Wednesday, 14 October 2020

The Strain by Chuck Hogan and Guillermo del Toro

Happy Vampire week

Confession time I watched the tv series before I picked up the book.

The Strain is a very well written modern take on vampires. This book has old school nasty vampires that are all about turning you into a blood-sucking fiend and are not about taking you to prom. We also don’t have any sparkles! In addition to making the "vampires" completely alien and proper scary, there is none of these pretty people biting pretty people rubbish. You know what I mean. This is the first tv program in my adult life that made me feel physically uncomfortable the whole worm situation just makes me uncomfortable this was heightened through finally reading the book. 

The Strain is creepy from the start and keeps that momentum for most of the book. The beginning sets the story up with a level of uneasiness and uncertainty. The Strain starts with a plane mysteriously landing with all the lights off and no communication or activity from the crew or passengers. Let’s be honest in 2020 we wouldn’t touch it; you are along with them on this journey. Despite watching the tv series first I was still walking along with them discovering this harsh new reality. I enjoy thoroughly enjoyed the pace, the close shaves, the twists and turns and the revelations all the way through.

The first half of the book is completely shrouded in mystery as we the reader follow through the point of view of CDC medical professionals. For me, this adds a whole level to the story as we get a plausible real-world adaptation. I love the medical observations, of what would happen to the body if vampirification were possible like in this book. For the record The Strains idea of vampirification is a no thank you from me it’s grim. Another interesting aspect that would be rude to not mention in this book is the way it explores the struggle of the "newly infected" in coping with what they are becoming and the danger they pose to their friends and family. 

Bit awkward in the current world climate but this is a brilliant pandemic book. I kinda really like that the Strain decides to go for all-out destruction of the human race via vampire plague. Just as in the real world we get a look into the rush for experts to discover exactly what the hell is going on and how to stop it before everyone dies a horrid death or worse. Terrible things happen to people, to children, and to dogs, no one is really spared during this plague. 

This is such a brilliant spooky read for Halloween.  

L x

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