Monday, August 17, 2009

Could have been better

So I finished the Strain last night. Overall I give it an OK grade, thanks to a strong start and a weak finish. The book starts with a 777 landing at JFK with nearly everyone on board dead once the wheels stop rolling. A CDC epidemiologist is called in to investigate and he soon learns that something dark and nasty is afoot. The authors build up the tension nicely, with the vampire strain creeping out into the city, and thanks to some powerful assistance to the vampire, the world won't listen.

The problem is the end which becomes quite formulaic. The redshirts are very clearly redshirts and the final battle of this first volume of the trilogy is like many other vampire, or monster, books you have already read. The epilogue gives hope for something more novel and exciting in the second volume.

I suppose I have come to dislike the small band of heroes holding back the tide of darkness model of fantasy/science fiction/horror. Perhaps it isn't even dislike, but a sense that if you are going to do it, do it some way new or terribly exciting, which the ending did not do.

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