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This is the final book of the Strain Trilogy, and I thought it was the best of the three. I love creepy and frightening books and this one delivers. The vampires in this nightmare are nothing like those of Anne Rice, and nowhere close to those of Stephanie Myer(though I enjoyed the Twilight Series). Except for the leader these monsters operate strictly in the realm of need. Needing blood. They do not think and have absolutely no emotion. And I find that more scary than the traditional portrayal of vampires. Except for Abraham Setrakian the entire crew of freedom fighters is back. They know time is running out for them as The Master is constantly trying to hunt them down. Due to nuclear winter there is only one hour of sunlight each day, so this severely limits the activity the surviving humans can engage in. One gruesome discovery is that The Master is operating a kind of concentration camp, where humans are used for their blood. But certain women are privileged, due to their blood type they are used as breeders, thus insuring a good supply of optimal blood. The humans that are still living can't always be trusted since they turn each other in for special "treatment". Which means they will survive just a little longer serving The Master.
This is a very fast paced story, with very little extraneous dialog. Some parts of the story that may stretch reader credulity, but so what! This is a vampire story after all. I found myself anxious to listen while I was trying to work or sleep. It is that good.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
Fellow Strain Trilogy Readers: (*this is not a stand alone read! so get The Strain, The Fall, and join us!) How we loved the delicious goosebumps we got each time we heard the strigoi Sardou's "pick....pick...pick"! How terrifyingly fun it was to run up the stairs in the dark and hope the "turned" weren't crawling up the sides of our house to our bedroom windows! How devotedly we counted down the days (that left our eclectic pack of heroes suspended in the dark vampire-haven of nuclear winter) and waited--as hungry for the story's conclusion as the creepy crawly Master was for world domination. How merely satisfying to cross the finish line, hmmm.
This final installment is definitely action-packed, top-notch horror, with all the loose ends wrapped up tighter than a mummy, but, I miss the del Toro/Hogan attention and creativity that set their previous work just a little ahead of the pack of scary reads: the wonderful atmospheric back-stories that enveloped you, the characters' quirks and chinks that made us care (even occassionally provided a chuckle amidst the terror), I miss the magic and fun that allowed The Strain to dwell in the realm of horror with one clawed foot crossing that genre line. The talented team of writers turned out an intelligent and worthy conclusion, but when old Abraham Setrakian died, a little heart and soul died with him. Hopefully, this great and inventive pairing will write again. Oreskes gets an A for reading...but Ron Perlman, Hogan, del Toro...that was a trilogy I missed.
24 of 31 people found this review helpful
I love Guillermo del Toro's movies, and can only imagine that this trilogy was written to give him material for a film series - and if so, I'll probably watch it, because I bet he'll make some different choices with the plot and characters in the editing room. The truth is, much of the best of this story comes from Dan Simmons's Carrion Comfort, and all the extra stuff just piles up, rather than adding depth, becoming really, excruciatingly dull.
The opening of the first in the series, The Strain, has a plane landing and standing silent on a runway - it was genuinely spooky and a great homage to the silent ship in the Dracula movie. And the rest of that book was a pretty decent, nuts-and-bolts chase-around. The second book should have been called More Of A Strain, but this one really does feel Eternal. Our hero is now so unpleasant that I actually longed for him to get bitten early on - he'd lost the will to live, and so had I.
OK, another twist on the vampire tale, told in epic scale and over a zillion pages. The basic idea is really cool, and the first volume is actually pretty scary in places, but the more it goes on the worse it gets. There are so few characters for such a big book it becomes progressively more predictable, but the big problem is that there are a couple of things that happen that make it just really weak. The main one is that it's full of super powered fast moving vampires, who one moment are climbing walls and leaping great distances, but what a surprise every time they come near our heros, guess what, the heros are somehow easily able to dispatch them, usually accompanied by a truly feeble simile or metaphor. it's really tiring, but neccessary as otherwise there would be no victory. It's really predictable hollywood and no doubt intended to become a film. it's pulp, and you have to be tolerant and treat it like a crappy hollywood blockbuster. if you can do that no probs, well try it, you'll get some thrills.