One of the enticing factors that draw a passerby in for this book is the idea that Guillermo Del Toro co-wrote it. Known for feature films such as Pan’s Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone, Del Toro tackles the dark fantasy genre with The Strain. As he’s done before with his previous book Don’t Be Afraid Of the Dark: Blackwood’s Guide to Dangerous Fairies, it’s not too much of a stretch from his realm. The story begins with an airplane landing on an airport strip that goes silent shortly after. The airport takes proper protocol. One could jump to conclusions, thinking it had to do with terrorism or anything of the sorts. The CDC rapid-response team gets involved when there’s the possibility of a risk of chemical breach, led by Ephraim Goodweather. Like any good suspense/ mystery story, nobody can find out exactly what happened and the media decides to block out the incident until more questions can be answered. What can be considered common knowledge in terms of vampire lore, subtle hints are dropped here and there where the reader can find out early on that they’re involved. For example: One cannot cross a body of water on his own will and requires an invitation, and HAS been invited. The Dark One is coming, and Ephraim along with a random assortment of individuals have to take matters into their own hands when the public is still unaware of the situation. With the help of Abraham Setrakian, an aged Armenian Jew who had previous encounters with a vampire as a child, Ephraim has to learn exactly what the city is dealing with, as it will spread worldwide without a doubt. The Strain is only the first part of a three-part series Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan published, along with The Fall and The Night Eternal, so the story continues!
A Review by Jassiel Gomez