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The Strain (The Strain Trilogy, #1)
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The Strain (The Strain Trilogy #1)

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  47,419 ratings  ·  4,889 reviews
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. Ephraim "Eph" Goodweather, head of their Canary project, a rapid-response team that investigates biolo ...more
Hardcover, 403 pages
Published June 2nd 2009 by William Morrow (first published 2009)
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'Salem's Lot by Stephen KingDracula by Bram StokerDark Lover by J.R. WardInterview with the Vampire by Anne RiceThe Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
Best Adult Vampire Books
24th out of 1,167 books — 6,606 voters
The Shining by Stephen KingIt by Stephen King'Salem's Lot by Stephen KingDracula by Bram StokerPet Sematary by Stephen King
Best Horror Novels
50th out of 1,167 books — 3,680 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kemper
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 bloodsucki ...more
Craig
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wil Wheaton
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 st
...more
Ben
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.
N.K. Jemisin
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 ma ...more
Stephen
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 or ...more
TK421
(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
...more
Dyuti
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:
description

b. A vicious, stinger flaring Monster like this:
strain
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 s
...more
Becky
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 tradit
...more
Heather
Hmmmmm. My thoughts on this one are a bit flustered, so I’m afraid that my review is going to take the form of a pro/con list.
Pro:
It reads like a movie, which is a refreshing treat as I detest slogging through useless detail, description, etc. that is so prevalent among adult fiction. I like to bottom line it, which is why I love most young adult fiction. However, when stories read like a movie, the characters tend to suffer, and as I can read a completely crap book and love it if I can fall in
...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
Aug 02, 2011 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads) rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Vampire fiction fans
Recommended to Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads) by: I like the Del Toro's movies
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
...more
James
The Strain Is a Disappointment: Or, 4 Reasons Why Twilight Is a Better Book than The Strain

I 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
...more
Elisa
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 fo ...more
Jessi
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
...more
Katy
May 18, 2014 Katy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of horror, vampires
Recommended to Katy by: Amazon.com Vine
Shelves: vine-book
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 wh
...more
Kelli Lee
First of all, I love me some vampires. I love the sultry bedroom eyes, lustful, sex-crazed vampires. The Angels and the Spikes (with or without a soul). And this should go without saying, but I prefer my vamps not to be Bedazzled. I'm crazy like that. So the fact that I was thoroughly enthralled with The Strain struck me as a bit odd. The vampires within this novel are not what I described above. Nope. A big fat negative with the sultriness and the lust. Not in the least. You get the hint. The v ...more
Lou
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 li
...more
Rusty
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 mysterio ...more
Ron
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cheryl
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 co
...more
[Name Redacted]
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 pa
...more
Apatt
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 ...more
Trey
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jonathan
The Strain is one book that you can just race through with its fast pace and easy, relaxed style, reminding one of Matthew Reilly's earlier books. However, for all of its pace and creepiness, The Strain is not quite A list material. It's fun to read, if reading a novel about vampires taking over the world can be considered fun, and there are some interesting touches in there but in the end it doesn't quite stand out like some other similar novels. For instance I personally found World War Z to h ...more
emily
Jun 05, 2009 emily rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: the twilight vampires, because it might give them some ideas.
this is strangely hard to review . . . while it was genuinely creepy and full of bizarre, atmospheric set-pieces, the writing, um, blows. seriously.

on the upside, I was generally impressed with the horror of the familiar that's going on here. as the greater new york area is infected with vampirism, the small changes we see build tension aplenty, and the modifications the new vampires make (I'm thinking of the westchester basement, specifically) are exactly enough to be both interesting (how smar
...more
Bonnie
3.5 stars

The Strain is a new series by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. This book had a really great concept and it was quite original. The summary itself spooked me...

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-r
...more
Carol
"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

...more
Liz*
Actual rating: 2.75 Stars

Eph too had been turned. Not from human to vampire, but from healer to slayer.



The truth is it started pretty well. Multiple POVs gave this story the feeling of intrigue and plotting, of something bigger than just an isolated incident, more than just one character. But eventually, slow paced and with so many voices and people around, I got bored. Seriously bored. I paused it a few times, that's never a good sign.

I should say that the idea of Vampires as a decease was a cl
...more
Angel Gelique
Eerie, creepy, spooky...suspenseful. Those are just some of the adjectives that best describe this book. The story starts out with the arrival of a Boeing 777 airplane at JFK airport in New York. Nothing unusual, right? Wrong. There's absolutely no activity from the plane. The window shades are all pulled down and there's no contact with the crew. When officials from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention enter the plane, they discover that everyone aboard is dead. Everyone, that is, exce ...more
Trudi
I liked this book a lot. There is a nice slow build while the tension and suspense are allowed to simmer and tightly coil, ready for the great “unspringing” if you will. That nice slow build is balanced by some manic action sequences, which are in turn balanced by some beautifully rendered scenes of epic creep. (view spoiler) ...more
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Guillermo del Toro is a Mexican director mostly known for his acclaimed films Pan's Labyrinth, The Devils Backbone and the Hellboy film franchise. His films draw heavily on sources as diverse as weird fiction, fantasy, horror, and war. In 2009, Del Toro released his debut novel, The Strain, co-authored with Chuck Hogan, as the first part of The Strain Trilogy, an apocalyptic horror series featurin ...more
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“...to all the monsters in my nursery: May you never leave me alone.” 82 likes
“Never fly commercial. That's the moral of this story.” 14 likes
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