Read Nocturna by Guillermo del Toro Chuck Hogan Online

nocturna

Una estirpe maldita se propaga por el mundo. Y tú tienes algo bajo la piel que los vuelve locos.Un avión procedente de Berlín aterriza en Nueva York. Pero algo no funciona bien desde el momento en que toma tierra. Todas las luces del avión están apagadas, nadie responde a las llamadas de la torre de control, nadie contesta a los teléfonos móviles. Parece como si el avión eUna estirpe maldita se propaga por el mundo. Y tú tienes algo bajo la piel que los vuelve locos.Un avión procedente de Berlín aterriza en Nueva York. Pero algo no funciona bien desde el momento en que toma tierra. Todas las luces del avión están apagadas, nadie responde a las llamadas de la torre de control, nadie contesta a los teléfonos móviles. Parece como si el avión estuviese muerto...Lo que al principio se considera un virus muy contagioso, pronto se revela como algo aterrador. Los "infectados" tienen sed y sólo quieren beber sangre. La epidemia se propaga a una velocidad de vértigo, y en pocos días toda la isla de Manhattan está invadida. Pero esto no ha hecho más que comenzar. Hay un plan siniestro para conquistar rápidamente todo el planeta.Los viejos vampiros han regresado. La lucha entre el bien y el mal vuelve a encarnarse en estas criaturas tan antiguas como actuales. La desigual lucha entre estos seres sobrenaturales y una raleada banda de héroes humanos nos arrastra a una historia llena de acción, alianzas, traiciones y batallas que nos hace reflexionar sobre la condición humana en la mejor tradición de las películas de uno de sus autores, Guillermo del Toro....

Title : Nocturna
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9786071102416
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 550 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Nocturna Reviews

  • Kemper
    2019-03-02 07:46

    Imagine that you’re reading one of those Twilight books as Edward is whispering chaste sweet nothings into Bella’s ear, and it was oh-so-romantic-and-couldn’t-you-just-die-OMG-OMG-OMG. Suddenly Edward’s head flips back and his throat opens up like he just became a Pez dispenser. A six foot stinger/sucker thing flies out, and it zaps that silly girl right in a major artery and drains her dry in about twenty seconds while parasitic worms take over her corpse and turn her into a mindless bloodsucking meatbag. And that is why Guillermo Del Toro will never direct one of the Twilight movies. Too bad because I’d pay good money to see that.Del Toro, who directed several horror movies as well as the critically acclaimed but extremely gruesome Pan’s Labyrinth, apparently was tired of the vampires being castrated by hordes of adoring teenage girls and set out to make them monsters again. And he does a pretty good job.A Boeing 777 lands in New York but most of the passengers are dead. Before you can say 'Bela Lugosi', a CDC doctor is getting lessons from a Van Helsing wannabe named Setrakian on the best way to deal with the vamps, which are essentially a parasitic virus run amok with a Master bloodsucker as the main villain pulling the strings to launch a full scale vampire apocalypse.The book had a fresh take on the vampire story and Del Toro and co-author Chuck Hogan do a good job of mixing some Old World vampire mysticism with 21st century science and tech. Especially creepy is the way that Manhattan is soon being quietly overrun during the initial outbreak. It’s got a Stephen King ‘Salem’s Lot vibe in those descriptions.However, Del Toro borrowed liberally from some of his movies, most noticeably Mimic and Blade II. The characters are B-movie thin, especially the hero who is also saddled with a bad sub-plot of a custody fight for his son. (His ex-wife and the social service worker can’t understand why a potential viral outbreak might cause a CDC doctor to have to reschedule an appointment or two.) The opening set-up with a plane load of dead passengers has been used twice before that I know of in Nelson DeMille’s The Lion’s Game and Fringe in its pilot episode.So the story seemed overly familiar in a lot of ways, and the writing isn’t especially great, but it’s got a lot of momentum and is loaded with enough gore and ultra-violence to make vampires nasty again. It’s the first in a trilogy, and it was enough fun that I’ll be checking out the next two.

  • Wil Wheaton
    2019-03-12 04:52

    What if vampires were real, ancient, and spread their vampirism like a virus? That's the central premise of The Strain, and I was on board from the first page. Ultimately, it was a disappointment for me, and I won't be reading the other books in the trilogy.This book starts out with so much promise. It's a taught, intense, compelling thriller that gradually introduces compelling characters that it's easy to care about.Then, in its middle third, it starts to wobble a little bit. The characters start doing things that don't make sense based on what we know about them, but because the slightly-too-convenient plot demands it. There were still enough interesting bits to keep me reading, but just past the halfway mark, I started to lose interest.In the final third, it completely collapses under the weight of lazy, hacky writing that moves from one set piece to the next, sloppily throwing in brief and unsatisfying character moments as an afterthought.So I'm of two minds on this: one, everything I stated above. The other, maybe I could have just suspended my disbelief and enjoyed the ride (which, I suspect, a lot of readers are able to do).Strangely, I expect that a lot of what didn't work for me in this book will actually play out fairly well on the television series that starts in July, and I'm interested to see how they will handle it.

  • Craig
    2019-03-09 04:44

    Seems these days if you want to make a buck, you gotta write a vampire story. Don't get me wrong. I've enjoyed many vampire books out there but think the sub-genre has all but been bled dry. So along comes a book co-authored by visionary Guillermo Del Toro, a favorite movie director of mine, that claims to turn the concept of the vampire story on to its head. So yeah, I had high hopes for the book. It's too bad that after the promising first few chapters it simulated the experience of watching a bad TV mini-series with a blindfold on -- complete with cliche characters, anti-climactic and wholly ridiculous action scenes, and a very predictable and unsatisfying ending. Here's the set up: after a triple 7 jumbo jet taxis onto a JFK runway it goes mysteriously and completely belly up. That's a hook! All shades are inexplicably drawn and no one is able to communicate with the pilots or gain entrance to the plane. Neat-o. What gives? Once it's pried open like a tin of sardines (and the door mysteriously opens) they find a whole lot of people restfully peacefully in their seats, all dead. Oh, and a coffin filled with some very nice compost. Thankfully, a small cast of stereotypes is perceived to still be alive (the pilot, the rock star, the vicious lawyer bitch, the cute kid) and serve as some of the agents of the book's slow plot progression.We are left with some intriguing questions:What's that horrible smell? Why were all the shades drawn? How did this very modern plane with independent and redundant electrical systems fail all at once? Why were there no signs of struggle? How did that coffin get through Customs when I have to practically strip naked to get on a plane? Well, one of these questions is kind of answered in the rest of the book so I hope you're not a nitpicker like me.Enter our good guy, a free-thinking doctor from the CDC with marriage problems. He's not a bad fellow you see, he just works so hard at his job but BOY does he love his son! He could have completed the cliche by being named Jack but instead goes by...Eph.Following our intrepid hero throughout the book, for no other reason than to provide a romantic interest and a counterpoint to his limp, wet dish rag relationship with his ex-wife, is Nora, the Strong Silent Type. So silent that she isn't given more than two sentences of dialog throughout the entire book -- despite being nearly inseparable from our protagonist. If this trilogy does make it to the theaters as so many speculate I feel for the woman cast in this thankless role.Expanding on our list of characters, we have a burly exterminator -- no, really, we do -- and a Holocaust survivor turned avenging vampire slayer, Abraham "Rambo" Setrakian. Abe, though pushing 80-something, according to my calculations, is an absolute death-dealing merchant in the presence of those pesky vampires. His walking stick predictably conceals a silver Ginsu sword which he swings about like Errol freakin' Flynn and yells "My sword sings silver" or something equally silly as he lops heads, arms, and other vampire appendages free in a furious rage. . Oh please. Abe hints at the end of the book that there's a lot about the vampires that the authors have been keeping him from saying. We'll see if that pays off in the future books.So, this whole "redefining the genre" nonsense? You're asking yourself: "Can this really be true?" In a word, no. As I said, the vampire genre has petered out significantly. The recent publication of The Passage was entertaining and somewhat original but the concept of vampires being created by viruses was plumbed many times before. Micheal Romkey's vampire books come to mind. Cripes, one of them was even called The Vampire Virus. The vampire elements could have been assembled from any number of checklists. The Strain is purely "paint by numbers".The middle of the book is maddeningly repetitive. We are quickly presented with a sketch or our next victim in their home, arriving home, or leaving their home. Their routine is interrupted by Something Unusual (dirt on the floor, a Haitian housekeeper sneaking into a house, the shed door being strangely open, etc.). The soon-to-be victims move forward without a flashlight or lights turned on to investigate, unsuccessfully trying to build up some tension in the reader, are faced with a "turned" vampire (usually a relative, friend, or cute kid) are are pounced upon, drained by the vampire's proboscis, and pooped and urinated on by the attacker. Aaaaand scene!This is played out so many DAMN times with so many people we don't know or care about it becomes nearly unbearable. The Strain might refer as much to the effort it takes to make it through these tedious scenes as it does the vampire virus.Other parts of the book are meant to inform the reader (city rats, the inner workings of the CDC, the lunar eclipse [HA HA! It's actually an occultation, you fool!] for example) but are so unnecessarily drawn out that they detract from what little story there is. As I felt recently with Cherie Priest's Boneshaker book, less is often more in these cases. "Lookit me!! I did my RESEARCH!"As for logic problems and plot holes, they exist a-plenty. I won't go into all of them but the biggest to me seem to involve the virus itself. If it's a virus, why do our vampire buddies require an invitation to cross a body of water? Is the virus transmitted by vampire blood or by these pesky inchworms? Why would silver affect the vampires the way it does? What the heck is with the coffin, other than it being a carryover from other vampire novels. Its purpose is never explained and the reader is left wondering if there is any reason for it at all. I also wonder how a Holocaust survivor turned professor turned pawn shop owner, an exterminator, and a doctor all somehow turn into vampire slaying ninjas in a matter of hours. They are slicing, dicing, kicking, flipping, and karate chopping the vampires with such ruthless efficiency they emerge from every scuffle without a scratch. This not only demolishes the believability of the book but also makes us even less interested in each skirmish's outcome. We already know they'll be triumphant -- even if they are picked up by the head like a basketball with dandruff, thrown clear across the room into walls, and beset upon by legions of strong, fast, toothy monsters Hell bent to destroy them. For all the slapstick violence The Strain could almost have been titled "The Three Stooges Meet Dracula" save for the lack of humor.We are given glimpses of some of the other six vampire Mafiosos near the end and are led to believe some kind of Vampire War is coming. Some kind of truce was formed and 3 Bosses got land over there, the other 3 got land over here. Our main vampire Boss in this book appears to have gotten the short end of the stick somewhere along the line and has been causing all sorts of ruckus of late because, darn it, he's had enough and he's not going to take it anymore! With a set up like that the series promises to get a whole lot worse before getting any better. And I'm just talking about the writing and plot.

