Posted on May 18, 2009 by JLaSala
Why did I read this book? Because (1) I was fortunate enough to acquire an advanced copy, (2) it’s about vampires, and (3) one of the authors is Guillermo. Del Toro! That’s right, the acclaimed and quixotic director of movies like Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy 2, The Orphanage…and in a few years the much-anticipated The Hobbit.
Here’s the thing. The Strain is a vampire book, and with that comes certain assumptions; I was initially dismayed by this fact, because while I love vampires I’m not always happy with the way they’re portrayed. In fact, I wish the back cover copy of this book didn’t come right out and mention vampires precisely because it doesn’t feel like a vampire story most of the time and it would have been a nice surprise once I’d realized it. But I wasn’t disappointed. Del Toro and Hogan have changed the rules. This isn’t some lovey-dovey Twilight-like story with brooding, romantic vampires. And it’s nothing like Anne Rice’s Chronicles, either, which feature beautiful immortals with pearlescent skin and eternal youth. No way. I don’t want to give too much away, but the creatures introduced in this book are an inventive mixture of some of the more horrifying aspects of the genre.