Book Club The STRAIN

Here is my last book club post on this page! Let’s go out with a boom!

I very much enjoyed The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. See the full write-up on this book here. I don’t want to go into too many details and create  a spoiler if you haven’t read the book yet or you are still finishing it, so I’ll do a little bit of a sell on it instead :-).

Del Toro is known for his movies, but man oh man does he have some good books out there. Chuck Hogan is a New York Times best-selling author. The two together… wow. I’ve seen this book marked as a Thriller, Science Fiction and most notably Horror. I agree with the first and the last.

Science Fiction has a formula (this may be in my head, but I’m calling it like I see ’em.) 1/4 of the book is usually designated to “telling.” There is a lot of information that needs to be set up before the actual story can start. In some ways this did that, as it was a slow start before we started getting slammed into the action. One might argue the science is in there, and I won’t disagree. There are some rules it didn’t follow in that regard, which I’ll leave off in an effort to not bore you, but suffice it to say, I’m scratching off the Sci-Fi label right here and now.

I want to point out that the first 1/4 of the story NEVER ONCE put me off. I wanted to keep going from page one. Bravo!

Now, the story line says it’s about vampires. I don’t hate vampires, in fact I was drawn to the sexy vamps of the 50’s for a very long time. Twilight kind of squished my love for them, though I’ll be honest I LOVE GLITTER. Just not on humans. Or maybe, not on my villains. Even sexy villains. Anyhow, these are very different vampires, creepy, nasty and not at all like anything I’ve ever seen/read. Again, Bravo!

It’s a trilogy, and perhaps was written with that in mind. So a fair warning the end will leave you craving more. I am personally thrilled about this as I want to learn how they do this intoxicating pacing thing that they do. I’m off to my library’s website after I finish up here to see what formats the next books come in. Bring it on!

Lastly, I want to finish all of the books before I re-watch the series. My first attempt was abysmal. It felt like they changed the story line too much for me. I was in love with the way the writers set it up, and when it didn’t fall in line I kinda just gave up. BUT. Maybe when I’m done with the books I’ll have more patience.

Anyhow, yet another beach read for those that don’t wish to read romance all the time. Go forth and ask/answer questions!


Can’t wait to hear from you!


18 thoughts on “Book Club The STRAIN

    • I like Sartrakian the best, the old dude. I was trying to pick one of the others, as I felt more time was devoted to their story. But after doing a little research on what makes great characters, and reading this: I decided that none of the others were fleshed out enough for me to fall head over heals for. Yes, that contradicts what my original post says. Just goes to show you a vivid enough story can over ride lackluster characters. Hm. Giving me food for thought.

    • I agree with you about Sartrakian, even though his story was horrific, I wanted to hear all about his life. It was so emotional about him almost getting shot and thrown into the pit. His character was really well researched and thought out. I loved how his grandmother told him the story, it even made me a bit paranoid when I started hearing a clicking, ticking sound. LOL.

    • Obviously it did it for me :-). But why is the question. I adored the B story, Sartrakian’s flash backs uncovering his role in the story. When the beginning of the story started giving way to the action, it was a pleasant (ha) respite from the pacing. It had historical significance which is seriously what got me into reading as a child in the first place: learning history through fiction. And I loved the first 1/4 of the book. The details really drew me in and made everything much more vivid for me. It dimmed way too much after that but, I’ll take it.

    • Yes, at first I didn’t like the thought of vampires turning into these creatures and the male vampires losing their “packages” lol. But it was a lot more horrific for me to think about changing into a vampire. Other stories I think, why would it be so bad, really? I’d just feed off of animals or criminals. BUT These creatures turn into disgusting, mindless killing machines, that completely lose any aspect of themselves. It made it a LOT more horrifying. I’m excited to read the other books. It was extremely exciting.

    • There was the nanny of Joan I think. She was from a voodoo family. I really liked where they were going with her. Thought they gave her a lot of time in details, even started to tell us about what was happening to her after she left the contaminated family home taking their kids, but I wasn’t satisfied. I wanted more from her story line. Like, if you’re going to offer it up, please finish it! I wanted to know if Voodoo could have helped with the attack against the vampires at all. It was a cool touch that the “tears of Christ” did nothing to the vampires. Also another storyline that would be fun to explore.

    • Honestly, when I first started reading, i was really disappointed they took into the present time. I was hoping they would continue with Sartrakian’s story and how he survived but I’m glad they keep doing flashbacks. I would have been perfectly happy if they just had a whole book with his story and the next book dealt with the present and him as an old man, but it probably wouldn’t have worked as well.

    • I knew it was a trilogy going in, therefore it was possible that this would be episodic. So I guess the boil down is:

      Did the main character’s have arcs? Protagonist’s Eph, the woman (other doctor) & Sartrakian. Lets see, eh. Not as much as I’d like them to. So, thumbs down. I guess we could count Eph starting to drink again, him being able to hug his kid finally without feeling weird (this was strange to me) and his total emotional break down from losing his ex-wife as an arc. Sartrakian did end up almost dying. The woman… uh… no. I’ve got nothing.

      Did the story have an arc? Yes, it actually did. Everyone and everything was in stasis, and you knew it couldn’t go on that way, something had to change. Even though no one wanted to make it happen. Boom, there was a plane with a baddy on it. And then the baddy took over Manhattan (didn’t know I was waiting to say that but BOOM it felt good lol.) And then at the end baddy has been significantly set back w/ a threat of it continuing, and the MC’s have now expanded with the rat guy (who was BAD ASS) who are now ready to take on what may come.

      Funnily enough I watched a movie on Netflix w/ my youngest (15 yo.) We got to the end and she was yelling at the TV, “That wasn’t a story arc. That was a story bump! Wait, not even a bump. Like a lego under the carpet kind of bump.” Cracked me up. This was the reverse. Plot, good, characters, lacking.

  1. Okay, this MIGHT be my last question as I’m drawing a blank. I had tons when I started and I forgot to write them down. Bonk. Bad me. So, the MC Eph. Forgive me I can’t find my Fire to confirm his full name. In the series it is pronounced Ef. In the audio books its pronounced not one but at least two different ways. Which is correct? Eve? Ef? Bueller? Bueller?

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