  • Fabian
    2019-02-28 07:48

    This is a striking example of what is officially called literotherapy. So tired from finals (finishing a semester-long draft--ending with 322 pages [!] plus a non fiction piece PLUS grading... [This is sooo irrelevant,) but a good assessment of this reviewer's desperate mindset whilst reading the novel]) I REALLY had to do something about the overstimulated brain, to lull my senses significantly and inspire me to finally do something to chillax--so I got this from the library, deciding that del Toro seems to be one of the few to have something both legitimately novel and ancient to say about my favorite all time genre, that is to say, Horror.But the cliches pile up like bodies: this is what I mean by literotherapy. They are so irresistibly recognizable (the NYC backdrop [WTC site, to be exact], the creatures from the night being tied to one main baddie, a father and son finally getting close by slaying/mutilating vampires...) as to be the equivalent of McDonalds chicken nuggets the bright day after an enormous all-night fiesta. There is nothing out of this world here--it is a so so mix between del Toro's "Mimic" & that crap movie "I Am Legend" (you can practically tell where all the CGI in the movie version of the novel will be found at--the creatures' tongues are more than ready and rendered in 3D at this point). I was disappointed that there is nothing new to inform on the genre. (But it is not easy to contribute to it at all.) The familiarity of it just wrapped me up like one large, fuzzy blanket.

  • N.K. Jemisin
    2019-03-19 08:47

    This is a terrible book. Nearly all of the characters were caricatures straight out of Central Casting, or TV Tropes. We had the Wise Old Guy, the Street-Smart Shitkicker, The Brain, and The Chick. Oh, and speaking of The Chick, there were two: the love interest of the Brain and the nagging, irrational Ex-Wife -- because Ex-Wives must never be charming and smart -- mother of The Wesley Crusher son of The Brain. The whole book reads as though somebody figured out how to do Novel-By-Numbers and made a bestseller out of it. Wait. That's probably exactly what happened. (i.e., book packager)So why three stars? Because I couldn't put the damn thing down. -_- Even bought the sequel (and devoured it too); how bizarre is that? It's terrible, but riveting. The fresh take on vampirism -- which I didn't think I would care about because I DON'T LIKE VAMPIRE NOVELS -- was enough to keep me reading despite the wooden characterization and leaden prose. And then somehow I started liking the damn thing. I never liked the "good guys", kept hoping for them to die -- but the villains were so much worse that I kept hoping for them to die first. Eventually I was just reading to enjoy every single character's death. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND THIS.But any book that hooked me this hard deserves at least three stars, so here they are. Oy vey.

  • bsc
    2019-03-20 10:00

    This just isn't very good. After a promising and creepy opening, it devolves into repetitive ridiculousness. The writing is also just not good and sometimes laughable, providing such gems as this:"Eph too had been turned. Not from human to vampire, but from healer to slayer."I did somehow finish it. My wife did not. I'm sure del Toro will eventually make a movie out of this and it will be one of the rare occasions that the movie is better than the book.

  • Will Byrnes
    2019-03-04 07:01

    This is the first of a planned trilogy. The director of Pan’s Labyrinth and an award winning mystery author brings their vision to the vampire tale. Del Toro and friend - from Geek Nation The Strain is a fast, entertaining read, with a twist to the rationale for vampirism that is fun, if a bit derivative. In fact a lot of this book is derivative, cobbling together elements from a host of books and films. There is a scene that is reminiscent of the haunted ship sequence in Dracula. In the original a ship that is carrying Dracula’s coffin, home soil, and Drac himself, makes it to its destination, but the ship is completely depopulated. In this one an airplane manages to land, but all the passengers succumb to an instantaneous malady that appears to kill all but four of the people aboard. Fans of Alien will recognize a smile at how these vamps bite their prey. The subcutaneous squigglies that appear here will be familiar to anyone with the SyFy channel in their cable package. The New York setting brings together hints of 9/11 with the sort of I Am Legend scenario of one or a few real humans holding off the vampiric hordes. There is a strong element of 24 Days here as well. How long will it be before the entire city, and then the nation is overtaken by the bloodsuckers? And the vamps here seem to share considerable DNA with zombies. There is a hint of Underworld and even Anne Rice in that there is mention of battles between factions of the undead. No doubt fodder for volumes 2 and 3.While I found the frequent homages (they are homages, right, not crass copying?) to prior works tiresome after the first batch, I enjoyed some of the mechanisms presented as ways of dispatching the blood-hungry, and the added nuance to how mirrors work. And the name Eldritch Palmer summons not only Lovecraft, but Philip K. Dick’s The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch.Jonathan Hyde as Eldritch Palmer – from Mashable.comdelToro and Hogan have fun with darkness, from the dark cave that first takes the evil giant Sardu, to the darkness of the death plane, to the darkness of the solar eclipse. They head to the appropriate underworld of the New York infrastructure and counterpoint a bit with the skyscraper home of a prime baddie. A solar eclipse is imminent (actually, the next one in NYC is not until 2079) and some people ascribe the extant madness to that event. There are plenty of nifty visuals here, to be expected given that one author is such a master of visual media.David Bradley as Abraham Selvakian - from The Mental AtticOur Van Helsing is Abraham Selvakian, an old pawnbroker and Talmudic scholar. The authors go a bit overboard with some of their naming. Our CDC hero is Ephrain Goodweather. ReallyCorey Stoll at Ephrain Goodweather- From IGNI enjoyed the vampire mechanism explanation, but I felt a strong compulsion not to look too closely. I expect it would not hold up to any but the most cursory inspection. And how did all the passengers on that plane suffer the same fate at the same time? Surely someone saw someone else being harmed and left his or her seat, at the very least. the Master – from The Strain WikiaThe TV show, from which the above images were all taken, is fun, as is the book but, for both book and show, you will definitely have to check your brain before jumping in. And what’s that wormy thing on your arm?

