Synopses & Reviews
“A high-tech vampire epic....Terrifying.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“Part The Andromeda Strain, part Night of the Living Dead.”
“Chuck Hogan is known for his taut thrillers, Guillermo del Toro for his surreal horror films…The Strain brings out the best of each.”
—Minneapolis Star Tribune
An epic battle for survival begins between man and vampire in The Strain—the first book in a heart-stopping trilogy from one of Hollywoods most inventive storytellers and a critically acclaimed thriller writer. Guillermo del Toro, the genius director of the Academy Award-winning Pans Labyrinth and Hellboy, and Hammett Award-winning author Chuck Hogan have joined forces to boldly reinvent the vampire novel. Brilliant, blood-chilling, and unputdownable, The Strain is a nightmare of the first order.
"Director Del Toro (who won an Oscar for Pan's Labyrinth) makes a dramatic splash in his fiction debut, the first volume in a vampires vs. humanity trilogy, coauthored with Hogan (Prince of Thieves). Just as a jumbo jet on a flight from Germany to New York is touching down at JFK, something goes terribly wrong. When Ephraim Goodweather, of the Centers for Disease Control, investigates the darkened plane, he finds all but four passengers and crew dead, drained of blood. Despite Goodweather's efforts to keep the survivors segregated, they get discharged into the general population. Soon after, the corpses of the tragedy's victims disappear. The epidemiologist begins to credit the wild stories of Abraham Setrakian, an elderly pawnbroker who's the book's Van Helsing figure, and concludes that a master vampire has arrived in the U.S. The authors maintain the suspense and tension throughout in a tour de force reminiscent of Whitley Strieber's early work. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"The book boasts a plethora of arresting images and many terrific macabre touches....Great characters, a semi-plausible premise and a flair for striking scenes get this trilogy off to a first-rate start." Kirkus Reviews
"[A] predictable but generally engaging thriller. The chapters come in short bursts, mimicking the editing of a big-budget epic. (Grade: B)" The Onion A.V. Club
"The Strain is a competently constructed piece of entertainment, and I'll give it bonus points for shaking up some vampire clichés....What's missing in The Strain is the idiosyncratic artistry and the alchemical fusion of high and low pop that made Pan's Labyrinth so special. The novel could have used a little less Hogan and little more del Toro. (Grade: C)" Entertainment Weekly
"The first and last 100 pages or so are as good as it gets. What happens in between will keep you in a state of high anxiety approaching panic. The Strain will have you sleeping with a night light on for the rest of your life." BookReporter.com
“[An] amazing writer and director. . . . Pans Labyrinth places Mr. del Toro in the first rank of world filmmakers.” New York Times
“His distinctive creatures and otherwordly parables use the realms of fantasy to explore fundamental human issues such as love, alienation, weakness and, of course, fear… [He is] a master of monsters.” USA Today
“A cinematic magician who has never lost his childlike sense of wonder.” Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh in Associated Press
“[One of] the most original and powerful filmmakers working today.” The Hollywood Reporter
“He elevated gothic horror to art. . . . Bilingual, bicultural, multigenre, he has a voice that feels both fresh and ancient.” Entertainment Weekly
In one week, Manhattan will be gone.
In one month, the country. In two months...the world.
At New York's JFK Airport, an arriving Boeing 777 taxiing along a runway suddenly stops dead. All the shades have been drawn, all communication channels have mysteriously gone quiet. Dr. Eph Goodweather, head of a CDC rapid-response team investigating biological threats, boards the darkened plane...and what he finds makes his blood run cold.
A terrifying contagion has come to the unsuspecting city, an unstoppable plague that will spread like an all-consuming wildfire — lethal, merciless, hungry...vampiric.
And in a pawnshop in Spanish Harlem an aged Holocaust survivor knows that the war he has been dreading his entire life is finally here...
An epic battle for survival begins between man and vampire in this heart-stopping thriller — the first in a trilogy — from one of Hollywood's most popular storytellers and a Hammett Award-winning writer. An electrifying and highly imaginative retelling of vampire lore that reaches from Eastern Europe during World War II to contemporary New York and features fascinating and unique biological and historical details.
About the Author
Born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico, Guillermo del Toro made his feature directorial debut in 1993 with the film Cronos
, and has since gone on to direct Mimic, The Devil's Backbone, Blade II, Hellboy I, Hellboy II
, and Pan's Labyrinth
, which garnered enormous critical praise worldwide and won three Academy Awards. He will direct two films based on The Hobbit
, to be produced by Peter Jackson.
Chuck Hogan abandoned his career as a video store clerk when his first novel, The Standoff, became a bestseller and was translated into fourteen international editions. His most recent novel, Prince of Thieves, was awarded the Hammett Prize for excellence in crime writing, and is being made into a major motion picture by Warner Brothers. He lives with his family in Massachusetts.