well this is the wrong book for you!

This book one of a trilogy of novels by Guillermo del Toro and crime novelist Chuck Hogan. The Strain tracks a group of humans as they battle the spreading vampire blight which arrived in New York City on a Boeing 777 from Germany, after a routine landing it is found on the runway at JFK airport, with no power and initially no living passengers. What follows is almost definitive Vampire tale where there is no ambiguity over whether there is real evil or not - here humanity fights for survival, there is no seduction process and no romance in this lore. Here the Vampires, also known as strigoi have stinger-like appendages in their throats that shoot out when attacking - at the expense of having any vocal cords. As time moves on their bodies start deteriorating into grotesque, inhuman, zombie-like creatures.

The vector for the transmission of the vampiric pathogen are little worm like creatures that are carried in the pus-like white blood of the strigoi, which can exist outside their host bodies for a time - so even if a human kills a vampire, they can still become infected through contact with just one of these worms. This feature adds a dangerous new dimension to this strain of vampirism. Your usual suspects are here too, such as a Van Helsing type character in the form of an Eastern European Émigré and Holocaust survivor. With his is own rather spooky backstory. You have two Scientists who find that this is no ordinary viral/pandemic and soon come to realize there are darker and older forces on earth at work here. As always the powers that be, i.e. the government, do not want to know or have been prevented from understanding the true scale of the problem. One of the CDC staffers - Centre for Disease Control - shows duplicity in his loyalties, as he assists the Master to escape JFK airport. Here also you find a very rich, but very ill man (corporate creed personified?), who does not want die but live forever and he has a plan, as he tries to prevent the good guys at every turn - for he has done deal with a powerful Vampire known as the Master - via one of his acolytes a former Nazis officer now vampire, intermediary and fixer. We are to learn that the Master was one the `first ones'- a group of the very first vampires on Earth, they are also known as the Ancients.

From the start you gripped, by the narrative as Regis aircraft is found lifeless after landing. The CDC representatives believe they are dealing with a deadly but allusive antigen. For his own reasons this super vampire is out to turn as many humans into his vampire acolytes. Gone are the pale red lipped Hammer House horror stereotype vampires. These creatures are repulsive with long horrible stingers that can shoot out of their mouths. The themes that run throughout are more viral in nature and seem to be more like a pandemic.

These strigoi creatures do not seduce or romance their victims they are devoid of any humanity, instead they seek out their human family members and loved ones, and this then is vampire reproduction - twisting the basis of family. This is a book that has a solid foundation, in the form of a unique, gory and genuinely disquieting take on the vampire genre - and all in all a highly recommended read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful writing, 12 Jun 2011
By 
Parm (A bookshop near you) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Strain (Hardcover)
I was asked to test read this by the publishers, and as usual i was happy to do so, always a pleasure to get a free book, and often a rewarding experience.

Stop.

Not in this case...this book was utter bilge.

First the cover put me off...ok its a different cover to the one that is on amazon, the one i got was a naff bridge with some bad font title and author name. I was already put off, but...dont judge a book by its cover.

So i read the blurb...not great...i felt i knew where this was going.

4 chapters into the book and i wanted to hurl the book out the window, its contrived, obvious, attempts to be mysterious when the plot is there for a child to see.
This book should sit in the YA section at best and to be honest a lot of YA has become fairly sophisticated recently so im doing that genre a disservice.
There is nothing redeeming in this book, it has poor plot, poor characters, poor pace, poor imagination, signposted with neon lights plot lines...aaggghhh its so bad my teeth hurt thinking about it again.

Have to add the TV series isnt much of an improvement either!

(Parm)
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining but failed to fulfil its potential, 7 Jun 2012
By 
John Milton (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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I picked this up on the recommendation of a friend. They were of the opinion that I would LOVE this given that (and I'm not ruining anything here since it's on the cover of the book) it's all about a vampiric plague infesting New York.

The novel sees the arrival of a plane in New York City and the efforts by a CDC doctor, a disgraced European professor and assorted others in a race against time to fight the vampire contagion and `The Master'.

