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< ?php echo amazon('0007310250','The Strain’); ?> begins with a plane arriving in JFK airport, New York. The landing proceeds normally, but shortly after touch down all contact is lost. Confused and frightened the airport employees approach the plane to discover what has happened. What they discover is beyond their worst imagination….
This initial section is one of the most chilling pieces of writing I have ever read. I was genuinely scared, my heart rate racing as the story unfolded. The tension was built perfectly – just as the climax was approaching the scene would switch, leading to the tension mounting all over again.
Unfortunately the book did not manage to maintain the level of fear throughout. Once the cause of the disaster had been identified the book lost much of its appeal to me. I won’t reveal what happens, but I’ll just say that it isn’t very likely to occur and therefore I didn’t find it scary any more. There were still moments of tension, but they were nothing compared to the first few chapters.
This book is very well written and the scientific analysis was accurate and intriguing. I found the descriptions to be very cinematic, but that isn’t surprising given the fact that Guillermo del Toro is the Oscar winning creator of Pan’s Labyrinth. I can picture this book being made into a film without the need to change anything.
One big drawback was that the source of the problem, when it was explained in detail later in the book, did not bare any relation to the events in the plane. This is just nit picking though. The Strain is an amazing book. Perfectly paced, chilling and intelligently written – a perfect choice for Halloween, (or the RIP Challenge!).
NB. This is the first book in a trilogy. It worked as a stand alone novel though, and I can’t imagine how they will make the next in the series as good as this one. I’ll be interested to find out though!!
Are you a fan of scary books?
If you’ve read it – did you think that the events on the plane were related to the rest of the book?