  • Stephen
    2019-03-03 11:42

    6.0 stars (this one may make it onto my "All Time Favorite" list). This is instantly on my list of the top five Vampire stories I have ever read (or in this case read and also listened to on audiobook). I am not a "vampire" book reader in general meaning I do not buy every new vampire story that comes out. I do read a lot of SF/Fantasy/Horror and so I do come across them on a fairly typical basis. For me, what makes a great vampire novel is when you can create a completely original (or mostly original) take on the very well known Vampire mythos. Examples of well done, original vampire stories (IMHO) include: (1) Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons (2)Agyar by Steven Brust and (3) the Lestat novels by Anne Rice (yes these have been much imitated since they first came out and are likely responsible for the myriad of vampire novels out today but at the time they were "ground breaking" and created a whole new Vampire Mythos). The Strain adds to this legacy by handling the vampire "mythos" in a very effective way. In addition to making the "vampires" completely alien and scary (i.e., no pretty people biting pretty people), the book is structured in a very clinical "CSI" type fashion which I thought was very well done. Another very interesting (and original) aspect of the 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. Very well done. Highly recommended!!!!

  • TK421
    2019-03-03 05:09

    (Music fades.)Me: Welcome back to the studio everyone, we have a wonderful surprise for you. Joining us for a few minutes on the airwaves today are two men that have transformed the vampire world: let’s welcome Chuck Logan and Guillermo Del Toro. Let’s start with you Chuck. You are the recipient of a 2005 Hammett Award for your novel PRINCE OF THIEVES, and are the bestselling author of numerous others. I have to admit, I just saw Ben Affleck’s version of your novel PRINCE OF THIEVES, renamed The Town, and I have to say: Wow! What a great movie. CL: Thanks, Gavin, you’re too kind.Me: And joining Mr. Logan is the incredible genius behind such stellar films as Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy. Tell me Mr. Del Toro, when will The Hobbit be done…I kid, I kid, we are all waiting patiently to see if you can live up to Peter Jackson. Another joke…moving on! What inspired you to take on the awesome challenge of rewriting the vampire tale?GDT: It was easy, really. I hate sparkling vampires. Me: Well said, sir.GDT: And the story needed to be revamped…(chuckles to himself)…vampires are mean and nasty and smelly and don’t want to date. They want to feed on you and rip you apart and savor the blood in your veins. Me: There are children listening, so let’s keep the graphic details to a minimum. Okay, thanks. CL: He’s right, though. There are too many vampire stories now that show vampires as gentle and understanding creatures that have been misunderstood or marginalized in society. This type of storytelling is a disservice to vampires everywhere. Vampires aren’t suave like Brad Pitt, and they certainly aren’t romantic. They see us humans as nothing more than cattle. A source of food. To them, we are no better than rats. Me: Elaborate, please.CL: Sure. You see, like rats, humans have become a plague on this planet. We have managed to infiltrate every known surface and populate it with our kind. And what do we do when he have successfully populated a place? We harvest it for its resources or whatever we think is valuable. Like rats, we spread our disease through consumption. Me: A pleasant thought. GDT: Excuse me; I need to use the restroom. Me: Sure. Down the hall and on the left.(Guillermo Del Toro leaves the room.)Me: Okay, Chuck, do you mind if I call you Chuck? We have only a few moments and I need to get some things off my chest. First off, you are the writer of the two. Stop taking a backseat. Del Toro has an incredible imagination, and you two are sitting on a potential game-changer here. But you need to man up and take the reigns. Let him storyboard the hell out of it, I’d like to see that movie, but you need to be the one dictating the novels. Let me shoot you straight. The book sucks. The writing in places shines. I’ll give you the credit. But, overall, it seems as if you were practicing your secretarial skills. You have a whale of a story that is lost in the murky shallows. I expect big things in book two. (Guillermo Del Toro reenters the room.)Me: Well, folks, that’s all the time we have for today. Be sure to tune in for our discussion of book two of this trilogy THE FALL.RECOMMENDED WITH RESERVATIONS(THE FALL if you are listening, please be better than THE STRAIN.)

  • Kostas Papadatos
    2019-02-28 10:08

    Tέλειο! Από τα αναγνώσματα εκείνα που σε πάει -τρείς και εξήντα- από το φόβο.Επίσης είναι ένα βιβλίο που τα βαμπίρ επιτέλους είναι ΤΡΟΜΑΚΤΙΚΑ και δε μοιάζουν με μοντέλα που μόλις το έσκασαν από επίδειξη εσωρούχων της Yamamay ή της Victoria΄s Secret. Τσεκάρετέ το.

  • Jilly
    2019-03-11 06:04

    If you have found yourself reading vampire fiction and thought, "You know what this needs? Vampires urinating and defecating on their victims. Also, tongues that shoot out of their necks with stingers on the end. And, make sure that they have worms crawling out of their milky white blood."Then, boy, do I have the book for you!!As for me:You need rubber gloves to touch this book, it is so gross.This book is so disgusting that I need a bath in bleach right now to clean off the yuckiness in my brain. I need some therapy. Maybe something with bunnies and unicorns. Ah, that's better.This book reads like a disaster movie where it is following the story of a few different characters as this vampire "virus" starts spreading. It even starts with an airplane that is down. It really seemed like something that could easily be adapted to film - and might actually be better than the book. I know, I know. Impossible, right? Usually.It also reads like a total guys book. Instead of chick-lit, it is a bro-book. There are so many descriptions of things that seem incidental to me, but might interest a guy. Especially an engineer. Like, when the plane is sitting on the tarmac, we get to learn all about planes, the different models, how the air traffic control system works, and airport protocol. When there are bodies in the morg, we get to learn exactly what goes down at an autopsy. Waaaay more than I wanted to know. And, we get this kind of stuff throughout. In the big picture, it didn't really matter what type of plane it was, or how an autopsy is performed, but for some reason, we had pages of this stuff. That was where you found me skimming.If I want to learn about airplanes, I'll google it like a sane person.So, our main hero is a guy who works for the CDC and is called in when the airplane of dead things arrives. All kinds of weird and creepy shit is happening, and when a strange old man tells him it is vampires, he feels like this is a reasonable explanation.Logic. Some peoples don't got it.So, they pick up their next guy to join their superhero vampire killer group - an exterminator. This brings us the a place where we get to learn everything there is to know about rats. FML!!!What's next, grossy-mcgrosserson? How the sewage system works? How sausage is made?And, that's really what I kept telling myself. Stop reading this book, it is making you miserable. But, my OCD made me finish it. And, now, I'm just relieved it is over. Yes, it had an open ending. Yes, there are more of them. But, no. Not going there again.

  • Dyuti
    2019-03-05 07:07

    Security Question: Please answer the following question to proceed with the review.What is your idea of a vampire?a.A sparkly 'Monster' like this:b. A vicious, stinger flaring Monster like this:If you answer (b), read on. Else, you might find this review a little offensive. The First Bight: When I saw that Guillermo del Toro had written a book, I simply could not wait to read it. Reason: He's the Master of dark fantasies. No no, not paranormal eroticas, which people try to pass off under the same title, but real horror, the occults, the tabboos... The creator of Pan's Labyrinth, The Devils Backbone and The Orphanage.So, as soon as I laid my hands on this book, I fell upon it hungrily and started devouring it. And the first chapter was one of the BEST first chapters I've EVER read.The Transformation: As I slowly started getting drawn into the story, I realized that it was ages since I'd last read a good horror tale. This can be a really tricky genre. You overdo the gore, it becomes a slasher-tale. You overdo the suspense, it gets tedious. You overdo the cheap thrills and it becomes plain stupid. But this book had all the ingredients in the perfect proportions. The plot:A Boeing 777 arrives at JFK carrying the of dead bodies of all the passengers and the crew. It falls upon Dr. Ephraim "Eph" Goodweather, head of their Canary project, a rapid-response team that investigates biological threats, to solve the mystery. With each new clue unearthed, he finds himself drawn into a battle of mammoth proportions as a virus spreads through the city, turning it's population into vampires. He is helped by Abraham Setrakian, a former professor and Holocaust survivor, who is the only person who knows how to fight the evil force.The story reads like a CSI, and I was amazed at how CREDIBLE it sounded. Credible, and at the same time amazingly scary. A Thank You note:Early in the story while talking about vampires, the author says: "Think more along the lines of a man with a black cape. Fangs. Funny accent. Now take away the cape and fangs. The funny accent. Take away anything funny about it."Thank you for reinforcing my belief in Vampires to be sickly rotten creatures of the dark feeding upon innocent warm human blood, not to be loved, not to be respected, but to be feared.[image error]HIGHLY RECOMMENDED if you want to relieve the magic of your childhood horror tales -- the ones which left you enough scared to detest going to piss at night, the ones which fed on your deepest fears, and played tricks with your mind!

  • Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
    2019-03-06 10:06

    “...to all the monsters in my nursery: May you never leave me alone.”While the Strain may deliver a nifty TV show, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a great book.While that may sound contradictory, trust me, that’s the way it read. Guillermo del Toro is used to making movies and you can feel the sense of 'scene changes' in the book. You can tell it's for the sake of reading the story and plot rather than reading through character's experiencing story and plot. Lots of tell, little show, there is no sense of care or realism with the paper people.I watched an episode of the TV show, which worked because they made the characters come alive, but also because this story isn't done in TV show format much. Yeah, we get the popular vampire strains in True Blood and Vampire Diaries, but how often recently have we gotten TV shows about bad vamps like this on the TV screen? Since it’s not done to death, it works for watching – but in book form, the story has been sucked dry, so it needs other redeeming qualities to keep people returning for more.For the TV media it was new and inventive. In book form it is dull and so overdone that I couldn't bring myself to care. There were no surprise twists, I didn't care about the victims, the story was stale. I could predict most of the events that took place as they came around. To stay fresh and intriguing, this book at least needed fleshed-out characters I cared about. Instead we get semi-dry people who blended together after a while. Having a custody battle thrown in wasn’t fun either. It didn't help that I'd seen the show first - no surprises in store for me - but the dry writing combined with the familiar plot makes this one an average read. If you’re a die hard fan of the show you may be impressed, but for me? I needed more substance.

  • Apatt
    2019-03-16 06:51

    A nice and breezy read, though nice isn't quite the right word and the breeze is a bit fetid! The Strain is an increasingly rare (ahem) strain of badass vampire novels. There are no well-coiffed, sexy, maudlin vampires in this book, they just "vant to suck your blood" (without the Lugosi style Euro-accented declaration). Of course talking about how de-fanged, lame and sparkly vampires have become since the advent of Twilight has become a trope for vampire books review so I just want to get it out of my system. Besides, I believe Anne Rice started the trend with Interview with the Vampire, to her credit she told her story in a more thoughtful, literary and intelligent manner than Ms. Meyer (of no-link-to-author fame).Artwork for the graphic novel editionAnyway, back to badass vampires and the fun times to be had with them. The Strain starts off very well with a plane mysteriously landing with all the lights off and no communication or activity from the crew or passengers. Given the synopsis of the book (not to be found within this review), you can probably guess what happened to them. In this case being somewhat predictable does not detract from the fun as the story is nicely built up and the excitement mounts. I do enjoy the sci-fi-ish vampire design (that is some crazy proboscis!), and the more scientific description and rationalization of vampirism which is all too rare. For example:"It (a vampire's heart) was misshapen, shrunken. The arterial structure had been altered also, the circulatory system grown more simplified, the arteries themselves covered over with a dark, cancerous blight."No, this is not Gene SimmonsThis reminds me of GRRM's Fevre Dream and Brian Lumley's excellent Necroscope series, I am reliably told there are others like Justin Cronin's The Passage but I have not read them yet. I am leery of reading vampire fiction these days, I am afraid (very afraid) of coming across more Edwards, Stefans, Damons etc. The co-authors did a good job with the plot structure, the action and the accessible / readable narrative. The prose style and characterization seem a little pedestrian to me, no linguistic flourishes to be found here, not that such a thing is necessary of course, but they add to the reading experience. Guillermo del Toro is of course a highly gifted director of popular genre movies like Blade II, Pan's Labyrinth and Hellboy movies. The book's action scenes do seem to be quite cinematic and visual, though I could have done without some of the soap opera elements. His co-author Chuck Hogan was a very popular wrestler in his heyday before turning to writing is the author of several best sellers which I have not had the pleasure of reading (I do wonder what his prose style is like in his solo endeavors?).The end of the book is inconclusive without being a cliffhanger, clearly due to this being the first book of a trilogy and the authors want to entice the readers to come back. The book is fun but I am somewhat ambivalent about reading the rest of the trilogy, something is missing here, may be a staked heart.Vampire Homer_______________________Notes:• The Passage by Justin Cronin is a similar bio-vampire book, also a commercially successful series, and also being adapted for TV. It is mostly set in a far future post apocalypse world. It better written than The Strain I think, but suffers from excessive length.• I have seen a few episodes of the TV show based on this series, gave it up after these few. Didn't really work for me, the acting and the script was not up to par I think; some of the special effects were fun.Cool artwork for the TV show. Look at that damn proboscis!

  • Becky
    2019-02-28 08:47

    3.5 stars, with a slight nudge toward 4.I have had this book on my To-Read list for a while, but never got around to reading it until now. I'm glad that I read it because it was pretty good, and parts were very creepy. I didn't find it scary and had no problem sleeping or anything reading it, but there were parts that had a higher than average creep factor, and it was nice. I liked that this book had a realistic baseline, and felt like it could truly happen. Don't get me wrong, I like the traditional vampire lore that is based on a curse or some evil or something, a changing of the soul that's manifested in the body, if you will... but this was different and I really liked the concept, as well as the science behind it. There were things that I felt could have been stronger, and more fleshed out, mainly the characters. There were a few references that didn't really bear out in behavior, and some behaviors that didn't quite match the information that we had, like Setrakian's stamina, or Ephraim being a recovering alcoholic of less than a year and not craving a drink... but it was enjoyable nonetheless. I mostly didn't have any trouble liking or caring about these characters, so the little inconsistencies didn't become issues for me. Also, I feel like there were one or two unresolved issues in the story (or maybe they were resolved, but not exactly clearly?), but they didn't detract too much from the story, and could still be addressed in later books.I also liked the writing for the most part. It had a sort of "For Everyday Use" feel, but then some parts were written in such a way as to just feel like they were more. Again though, there were sections that, for lack of a better term, tried too hard and felt a little forced or out of place. For instance, this line: "Like smoke rising up a chimney, we must force him to the roof." This, in the middle of a vampire vs human battle... I just feel like the first part of the line makes it awkward and takes me out of the story. I think of myself as if I were in the story: I'm fighting my ass off to stay alive here, I see my target, I communicate my intention in the shortest possible command to save my breath, to not waste time, to not give anything a chance to kill me while I'm waxing poetic. "Force him to the roof!" or at the most, "We must force him to the roof!". Who has time for similes in life or death situations? Sure the hell not me. Anyway, I'm curious where this story is going to go... there was an interesting development at the end that has me intrigued... Horror October 2011: #5