That short synopsis is effectively what the book is all about and that would have been enough to snare my attention and make me part with a few Queen's Heads for the book; but the big attraction for me was the author: Guillermo Del Toro, the man behind Mimic, Blade II, Hellboy and Pan's Labyrinth. I was later to discover that Del Toro, although lending his name to this novel, submitted a 12 page layout and let co-writer Chuck Hogan do the rest.

However, I have to say, that considering this man put his name to the tome, I was quite disappointed. Allow me to seemingly contradict myself here, please do not doubt I enjoyed this book thoroughly! My problem lies with the fact that given Del Toro is identified as the author, the novel lacks the striking originality of much of his work, in fact, `The Strain' is an incredibly derivative piece of work. Allow me to explain...

Early in the novel, a plane lands at JFK airport in mysterious circumstances carrying a strange cargo; much like the Demeter in Bram Stoker's Dracula. Instead of a Transylvanian Count, we have a Polish nobleman. The Van Helsing of The Strain is a Holocaust survivor and we have a CDC doctor instead of Jonathan Harker.

Many reviewers seem to think that Del Toro was doffing his cap to the horror granddaddy with such references. I did not feel this was the case, given that Del Toro seems to have channeled much of his own pre-existing work into the tale here. The vampires are incredibly similar, if not almost identical to the reapers of Blade II and the vampires eventually nest in the subway tunnels of the city, much like the swarm in Mimic.

I hope that Del Toro will develop this tale significantly in The Fall , the second of this trilogy, but without giving the story away, he has yet again borrowed elements from his own movies that I choose not to reveal for fear of ruining the books for readers of this review.

Again, I feel I have to emphasise that yes, I did enjoy this book! It truly is great fun, ought to easily transfer to the big screen and I have already bought the second of the trilogy but with Del Toro's name attached to it, I expected so much more. I do recommend the first of this trilogy but please, do not read with the expectations of anything more than a horror-action blockbuster type novel, with a screen version that seems to be very much on the cards.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking, enticing, and fascinating book, 6 Nov 2014
By 
Mark (Derby, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Strain (Kindle Edition)
This was the first book I bought to read on my new Kindle Fire 7HD

I had been following the new TV series of the Strain and wanted to know more about what would happen next.

This is an absolutely thought provoking, enticing, and fascinating book to read!!!

A worthy 5 Stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the scariest books I've read, 17 Feb 2013
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Having read all three books of the trilogy, I must say that this is one of the most realistic, and scary vampire stories I've ever read. Guillermo Del Toro's vampires still hunt me, long time after I last read it. One gets to wonder if such creatures could actually exist in our world...
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Promised a lot, but delivered nothing., 25 Oct 2011
Written by Helen. Unfortunately, the name Guillermo Del Toro sold this to me, on the back of his fantastic movies Pan's Labyrinth, The Devil's Backbone, and Cronos; I will not be making the mistake again. I kept giving it chance after chance to come to life as a story, but it was really badly written, the characters were unconvincing, and the story was in no way frightening, intelligent, or time-worthy or even thought-worthy. I am only bothering to give it more time by writing this review, in the hope that I may save someone else the disappointment that is Strain. I will not even be giving it to a charity shop - I hate the thought of someone else wasting money and time on such a desperately dreadful book. Unbelievably disappointing. I hope I never see the name Chuck Hogan again. If you haven't read it yet, you'd be much better off reading The Passage by Justin Cronin - that is worth both time and money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking, 9 Dec 2014
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This review is from: The Strain (Kindle Edition)
I absolutely loved this book started watching the series on tv but had to stop when i started reading the book so i did not spoil anything. Cant wait to start the next one. Could not put it down one of the best book i have ever read
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant modern vampire book!, 11 Nov 2014
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This review is from: The Strain (Kindle Edition)
I picked this up after seeing the first episode of the tv series and I've enjoyed it from start to finish. Some great character development and I liked how none of them were perfect but all flawed. Loved the final arc of the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating thrill ride!, 17 Oct 2014
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This review is from: The Strain (Kindle Edition)
This book is an easy read and thoroughly enjoyable. At some points, a few too many characters being introduced so makes everyone hard to keep track of, but works out well in the end. I cannot wait to finish the rest of the series!
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The Strain by Chuck Hogan
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