Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan

Wow! This is going to be a great trilogy! Written by two masters of the genre, this is book one in The Strain trilogy. This is also film-maker Guillermo del Toro's debut novel, co-authored with excellent, established author Chuck Hogan. Great writing, total attention grabber, completely absorbing. I was very reluctant to put it down. A story that will fit the genres of suspense, medical thriller, paranormal, horror and more. An ancient legendary tale with a twist, not my usual genre but I really enjoyed the book and am happy to review it. The book opens with a legend told to a young child in Armenia prior to WWII. The story begins in 2010.

A very large passenger plane arrives in New York City at JFK airport with a perfect soft landing, immediately loses all power, and nobody gets out. Everything begins for the reader from this unusual event and the tension and horror builds steadily throughout the book. Hundreds of instantaneously dead passengers and crew with no sign of trauma and no detectable reasons. A strange virus which doesn’t fit anything known and defies identification. Will the human race survive? I’m hooked, will definitely have to read the full trilogy and expect to enjoy every minute; I may even have added another genre to my list of favourites. There is not a lot I can write in this review without adding spoilers. That said, in this preview copy I love the way the sections are divided by black pages and a symbol, very impressive and fitting the drama well. The use of technology, mixed with ancient tools, is fascinating; the combination of heroes is interesting and fun, and perfect for the task. Each with their own talents and knowledge, this ragtag team must work together quickly while at risk by both good and evil. There is so much going on in this book, more depth than might normally be expected, it will carry you away, yet this first book in the trilogy only covers four, possibly five days and nights. Incredible story-telling, twists and turns, darkness and light, good and evil, all wrapped up tightly for our enjoyment. Exciting and disturbing, in a class by itself!

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