  • Elisa
    2019-03-06 06:45

    First off, I have to say that I am not the kind of person that enjoys writing bad reviews. I love books, all books pretty much, and I’m really easy to please. Yet this book was a letdown of utter proportions and I can’t contain my frustration with it. I had been eagerly awaiting The Strain for months, I had heard nothing but good things from all the book related cites I visit and all of the catalogues I receive, not to mention the raving reviews it got everywhere else. The one question I have for all of the people who said how amazing it was is: Did you and I read the same book? My second question: Do Richard Matheson and Stephen King know that their work is being compared to this?I think I need to explain step by step why I really disliked this book and why I think it’s so misleading. Here I’ve copied the synopsis, it’s nearly identical to what is on the back of the paperback edition:They have always been here. Vampires. In secret and in darkness. Waiting. Now their time has come. In one week, Manhattan will be gone. In one month, the country. In two months—the world. A Boeing 777 arrives at JFK and is on its way across the tarmac, when it suddenly stops dead. All window shades are pulled down. All lights are out. All communication channels have gone quiet. Crews on the ground are lost for answers, but an alert goes out to the CDC. Dr. Eph Goodweather, head of their Canary project, a rapid-response team that investigates biological threats, gets the call and boards the plane. What he finds makes his blood run cold. In a pawnshop in Spanish Harlem, a former professor and survivor of the Holocaust named Abraham Setrakian knows something is happening. And he knows the time has come, that a war is brewing...Sounds pretty freaking amazing, eh? Then, inside the cover of the paperback edition, are five –yes, five– pages of reviews going on, and on, and ON, about how fantastic The Strain is, how it’s a masterpiece that has redefined the vampire myth, how it’s “an unholy spawn of I Am Legend out of Salem’s Lot” –at this point, I started to gag a little bit.Can you say ‘misleading’?(view spoiler)[The only saving grace of this book is the characters Eph, Setrakian, Zach, and Fet (the Exterminator). They were honestly the only real reason I kept reading. Eph is a newly single dad who was married more to his career than to his wife, so she left him. She wants full custody of their child Zach because she 1) wants to ruin Eph’s world, and 2) she’s jealous and kind of petty. Setrakian is a holocaust survivor with more bad memories and nightmares than anyone should carry around. None of which is surprising given the snippets, or “Interludes” as they’re called in the book, of his time in a death camp as a Jewish Pole. He’s got the longest history with the monster, and he’s the acting team leader for the most part. Zach is an incredibly smart and caring young boy who is much too aware of the world around him and a kid that just wants to be with his dad –the only person who gets him. And Fet, oh Fet, the Russian rat exterminator. I think he’s my favourite character, he’s tough, mean, and knows how to kill vermin. What else could you want in a guy? But I digress.I think by far the most annoying things about this book are that it is 200 pages too long in the beginning, the structure of the prose, and the fact that it was utterly predictable. I want to know what horror formula the writers followed. I’ll start with the prose. It seems to me that the authors tried their hardest to find the most convoluted vocabulary they could and put it together in such a way that it’s just stilted and difficult to understand. The Thesaurus can be your friend, but it can also be your enemy. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an easy read, but I had to read half of it twice because I had no idea what they were trying to say or describe. Also, the way that they integrated facts (to make their vocabulary make sense) was idiotic. It would have been smoother if they had added a glossary at the end and bolded all the key terms. My primary example: the Occultation. From page 107 to 112 they proceed to tell me ALL about how a “solar eclipse” is really a misnomer, it should in fact be called an occultation because the moon passes between the sun and the earth, it doesn’t pass into the sun’s shadow, etc, etc. At first it’s a neat fact, by page 112 you just want to know what their bloody point is. And this is only one example. It happens a lot.Second, the predictability. There was absolutely not one single surprising thing in this novel. There were parts that freaked me out because the vampires are honestly creepy –I’ll give them points on the biology of the creatures– but aside from that, it was kind of a yawn fest.My final complaint: the ending. Needless to say, the big bad evil gets away at the end. I expected that, however, how he gets away is so utterly stupid I was swearing at the book. The old guy has a heart attack in the middle of the big fight (we learn in the last 50 pages he has a bad heart). Dr. Eph is the main contender in this fight since he has decided he’s the one who gets to kill the monster (you know, because he’s been personally affected so he has the right to the evil’s head, as opposed to the guy who has been hunting this thing for three quarters of his life). Being the doctor that he is, he runs to the old guy’s assistance IN THE MIDDLE OF THE MAJOR FIGHT SCENE. Hmm, jee, what’s more important: slaying the thing that wants to destroy mankind or running to the aid of the 80 year old? Did it occur to him he could play doctor AFTER killing the thing since he already had his sword at its neck? Nope, of course not. How else would the monster escape? This is pretty much how book one of the trilogy ends.At this point I was completely fed up. I couldn’t stand the sentences, I couldn’t stand the predictability, I couldn’t stand the whiny victims who wouldn’t stay in the hospital and then bitched about how bad they felt after surviving a mass freak phenomenon, I couldn’t stand the word for word definitions the writers tried to pass off as their writing on the science and language crap they were trying to explain, I couldn’t stand how the new guy waltzes in and starts playing leader while fighting his internal struggle of going from healer to slayer –cry me a freaking river. And I don’t even get a good ending to redeem all of my struggling! (hide spoiler)]Needless to say I’m bummed out. I’m going to read the second one because I want to see what happens and I’m hoping they’ve fixed a few things. It’s smaller than The Strain, so that’s already a positive for it.End of whine-off.

  •  Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
    2019-02-24 12:04

    This was probably a 3.5 star read for me. It was good, but it could have been better. I think the writing lacked a certain polish, although I did like some of the imagery. And it definitely was scary!Story:The vampires in this book were both disgusting and fearsome. I admit that thinking about the vampires and their nasty stinger and how they would excrete their waste products gave me the shivers (both in repulsion and fear). I liked the scientific angle employed in this story, taking an ancient evil, and giving it a scientific explanation. The potential for exponential and catastrophic spread of the vampire plague in this novel gives me the shudders. Books like this make me glad for the light of the sun, which is what a good vampire novel should do. This book touches both on my primal fear of ancient evil and infection, so it really did push my buttons.Characters:There were some characters that were so beautifully written that they spoke to me. Others were too cardboard for me. Abraham Satrakian, the elderly Jewish Shoah survivor was a wonderful character. He was like Van Helsing, with even more credibility, having earned his slayer status deep in the trenches. Hearing about his horrendous time in the Treblinka concentration camp added a deeper sense of horror and anguish to this story. He's one tough old guy, and he's definitely my favorite character in this novel. Ephraim is a pretty good character. At times, his narrative seemed a little half-baked. Over the course of the book, he gained a little more life and authority in my mind. I think his co-worker Nora was woefully under-used. I wondered what the purpose of her character was, other than being a soundboard for him. I felt very badly for Ansel and his situation, with his wife Anne-Marie. I didn't really care for the lawyer woman Luss, although I want to see what happens with her perceptive, Haitian nanny and the kids she saved from their mother. I like Fett, the ratcatcher a lot. He's a smart guy, street smart, intelligent, and resourceful. He knows how to handle himself. He is a huge asset to the small vampire slaying group that Abraham forms with Ephraim. The Master Vampire, well, I'm kind of undecided about. He wasn't in this book enough for him to resonate with me. I think Abraham is a much more powerful, and iconic character. The Master is more like Patient Zero to me, just a disease vector, one who comes around and sneers into the camera. He didn't really establish a lot of credibility with me as the Great Villain or the Big Bad. We'll see if that changes with the other books in the series...Overall Thoughts:This was a suspenseful, scary book to hear on audio. I was definitely sucked in. My aunt (who was riding with me on Friday) also got sucked in. Unfortunately, I think the characterization could have been more even-handed. There were a bit too many storylines, and I felt like some were dropped prematurely. I know this is a three-part book, so I guess I will have to keep reading to see where things go. As far as being scary and gross and keeping a reader invested, this is a Class A read. I think that work on the characters and the plot would have made it a stronger read over all. Ron Perlman was a really good narrator. He has a great voice, and he did a good job with the accents. I would definitely listen to other audiobooks read by him. If you find this available on audiobooks, and you are a vampire fan, I say check it out.

