Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

Dude, I know.  I get it.  You're tired of vampires.
But hold on a sec.  These vampires aren't sexy.  They don't sparkle.  They don't engage in the teenage angst-filled equivalent of "No, you hang up the phone first.  No you."

These vampires scare.  These vampires spread.  These vampires destroy.  A lot.

I know that horror and thrillers are not the same, but in this novel, Del Toro and Hogan manage to bring horror firmly into the thriller genre (I know, I know...don't get your underwear in a bunch).  By taking the whole vampire thing into the realm of a virus (not completely new ground, but done with real panache), it creates a real-world feel to what could otherwise be just another bunch of blood suckers.

There's loads of action, tons of destruction, and plenty of saving-the-world stuff here, and I was definitely thrilled, both in the adrenaline pumping way and in the "finally, another good book" way.

Now for all you "I could take thrillers or leave them" folks, don't let either the horror or the blowing-things-up stuff scare you off.  This novel has got the kind of appeal that Outbreak did.  There's a present and growing threat that feels real.  The menace smacks you in the face without the cheese factor that you might expect out of either the horror or (okay, occasionally...I admit it) thriller genres.  You're also getting some wonderful cultural stuff from the modern day Van Helsing, Abraham Setrakian, a Holocaust survivor.

So, do yourself a favor and get that glittery image of star-crossed vampiric lovers out of your skull.  Seriously, there's no better way to do it than by reading this book!

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