storytimewithbuffy

Strain

In Book Reviews on January 22, 2014 at 6:00 am
Harper 2009

Harper 2009

Nutshell blurb: An ancient evil has been awakened and has made its way to New York City on a 777. Can it be stopped before the entire world is infected?

Sooooooo, vampire zombies. Yep. My hope for this book was that it would be a great shake-up of two widely written genres. It is an interesting take but it fell a bit short for me.

People get turned into vampire zombies (and just so we’re clear, this is my term for them) in the usual way one gets turned into either undead creature: by being bitten or having the blood sucked out of them. The USP in this instance is that the living are attacked by ‘blood worms’ that come from the infected person(s).

I will say that I enjoyed the story, for the most part. It was a bit of a slow burn, though. A lot of time was spent trying to build up tension which worked at first, but when I was halfway through the book I realised that I still didn’t really know what the heck was going on. I felt as though the pacing was off for this kind of story. It felt more like a murder mystery than an action-packed apocalyptic adventure. I’m sure that I’ve mentioned it a time or two, but I’m a woman of action. I want stuff to happen. I don’t need everything to be spelled out for me but I need to know that I’m on the road to discovery and that I’ll get there eventually.

The characters didn’t really do much for me, either. The only two that I remotely liked were the elderly holocaust survivor and the Hispanic gang banger. The holocaust survivor was particularly interesting because he had seen this evil in his youth when he was in a concentration camp. (I promise that the holocaust wasn’t caused by Nazi vampire zombies, though. So don’t worry; we’re never taken down that road.)

I know that this post seems to be marching steadily toward the negative, but I actually did like the book. It just didn’t live up to my expectations.

When I finished this book, I told my husband that I probably wouldn’t read the next one. But in true Buffy-style, I saw it in the library the other day and picked it up anyway. That’s just how I roll, people. We’ll see whether or not I feel inspired to do a post about it.

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  1. Hi Buffy, I was interested to see the name Guillermo del Toro. I didn’t know he was a novelist too. I haven’t read any of his books yet.

  2. […] is the second book in this series. Here are my thoughts on the first book, Strain. I’ll try to give you my opinion of this book without […]

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