Written by: Scotty
Flight 753, a new Boeing 777 lands at JFK International Airport, everything seems fine until the plane goes dark for no reason. The first responders eventually get aboard the flight to find that almost everyone on the plane is dead. Ephraim Goodweather is called into action to investigate, but what he finds is more than he bargained for. Only four survivors come off of the flight, and none have any idea what had happened. All of the rest were transported to the morgue with no apparent reason of death. Then the first total eclipse in North America in over four hundred years occurred, that lead to the Awakening.
The four survivors from flight 753 go through some kind of change, they think they are just sick, but what is happening to them turns out to be much worse. The bodies of the dead passengers from the flight mysteriously vanish from the morgues, deceased loved ones return to their homes. No one understands what is happening except for a pawn broker in Spanish Harlem named Abraham Setrakian. Upon the stories the aging pawn broker heard on the news, he would finally endure the battle he had been preparing for over that past forty years. Sardu, the Master Vampire from his youth had come to him after countless years of searching.
The Strain, the first in a trilogy, does not take any twists and turns as you would expect in a horror story, you know who the good and bad characters are right from the start. Ephraim is your lead and you will follow him in his search for the truth of what is going on, his fight for his family and his own survival. Abraham flows into the story and becomes a crazed Vampire slayer; he has the means and the drive to destroy the plague before it can leave the city. You also get to get into the heads of the four survivors from the flight, more of a firsthand account of their change from a normal human to an undead minion.
Every author takes their liberty of how their vampires will attack and survive. Del Toro takes his own look at the variations and adds his own spin. Instead of using mind control, beauty and fangs, Del Toro has his vampires attack with size, strength and stingers. Same with how to kill the undead, but if you don’t have the basics, silver and sunlight, I am not sure on how it could really be considered a vampire story.
Not a must read, but a should read for Vampire fans if you are open to a little change in the genre. The novel flows just like it should, not getting hung up on any character development or the time honored love story. There is not a boy girl love story, but it does focus on the family dynamic and if that is not love, then I don’t know what is.