High-concept thriller with a supernatural edge from world-famous director, whose films include Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy.
A plane lands at JFK and mysteriously ‘goes dark’, stopping in the middle of the runway for no apparent reason, all lights off, all doors sealed. The pilots cannot be raised.
When the hatch above the wing finally clicks open, it soon becomes clear that everyone on board is dead – although there is no sign of any trauma or struggle. Ephraim Goodweather and his team from the Center for Disease Control must work quickly to establish the cause of this strange occurrence before panic spreads.
The first thing they discover is that four of the victims are actually still alive. But that’s the only good news. And when all two hundred corpses disappear from various morgues around the city on the same night, things very rapidly get worse. Soon Eph and a small band of helpers will find themselves battling to protect not only their own loved ones, but the whole city, against an ancient threat to humanity.
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Best known as an innovative film director, Mexican Guillermo Del Toro makes his first foray into literature alongside thriller writer Chuck Hogan with this entertaining mix of action blockbuster and vampire myth. With an obvious nod to bram stoker's Dracula, The Strain follows the story of a plane that lands in New York with nearly all passangers dead and a mysterious, earth filled coffin in the hold.
Whether it's the curious dual authorship or just a desire to set the scene accurately, the beginning of the story is a disappointingly sluggish mass of technical description. Thankfully, once The Strain is unleashed and a host of half-zombie, half-vampire creatures start laying waste to New York, the book shifts up a few gears, with Del Toro's talent for creating fantastical, macarbre characters shining through. As part of an intended triology, The Strain ends on a hesitant note but it's still an exciting page turner, perfect for those with a taste for the gruesome.
'The Strain takes a horror staple and gives it a modern patina'
‘The first in a trilogy that soars with spellbinding intrigue.Truly, an unforgettable tale you can’t put down once you read the first page. I can’t wait until the next one.’ Clive Cussler
‘Blood and apocalypse mix in a terrifying story that feels like it was ripped from today's headlines. Vividly wrought and relentlessly paced, THE STRAIN haunts as much as it terrifies. I cannot wait to see where Del Toro and Hogan take us next.’ James Rollins
‘A rattling piece of escapism’ The Times
‘An entertaining mix of action blockbuster and vampire myth … with Del Toro’s talent for creating fantastical, macabre characters shining through … an exciting page-turner’ Metro
‘Del Toro and Hogan succeed in constructing a driving plot and delivering a gripping conclusion. Great characters … and a flair for striking scenes get this trilogy off to a first-rate start. Kirkus Reviews
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