Monday, August 3, 2009
Book Review: The Strain trilogy begins, vampires done right.
The Strain By Guilermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan
How stoked was I? When I heard that my favorite film director working today (JC – I mean Carpenter not Jesus isn't really working) was writing a novel. Cronenberg is rumored to be doing the same, but sadly I am not expecting a three hundred page body horror gross-out novel. Sure Romero and his wife adapted Martin and Dawn of the Dead but this is a novel by GDT! I met the man briefly a few years ago at comic-con as many fans do.
During the Q and A I asked him about the bios he writes as backgrounds for his characters in screenplays. Specifically in the devil's backbone, I knew from the bonus features on the disc that he had written prose short stories about the characters. GDT was stoked about the question and asked me to see him after the panel.
We talked only briefly but I encouraged him as any fan would to publish those stories. The man is brilliant I guessed he could write an amazing book. Did he?
First things first, I listened to this book on audio CD read by GDT's personal T Moshia Ron Pearlman. Who else? He does a good job reading it, mostly it just makes sense to hear GDT's book in Pearlman's voice.
The Strain is the first book in a trilogy and as such it purposely starts as a slow burn. The first focus is the mystery, which I am told is GDT's co-writer's genre. I hate to admit I know nothing about Hogan who probably had a major hand is writing this book. The mystery of a plane that lands in NYC with a load of dead people is interesting and drives the first act.
Seen through the eyes of a recently divorced father and CDC investigator we see Hogan's skills unfolding a mystery, GDT's monster and mythology skills and very well drawn a detailed characters.
I am excited for the next books in the saga. I was not a big fan of Del Toro doing The Hobbit, not because he wont rule at it - he will. The problem is that is five years he can't make Hellboy III or most importantly the geek gasm that is his At the Moutains of Maddness script.
In the meantime We will get some Del Toro horror, reminding us Vampires done right are pretty scary.