The Strain by Guillermo del Toro (The Strain Trilogy: Book 1)

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.

8/10 A rattling piece of escapism.

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