Google+ If You Like Books: The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

If you like: secrets * conspiracies * the undead

In the search for something scary to read around Halloween, I discovered The Strain (Strain Trilogy.) The combination of vampire and outbreak stories really intensifies the unease. There is also a healthy dose of conspiracy theory thrown in for good measure. Though that sounds like a lot for one book, it all fits together seamlessly.

The Strain is expertly crafted. The entire book is a slow build up of danger that creates intense suspense throughout the story. Though there are many characters, each scene provides enough context and callbacks that it is easy to follow the story. Additionally, it is very clear from the outset that there will be no resolution to the story, at least not in book one. Though each situation goes from bad to worse, as a reader, you still cling to the hope that the protagonists will succeed. The characters act rationally. There are no head-smack moments, or situations that feel avoidable. Knowing that you would probably not fare any better than many of the victims will make you wonder what that late-night rustling outside is.

If you want to be totally creeped out the next time you hear about riots or a quarantine, read The Strain.

Hogan, Chuck and Guillermo Del Toro. The Strain. New York: HarperCollins e-books, 2009.

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