Thursday, October 28, 2010


Pages: 495
Date: 28/10/2010
Grade: 3.5
Details: no. 1 The Strain Trilogy

I suppose that end of the world/end of humanity stories have been around for a long, long time. I think it's a recent phenomena though to have humanity killed off through a vamparic virus. I first encountered that idea in "The Passage", and came across it again in this novel. And, coincidentally or not, both books are the first instalment in a trilogy. But, that's where the similarities end. 
Whereas in "The Passage" the virus more or less wins, leaving very little humans alive to try and find a way to live very early on in the first book, "The Strain" takes us through the destruction of the humans at a slow pace, initially almost one human at a time.
A plane from Germany lands in New York City only to completely shut down immediately after landing. When Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, an investigator of biological threats, enters the plane with a colleague he finds all the passengers and crew bar four dead, having died apparently peacefully.
However, they soon discover that these are anything but normal corpses. They stay warm, they don't decompose as they should and they appear to contain no blood.
By the time Eph realizes that he's dealing with something contagious, three of the four survivors have checked themselves out of hospital and returned home, free to spread whatever it is they were exposed to.
Meanwhile, holocaust survivor and New York pawnbroker Abraham Setrakian knows that the evil he's been hunting all his life has now arrived in his home town.
Setrakian and Goodweather and a few others have to unite in an effort to stop this spread of evil before it is too late. But with the vamparic virus multiplying rapidly, and most of the authorities still refusing to believe there even is a problem, they face an impossible fight.
This book didn't quite work for me. It had a rather slow start, involving too many different characters for my liking. I got confused trying to figure out what was happening to whom and irritated by the repetition in the story when it came to describing the symptoms of the victims and the attacks they would inflict upon others.
The pace of the story does pick up about half way through the nearly 500 pages, but because there were still too many characters involved for me I found it hard to get involved in the story or even care what was happening to whom. 
On the other hand, the story was interesting enough to keep me reading right up to the end, although I have to admit to skimming over the pages when I was nearing the end. 
I haven't made up my mind about reading the rest of this trilogy. Right now I don't think I will, but it is possible that once a bit of time has passed I'll be curious enough to try the second book.

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