By far the creepiest book I've ever read, The Strain was officially the creepiest book I read during Giving me the Creeps October (though technically I didn't finish until yesterday). Hardly surprising since one of the co-authors, Guillermo Del Toro wrote and directed the very creepy Pan's Labyrinth.
Largely following two doctors from the Center for Disease Control, and one elderly gentleman who owns a pawn shop, The Strain is the first part in a three part series dealing with what would happen if Vampirism was highly contagious, and purposely set loose in New York City. Interspersed with some time jumps to WW2 and the death camp Treblinka, where Abraham (the pawn shop owner) first encounters the Ancient who is seemingly responsible for the events in NYC.
So what made this creepier than the average Vampire book? Part of it was the slow build up to the actual vampire spread. Since I knew it was vampires before I even opened the book, I was on tinter hooks waiting for it to happen, but I have to say the start of the book was mysterious enough I still didn't really know what was going on. As for the descriptions of the Ancient, also called Mr Leech, ughh! Talk about giving a person the serious creepy crawlies, the flight captains description of him had me petrified of getting up to pee during the night! Couple him with the rat disturbances and the zombie like quality of these vampires and I have to say, I was starting to worry it might just be too scary for me. Alas it was too good to put down so I stuck with it, and I'm proud to say that unlike the hubby (who has nerves of steel) I did not have any actual nightmares!
Part two, The Fall, came out earlier last month, and I'm eager to get my hands on it. There were some interesting twists come the end of The Strain and I can't wait to have them explained some more. But mostly I'm dying to see if Chuck Hogan and Guillermo Del Toro are going to let Humanity survive this outbreak.
A great book promising an exciting three part series, but be warned, this is no Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Be prepared for one dark, chilling page turner.
The Strain, By Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan
Published by Harper Collins July 2009