A plane lands in New York City and goes dark immediately. When it’s finally opened up, it becomes clear that everybody on board is dead. The CDC in the form of Ephraim Goodweather and his colleagues is called in to find out what could kill an entire plane full of people. But what Eph slowly finds out is that this is no normal infectious disease but something rather more sinister – and whatever it is, is spreading fast and quickly threatens the entire city.
While The Strain isn’t the greatest book ever written, there is much to love about it. From the concept of hard sci-fi vampires, to their take on vampirism in general and its compelling readability.
I’ve had this book at home for quite a while and never got around to reading it (as is the case with so many books), but was finally prompted into reading by the release of the TV show based on it. And while the show is rather disappointing to me – it’s a little boring and not all that engaging – the book itself was a good read.
There are issues with it, too. Eph is a rather standard and pretty boring hero, the genius with alcohol issues who failed his family and yaddayadda. I also didn’t like the ending with his wife Kelly which had me rolling my eyes into oblivion. But apart from the generic protagonist, the novel is populated with interesting characters. I particularly loved Vasiliy and Gus – and how intriguing the ending with Gus was!
Despite its considerable length, it was a quick read and moves along at a fast pace. Plus, the science was obviously extensively thought through with a good amount of research behind it. It felt very logical and that made it pretty realistic. It was also a fascinating take on what and how vampires are – far removed from the romantic immortal inccubi that we usually get. (Even though the opening itself was a wonderful callback to Bram Stoker’s Dracula version.)
In any case I already ordered part two and three of the series and can’t wait to read it – I definitly wanna know how it ends and I probably won’t find out through the TV show.
Summarizing: Sci-Fi-Horror-Vampires. What more do you want?