  • James
    2019-02-22 06:48

    The Strain Is a Disappointment: Or, 4 Reasons Why Twilight Is a Better Book than The StrainI confess that I am a newcomer to vampire fiction. It was the buzz surrounding Meyer's Twilight that dragged me into the genre and I found myself pleasantly piqued to see what else it had to offer. You can imagine, then, my immense pleasure at discovering Guillermo Del Toro's remarkable essay in the New York Times about why we hunger for monster fiction generally and vampire fiction specifically. The essay suggested deep cultural needs that are best expressed in the fantastic persona of the vampire. I finished the essay, posted a link to it to my Facebook page, and promptly bought the Sony Reader edition.Then I had the misfortune of reading the book. It is safe to label the work as beyond cliche, devoid of any cultural impact, and lacking any real characters. In fact, the book is so, so...so just bad that I came away with a new appreciation for Stephenie Meyer's poorly written Twilight saga. Let me elaborate in 4 points which show that The Strain...1 - Makes women into empty cliches. Lessee, you have the wonderful ex-wife who only divorced her man because he loved his job so much. You have the beautiful assistant into whose arms the principal character fell before the book even started but whom he can't love. That's it. These are the only two women in the book who we are supposed to develop any feelings for. And we can't, because they never say anything real women would say. In contrast, Twilight's women are painfully true to type, with all the self-consciousness and personal insecurity that real women face -- too much so for my tastes, but at least they had real, if exaggerated, thoughts.2 - Is action-packed to a fault. One of my biggest gripes about Meyer's writing is that she always shied away from a fight, especially in what was supposed to be a climactic last book (see my review on this point here). But where Meyer fails, Del Toro overdelivers, putting such a premium on action that decapitating vampires becomes tiresome by the end. I skipped several pages in the final battle scene because I grew so weary of the predictable action and -- like Seinfeld's Elaine -- just "wanted it to end." 3 - Depends on plot points that are purely driven by the author's needs, not those of the characters. I won't spoil the plot -- or what there is of it -- by providing evidence here, but suffice it to say that in four days, enough wild coincidences occur to make winning the megamillion lottery seem commonplace in contrast. And characters make some of the dumbest decisions you can imagine, simply to deliver themselves deeper into the increasingly unbelievable plot. 4 - Requires the willing suspension of not only disbelief, but of most brain cells. I know it's supposed to be a vampire novel (or zombie novel, depending on who you want to listen to) but I still want it to feel real. I don't want one vampire to be able to strike lightning fast with superhuman strength at six feet away while another one can seemingly be held at bay with a mere elbow under the chin. I don't want a centuries-old Master vampire to have such an unwarranted personal vendetta against a mere human. For that matter, I don't want Master vampires to stop and explain themselves to their prey. Who does that? No Master vampire I have ever known, that's for sure.Yes, Stephenie, there really is a Santa Claus, and he has just brought you a gift called The Strain, a vampire novel so unbelievable and uninteresting that it elevates your flawed but sincere saga to the level of darn good book. No, I will not read the two sequels.

  • Brent
    2019-03-24 05:01

    Although I like Del Toro and really enjoyed Trollhunters, no amount of admiration can salvage this book. When it comes to scary stuff, the gold standard in my book is Stephen King. The two main talents that make King horror royalty are:One - Intense characterization - He can quickly introduce characters and within a page you feel you know them, you are rooting for them, and - when you turn the page - are devastated when they comes to a terrible end. The authors of this book lack that ability, even after multiple visits to a character you are emotionally unattached. Not liking or disliking them and not really caring when they die except maybe for disbelief that they could be so dumb.Two - The ability to make things scary. King can make anything scary: cars, clowns, your pet dog, visiting the bathroom, anything. But the authors of this book, even though they give their monsters great detail and some scientific plausibility, are unable to really frighten with them. They jump out of the dark and you go, "Oh, it's you," and keep on walking.The lack of scares might be due to the pacing, because everything moves really slow and is thoroughly telegraphed before it ever happens. There isn't much in the way of surprise. I also get the feeling that if this trilogy were properly edited, it could be reduced to a single book. But I'll never know because I am done with this series.bottom line: I don't always read horror, but when I do, I expect it to be good. This book did not met that expectation.

  • Jessi
    2019-02-23 04:48

    This was good, really good I have the sequel waiting at home for me and can't wait to start.There are a lot of characters so it did take time for me get everyone straight.For whatever reason everytime Gus come around I was like "who the Hell is Gus" and had to sort of go back and get reaquainted with him. I appreciated that this was shorter then The Passage(what isn't? am I right?). It seemed like Hogan and Del Toro got everything right for me, the length, not too much gore, lots of eerie creepy suspense. Quick Jessi Note:At one point there are Saint Bernards, I own a Saint Bernard(the cutest one ever) the moment it was said how sweet and loving they were I knew they were not long for this book. Which made me then concerned about my own escape plan if Vampire/Zombiepocalypse ever occurs. It is not a stress I need in my life right now but I will be working on it hopefully by the time I finish the second book I will have a revised escape plan that ensures the safety of my son and our gigantic dog

  • Eliasdgian
    2019-02-24 10:49

    Ταυτόχρονα με την ολοκλήρωση του τετάρτου και τελευταίου κύκλου της τηλεοπτικής σειράς The Strain, είπα να διαβάσω (επιτέλους) και τα αντίστοιχα τρία βιβλία των Guillermo Del Toro – Chuck Hogan (Το Ίχνος, η Πτώση, η Αιώνια Νύχτα), τα οποία ήδη από τις αρχές Δεκέμβρη περίμεναν υπομονετικά στη βιβλιοθήκη μου. Καιρός ήταν! Αντί εισαγωγής, ας παραθέσουμε μια διαπίστωση• κάθε φορά που η ανάγνωση ενός βιβλίου έπεται της παρακολούθησης της τηλεοπτικής ή κινηματογραφικής του μεταφοράς, αισθάνεσαι ακριβώς το ίδιο πράγμα: μια δυστοκία να σκεφτείς εικόνες, τοπία και πρόσωπα διαφορετικά από εκείνα που επέλεξε ο σκηνοθέτης• μιαν αδυναμία, σχεδόν εγγενή, να απεικονίσεις στο μυαλό σου αλλιώς ό,τι ήδη φαντάστηκε και αποτύπωσε με λέξεις ο συγγραφέας στο βιβλίο του. Κι είναι απαραίτητα κακό αυτό; Συνήθως ναι, αλλά όχι στην περίπτωσή μας. Εξηγούμαι εν συντομία: Δημιουργός της τηλεοπτικής μεταφοράς της τριλογίας The Strain είναι ο ίδιος ο G. Del Toro, ο οποίος σκηνοθετεί, επίσης, το εκπληκτικό πρώτο επεισόδιο του πρώτου κύκλου (S1, Ep1, Night Zero). Άρα, εν προκειμένω, συγγραφέας και δημιουργός/σκηνοθέτης ταυτίζονται (και δη στο πρόσωπο του ανυπέρβλητου G. Del Toro). Πράγμα που σημαίνει ότι η τηλεοπτική απεικόνιση των στριγκόι, για παράδειγμα, ή της υπόφυσης που αναπτύσσεται κάτω από τη γλώσσα τους, είναι αυτή ακριβώς που είχε στο μυαλό του ο συγγραφέας. Οι λέξεις του βιβλίου, λοιπόν, έγιναν εικόνα, όπως ακριβώς την οραματίστηκε ο γεννήτοράς τους. Οπότε, ναι, τον επιδημιολόγο του Κέντρου Ελέγχου Νοσημάτων, δρ. Ephraim Goodweather, δεν θα μπορούσε να τον ενσαρκώσει καλύτερα άλλος από τον Corey Stoll ή, αντίστοιχα, τον τέως καθηγητή λαογραφίας της Ανατολικής Ευρώπης, Abraham Setrakian, άλλος από τον David Bradley• και τα στριγκόι και ο Αφέντης τους δεν θα μπορούσαν να έχουν μορφή διάφορη των μοχθηρών εκείνων πλασμάτων που είδαμε στις οθόνες μας να περιδιαβαίνουν τους δρόμους του Manhattan, εξαπολύοντας το κεντρί τους κι αναζητώντας τροφή. Για τους πολλούς εδώ μέσα που δεν έχουν διαβάσει το βιβλίο και τους μάλλον λιγότερους που δεν έχουν δει την τηλεοπτική σειρά, θα αρκεστώ στα εξής: Το βιβλίο ξεκινά με την αφήγηση ενός μύθου: η γιαγιά του Αβραάμ Σεντρακιάν εξιστορεί στον εγγονό της το παραμύθι του Γουσέφ Σάρντου, κανακάρη ενός Πολωνού άρχοντα, που είχε τη δυστυχία να είναι ψηλότερος από όλους τους ανθρώπους. Το μεγάλο του ύψος ήταν, πράγματι, βάσανο για τον νεαρό άρχοντα, καθώς οι μύες του δεν είχαν τη δύναμη να στηρίζουν τα μακρυά, βαριά κόκκαλά του. Στα δεκαπέντε του χρόνια, ο Γιουσέφ συνόδευσε τον πατέρα του και τους θείους του σε μια κυνηγετική αποστολή στα σκοτεινά δάση της Ρουμανίας. Θα κυνηγούσαν λύκους. Στη διάρκεια του κυνηγιού ένα – ένα τα μέλη της αποστολής εξαφανίστηκαν κι ο νεαρός γίγαντας απόμεινε μόνος. Αναζήτησε τους οικείους του, βρήκε τα πτώματά τους, τα έθαψε κι ορκίστηκε να εκδικηθεί το κτήνος που σκότωσε τον πατέρα του και τους συγγενείς του. Οι εβδομάδες πέρασαν και κανείς στο χωριό των Σάρντου δεν είχε νέα για τους κυνηγούς. Ώσπου, ένα βράδυ, μια άμαξα με βαριές κουρτίνες στα παράθυρα μπήκε στο χωριό. Ήταν ο νεαρός άρχοντας που επέστρεψε και κλείστηκε στον πύργο του. Οι λίγοι άνθρωποι που ισχυρίζονταν ότι αντίκρυσαν έκτοτε τον Γιουσέφ Σάρντου είπαν ότι είχε γυρίσει προικισμένος με μια υπερφυσική δύναμη, ανάλογη του μεγέθους του. Άλλοι έλεγαν ότι τον άκουγαν τις νύχτες να περιφέρεται στο χωριό, ότι άκουγαν τον ήχο από το μπαστούνι του, πικ-πικ-πικ. Τότε ήταν που άρχισαν να χάνονται παιδιά από το χωριό των Σάρντου κι από τα γύρω χωριά. Το μέρος ερήμωσε κι όλοι έλεγαν πως ήταν ένας τόπος καταραμένος. Οι τσιγγάνοι που περιέφεραν τις πραμάτειες τους στην περιοχή μιλούσαν για παράξενα πράγματα, για φαντάσματα και στοιχειά κοντά στο κάστρο και για έναν γίγαντα που περιφερόταν απειλητικά στη φεγγαρόφωτη γη σαν θεός της νύχτας. Ήταν ο Αφέντης, το Σκότιο Πλάσμα. Ακολουθεί η εντυπωσιακή καταγραφή της σιωπηλής αναμονής ενός Μπόινγκ 777, που, έχοντας μόλις προσγειωθεί στο αεροδρόμιο JFK, δείχνει παραδομένο στο απόλυτο σκοτάδι. Όλα τα φώτα του είναι σβηστά, τα σκίαστρα κατεβασμένα. Τι απόγιναν οι διακόσιοι δέκα επιβαίνοντες της πτήσης από το Βερολίνο; Και τι στο διάβολο είναι αυτό το υπερμέγεθος ξύλινο φέρετρο που κουβαλάει στα ‘σωθικά’ του το αεροσκάφος; Γιατί δεν έχει καταγραφεί πουθενά και ποιος χρηματοδότησε την μεταφορά του; Όπως το ρωσικό πλοίο Δήμητρα στο μνημειώδες έργο του Μπραμ Στόκερ, έτσι και το αεροσκάφος της ιστορίας μας, κουβαλάει στα ‘σωθικά’ του τον όλεθρο. Λίγες ημέρες χρειάζονται μόνο για να εξαπλωθεί η μάστιγα και η Νέα Υόρκη θυμίζει ανοχύρωτη πόλη. Α! και, δυστυχώς, ο Αφέντης δεν είναι μόνος: έχει συμμάχους και μεταξύ των ανθρώπων.Εντυπωσιακή πλοκή, βρικόλακες (ευτυχώς) χωρίς συναισθήματα, ηθικούς ενδοιασμούς και κώδικα αξιών και μια εναγώνια περιπλάνηση από σπίτι σε σπίτι με την ελπίδα να αποτραπεί η Πτώση. 4 αστέρια (από ασήμι).

