Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Strain: ... and now I have a sore throat

Weird how reading a book where the primary symptom of vampirism is 'having a sore throat' can make me more aware of my own developing ill health.

The mid-section of The Strain starts developing some of the infected characters and their family members (aka future victims). This part of the novel felt very early James Herbert - it was good at rapidly building up mildly sympathetic characters and then killing them just as I was getting interested in them.

It also hinted at a bigger political situation involving ancient vampires that feels just slightly a little bit totally like antediluvians in Vampire the Masquerade.

cf. Penny Arcade.

The Strain finishes off with a lot of pulpy action that will undoubtably make a reasonable movie finale; it also draws on some stuff about rats that reminds me a lot of Scott Westerfeld's Peeps and The Last Days (*). The Strain is the first part in a trilogy, which means it feels like it stops at a reasonable point, rather than feeling like it's finished telling a story. That's irritating - it makes me want to read the next book, but by the time Book 2 comes out, it will totally have to rebuild my slowly emerging sympathy and enthusiasm for the characters - which, for me, may make the whole enterprise worth skipping until they've finished writing all three and I can read them from start to finish.

(*) Hmm, I've been reading a lot of vampire stuff recently ... not sure why ... and I'm seriously considering rewatching Season 3 of Buffy.

Conclusion: Moody, trashy, quite fun ... and probably worth waiting until they've finished the series - by which point I'm sure the first movie will have come out.
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