Review for The Strain

A plane lands in New York, but stops dead on the runway, Something is not quite right -- all of the shades are done, and every system on the plane is stone cold dead. Attempts to communicate are unanswered. Even attempts to get in through an emergency exit are unsuccessful. When crews finally break into the plane, they find everyone dead. Well, almost seems some were not quite dead yet when a CDC investigator arrives on the scene.It seems there are 4 survivors, but none really know what happened. The investigator finds an ornate wooden box containing soil in the plane's cargo hold. A crazy old guy appears at the hospital, warning him to burn the bodies. He does not, and by morning they are gone. Gone from all of the morgues who received bodies from the flight. Maybe the old man isn't so crazy after all. The CDC investigator is suddenly beat down by his superiors, however. The old man considers it fortunate more drastic measures weren't taken.The old man is a sort of modern-day Van Helsing.(or Lincoln...his first name is even Abraham, which applies to either!) A survivor of a Nazi death camp, he knows of the root evil responsible for the atrocities there. After becoming a professor in Europe, he flees to the US and sets up an innocuous pawn shop as cover as he amasses weapons of vampiric destruction. The CDC investigator, Ephtaim, and his assistant Nora, are blamed for the disappearance of the corpses, and their warnings go unheeded. The old professor helps them escape, and a crusade to slay vampires (especially The Master) ensues. The process of becoming a vampire involves invasion by "capillary worms" which begin a metamorphosis that modifies the body, creating a stinger-like appendage that can strike about 6 feet. Entry typically is with a micro-thin slit in the throat, and it can take several weeks for the creature to change into the final state. The book doesn't yet encounter fully-turned vampires, it is but the first of a trilogy.The book is well written, although the story has a low-budget Hollywood vibe to it. It's not too deep, and aside from initial attempts by law enforcement to take Ephraim and Nora, we don't get a sense of any panic by authorities or the public as this thing spreads throughout New York City (a small town would make more sense in this respect). Ron Perlman's reading (I did the audiobook) ranges from brilliant to boring -- in many passages, his voice settles into a monotone that is difficult to focus on, but when the action happens, he is much more dynamic. He does a great job with foreign accents too, such as the professor.All in all, I felt the same about this book as I did Justin Cronin's The Passage. Interested enough in the next book, but not anxious to get to it. Hopefully in both cases, the story improves in the next book. I usually feel multibook story arcs are not their best in the first book as the characters are first being developed and there is no resolution to the main plot.
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