  • Mike (the Paladin)
    2019-02-25 03:51

    * Note: I reviewed this some time ago but updated it today (1/8/18) to fix a typo.Well....I like this book, though it's got some really annoying parts. I vacillated from 5 stars to 3 stars.This is another take on the vampire legend. Those are a dime a dozen now of course, but this one isn't bad. (It's not a spoiler to let you know that the religious remedies don't work again...as usual now). This time vampirism is spread by a virus. Not a new idea, but it's done well here. The book may put you in mind (at different places) of various books you've read and movies you've seen. There are stereotypes here and there are well used plot points. That said it's very well done and drew me in from the very first lines.You'll get to see here the set up for a longer story and also get some background as to how the "plague" spreads and works. (view spoiler)[ But we are still left with a mystery as to who and what the Old Ones are.(hide spoiler)]I was pretty sure this one would be a 5 star read for a good while...but the main character is written in such a frustrating way (for me any way) that I had to drop it. Then there's a climatic scene that is so annoying and even somewhat illogical that I considered dropping the rating all the way to 3. You'll pretty much have to read the book and see what I mean as should I go into it it would be a major spoiler and reveal most of what you're finding out through the book. That said, I'll put what it was under a spoiler warning...then you can decide.(view spoiler)[ In the climatic battle the Master is backed almost into the sunlight and being faced by one man. Just then our "hero" (Eph) stops to save Abe's (Abraham Setrakian) life (he had a heart attack due to the stress of the battle)...leaving the lone man to face death, allow the master to get away and in short fail to save the "whole frickin world!" That is instead of helping destroy the Master. Later his wife, changed to a vampire shows up and goes for their son. He pulls his son back but when one of the others goes to kill (or release) the vamp-mom "Eph" grabs his arm... Thus he allows his vamp-wife to escape, and remain a threat to their son and everyone else. The guy's an idiot suddenly. (hide spoiler)]Okay anyway whether you read the spoiler or not, on the whole I really do like this book and am hooked on the story...really. I plan to download the second as soon as possible.Even though I still have a huge stack of library books to get through.Life huh? Still too many books I want to read is a good dilemma...So recommended, enjoy.

  • Leah Polcar
    2019-02-25 10:08

    This review refers to the audiobook version.4.5 -- but I am going with the 5 above because, you know, I am usually really mean and it is the holiday season.First, I am shocked and appalled, well actually just shocked, that my most trusted Goodreads reviewers only gave this an average of about 3.5 stars. Usually I feel like I am the one who is too critical and won't give a novel that isn't on some book award list somewhere more than 3 stars. Nonetheless, I loved this book despite the rousing okay from my friends. Hmm?Okay, maybe my rating is influenced by at least one of the following factors:* Being sick of vampires with souls (whether they sparkle or not) or vampires having personalities and forming relationships and please, God, vampire romances with human or inhuman partners. (Note: BTVS issoexcluded);*'Salem's Lot , which is just frickin' awesome;* Apocalypse!* Ron PerlmanThis 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. + 10 points. (view spoiler)[ I am currently ignoring the whole end-bit where suddenly 6 other master vampires exist who are masterminding something and there are some sort of vampire rules and blah blah blah general yuck(hide spoiler)].It reads like'Salem's Lotin the sense of random-ish collection of evil-fighters aligning against ancient evil. The Strain, unlike'Salem's Lot , leaves God out of the equation, so we have no worries about one of our heroes' faith falling short, but who cares, our motley (kinda -- I guess add Vasily and that makes it motley) crew is stepping up and fighting primordial evil with more humanistic sort of weaknesses. We get a ton of creepy fun time, just like in'Salem's Lot , includingbad things that happen when you are outside as well as when you are inside ! (Personal note: I was listening to this on my deck while my dogs were out in the backyard, saw some sort of shadow in a bush and almost had a stroke. There is really no way I can give a bad review to a scary book that causes freak out for no reason or makes you want to stake a squirrel). And you have a Master and a coffin and helpers and tons of turned vampire citizens -- I can't help myself, what is not to love?ThatThe Straindecides to go for all out destruction of the human race via vampire plague is just too cool for school for this gal who loves herself some good end-of-the-world action. It was like following the beginning of the zombie apocalypse without having to yet again read about the zombie Apocalypse.Ron Perlman is just awesome. Granted, you can tell that he is not a typical narrator, and so many narrators do have something on him, but he was just terrific in speaking this tale.Bad bits:Too much fighting at the end. I know, there are swords (!) and nail guns (though that UV light seems less than spectacular descriptively), but come on already -- I was so tired of first fighting this group, then that group, then the Master, etc. etc. etc. that I was really amazed swashbuckling could become tedious.The beginning could have moved along a bit faster. I am not this book's editor, so let her figure it out, but I do know that it was very easy to put this audiobook down for long periods of time without wondering about it.Naturally, there are the other flaws you see in popular fiction such as things like character development being a little sketchy, some stuff is just patently ridiculous/too Deus ex machina without reference to "fate"/divine intervention, and the fact that this just reads like it is made for motion pictures/TV mini-series (of course, turns out to be actual TV series, so, uh, surprise?). Regardless, I thought this was just good old fun and it has been awhile since I have had that with a book. So, -.5 for my bad bits, +4 for being a treat. Now I just have to re-read my friends' reviews to find out what they saw that I just happily ignored...

