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

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  66,628 Ratings  ·  5,833 Reviews
At New York's JFK Airport an arriving Boeing 777 taxiing along a runway suddenly stops dead. All the shades have been drawn, all communication channels have mysteriously gone quiet. Dr. Eph Goodweather, head of a CDC rapid-response team investigating biological threats, boards the darkened plane . . . and what he finds makes his blood run cold.

A terrifying contagion has c
...more
Hardcover, 401 pages
Published June 2nd 2009 by HarperCollins (first published 2009)
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Bryan Hovey I think they did a fantastic job with the t.v. show. The book was actually written with the intention of being a movie/tv show. I almost feel like I'm…moreI think they did a fantastic job with the t.v. show. The book was actually written with the intention of being a movie/tv show. I almost feel like I'm reading the book again when I'm watching the show. Still need to read the third book.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Kemper
Oct 27, 2009 Kemper rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, vampires
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
Wil Wheaton
Jun 24, 2014 Wil Wheaton rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
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
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Craig
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
bsc
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.
Fabian
Dec 14, 2012 Fabian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
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
Will Byrnes
Apr 13, 2009 Will Byrnes rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
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.

description
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 origina
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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
Nov 09, 2012 Dyuti rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, ebook, horror
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
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Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*

“...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
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Apatt
Sep 04, 2011 Apatt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ou ...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
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
May 30, 2009 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Vampire fiction fans
Recommended to Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) 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
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Elisa
Jul 03, 2009 Elisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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Jessi
Nov 09, 2010 Jessi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: it-scared-me
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
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Lou
May 20, 2010 Lou rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Leah Polcar
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
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Katy
Jun 03, 2011 Katy rated it it was amazing  ·  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
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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
Rose
Feb 13, 2017 Rose rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vampires
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 ce
...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
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Cheryl
Feb 21, 2009 Cheryl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Ron
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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

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Chrissy
Aug 05, 2010 Chrissy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book lacks absolutely all the qualities one might expect from Guillermo Del Toro. Eerie atmospheres, vivid imagery, moments of fearful anticipation, and anything resembling good story-telling are all thrown out the window in favor of a mountain of clichés, a woefully obvious narrative, cardboard cut-out characters without a single believable thought or action, and 300 pages of exposition leading up to a sad excuse for a climax. Finished off with the fact that any moment which COULD HAVE con ...more
Aleshanee
Jul 04, 2016 Aleshanee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vampire
Der Klappentext verrät ja nicht allzu viel, aber ich denke, dass die meisten wissen, dass es hier um Vampire geht. Um wirklich grausame, gruselige Vampire!

Das Buch beginnt mit einem "Es war einmal ...", einer sehr alten Legende aus Rumänien über Jusef Sardu, die schon ein bisschen darauf einstimmt und Erwartungen schürt, was hier noch auf uns zukommt.

Insgesamt läuft alles etwas langsam an, aber da es sich ja um eine Trilogie handelt, fand ich es nicht so schlimm. Allerdings waren die technischen
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Esther
Dec 14, 2016 Esther rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been looking for a really scary book in a long time, and YES I've found it.
The whole atmosphere and the ambiance in this book, is what makes it so great. This starts with a really creepy airplane that just goes all black at the airport...

I love the characters and the way the story builds. It really starts slow, and builds toward a great ending. You get to read the story from different perspectives at first, you get a great view of the virus that spreads and what it does to people.

I'm so e
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José
Reseña en español de Nocturna en mi blog: Click aquí

Very slow during the first half, It wasn't bad but I don't know if I'll continue the trilogy (full review soon)
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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
More about Guillermo del Toro...

Other Books in the Series

The Strain Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Fall (The Strain Trilogy, #2)
  • The Night Eternal (The Strain Trilogy, #3)

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“...to all the monsters in my nursery: May you never leave me alone.” 96 likes
“Never fly commercial. That's the moral of this story.” 18 likes
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