  • Rose
    2019-02-26 08:01

    On my very long list of genres I'll read, on the very bottom are vampires. I don't dislike them but very few bend the genre enough to make it stand out from the rest. No one will ever come close to what Matheson did with I Am Legend. What I did really like was that del Toro gave a reason behind the vampires. They came from somewhere right? He filled in the blanks on what made the vampires what they are. He didn't go back more than a few hundred years so you don't know how it all began but I'm certain he must get further into the history in the next instalments. Otherwise it's just a bunch of people and vampires trying to kill each other and that doesn't make for much of a story in my opinion.I can see where this would make a good movie. It had a lot of action and gory scenes. Probably a better movie than book. If you love vampire stories, then I recommend you try this one. It was written well. If they aren't your favourite, then skip this. Good but not much new here.

  • Carol
    2019-03-18 04:07

    "Dead Airplane + Solar Eclipse = Not Good"This thriller of a read begins when an arriving Boeing 777 stops dead in its tracks on the runway with zero communication from within, and continues amidst the darkness of a solar eclipse with a virus from hell and "Thriller"- like zombies threatening to infect you with their disgusting oral stingers at every opportunity.Book One of this vampiric trilogy is action-packed with convincing characters and an interesting storyline. Definitely recommend if you like this genre, but be forewarned, there are no hunky Twilight-types in this tale, that's for sure.(This was a last minute pick-up at B/N that I probably would have saved for October had I known how ghoulish the story....you may not want to go down your basement after reading!)

  • Lou
    2019-03-22 10:47

    A thrilling story of a race against time for the human populace as a virus strain like no other before has landed in the USA and the living become turned, the scary part is they head home and come after their loved ones first. There is a master of the dark set to dominate the underworld of the vampires that leads the story on to next novel. A action packed race against the spread of vampires, forces of good and evil, survival and death, would make a good movie.For interview and trailers click link http://more2read.com/?review=the-stra...

  • Katy
    2019-03-23 06:07

    Please Note: Review based upon book received from Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review. I've read this book 3 times.My Plot Synopsis: A plane arrives at JFK airport in New York City – after landing, before it reaches the terminal, it stops in the middle of the runway and completely shuts down. Dark and dead. The air traffic controller is unable to raise anyone on the plane – there is no answer by anyone’s cell phones. All the window shades are down. A baggage handler drives out to see what is wrong – there is no response, but suddenly one of the window shades goes up. Freaked out, she leaves. People converge on the plane, trying to get in, but the emergency entrance door over the wing is stuck. While they huddle under the plane, suddenly the door opens. But no one comes out. When someone finally looks in, they find a plane full of corpses. The CDC is called in – doctors Ephraim Goodweather and Nora Martinez suit up in complete HAZMAT gear and go aboard – to find that not everyone is dead. There are four survivors. While unloading the dead, Ephraim – Eph – notices that there are no flies. The dead are not decomposing like normal. Then, a day later, all the dead … disappear. What happened on that plane? Where are the dead people? And who is this strange old man who claims to know what is going on?My Review: Hogan and del Toro re-imagine the vampire mythos in The Strain Trilogy. These are not the beautiful, brooding creatures of modern myth - and they certainly don’t sparkle. In fact, these are quite disgusting creatures, truth be told. The authors also tell a gripping story – moving at the speed of light while still managing good character and plot development. As of the posting of this particular review (you can read my very first review from 2009 on the Amazon site), I have read this book three times and it just keeps getting better – even though I typically am a fan of vampires, I can still appreciate a good story, even if they are the villains of the piece. Folks who enjoy a good horror story should definitely pick this up, especially now that the whole trilogy is available. The second book is “The Fall” and the third book, just recently released, is “The Night Eternal.”

  • Rusty
    2019-03-07 04:44

    This is probably a great book, if you’re in the mood for it. I was not. I was not in the mood for a “whole new re-imagining” of the vampire mythos. I’ve seen plenty of “re-imaginings” lately, and that’s not what I was looking for. Nor was I in the mood to wait until the second half of the book to see some action. I understand setting the stage, building tension and whatnot, but this was a little much. So if you’re going to read this book, do yourself a favor; keep in mind that something mysterious happened on a plane and that vampires are involved. Okay, now turn to page 180 and start reading. I gave this book four stars, but that’s really a rating of the second half. The first half was just three. Let me make it clear though, that this book is not slow. This is no “The Historian”, which, as far as I can tell (having read almost 150 pages, and skimmed the rest), is a vampire book for people who don’t like vampires, or action, or likeable characters. But love never-ending descriptions of the countryside, exotic (if boring) locales, and wish that someone like Emily Bronte had written a vampire book. Even the first half is interesting, and there’s a lot going on – just not a lot of biting, slashing, etc. Okay, that is all.

  • Cheryl
    2019-03-24 07:42

    When Abraham Setrakian was just a little boy, his grandmother told him about a story of a man named Jusef Sardu. Jusef was born with a disease that left him weak and having to rely on a cane to walk. You could tell when Jusef was near as you could hear the pick-pick-pick of his cane. While out hunting, Jusef's father vanishes. A search party is formed and slowly one by one of Jusef's cousins and uncles also disappear till only Jusef is left. Jusef finds his father's body as well as all of his cousins and uncles bodies, near a cave. Jusef vows to kill the monster. That was eleven weeks ago. No one has heard or seen from Jusef since then. Till one day Jusef reappears, a changed man. He no longer requires the use of a cane and has become nocturnal. Abraham once had an encounter with Jusef. Now many years later, Abraham still can't get the sound of the pick-pick-pick out of his head. Present DaySomething has happened at JFK airport. A huge Regis 777 has landed and is just sitting on the runway. All of the lights have been turned off as well as the shades and doors locked. A group of airport officials gather by the aircraft. As they are trying to figure out how to enter the plane, the rear door opens. They enter and what they find is cause enough to call the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr. Ephraim Goodweather and his team arrive. Inside the aircraft, it seems all two hundred passengers have dead but as Dr. Goodweather and his team are about to start removing the bodies, they find four survivors. The survivors have no clue about what transpired. The only clue Dr. Goodweather has at this time lies in the cargo area of the plane. There he finds what looks to be a coffin. All of the bodies have now been transported to area morgues. Before Dr. Goodweather can check out the coffin in more detail, it disappears. When Abraham hears about what has took in place at JFK, he closes up his shop and heads to Dr. Goodweather. He has something to tell him that he believes Dr. Goodweather will be very interested to hear about. For anyone who loves vampires, then you have got to get your hands on a copy of this book. Dr. Goodweather may seem like the silent quiet type but he is very intelligent and has a fighting spirit in him. Also beware old men who walk with a cane or you will find yourself at the business end of a very sharp sword. I dare you not to get sucked in. Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan are a dynamic duo. The Strain will leave you craving more. My only regret is that I finished this book so quickly and now I have to wait till next year for book two in this trilogy. The Strain is the classic story of good vs. evil.

  • [Name Redacted]
    2019-03-02 11:57

    It's October, the happiest month of the year!!! Once I finish "Elantris" (which is, after a fashion, a zombie apocalypse story from the perspective of the zombies...), this book will be my second Halloween-themed read.-----As it turns out, i wound up reading multiple books beforehand. But this was one heck of a book with which to begin closing out the month. Part zombie-apocalypse story, part vampire story, part epidemic story, this book is relentlessly dark and disturbing and left me feeling paranoid and distressed. As a good horror novel should. All the best parts are clearly the work of Guillermo del Toro, but sadly the sub-par cliched aspects courtesy of Chuck Hogan are also there. I'm reminded of the "Frankenstein" novels written by Dean Koontz & co., but I'm also reminded of the sequels to "Willow" which George Lucas & Chris Claremont wrote -- hopefully the next book in this series will be more like City of Night and nothing like Shadow Dawn.