Since my friend Val is a big fan of the vampire, and frequently a bit heated about the current state of vampire fiction, I asked her if she’d like to review del Toro and Hogan’s The Strain as a counter-point to my own review. She did so. Thankfully she managed to trim her 8000+ words down to a more managable 1500 words. So check out the review below, as always comments are welcome! -Mike
It’s very hard, in my opinion, to write a truly great and well thought-out vampire book. Sure… you can write a book that has vampire characters in it but that’s a dime a dozen nowadays. I can name at least 10 vampire series of books but not all of them are good. There are so many books out there that just merely throw the vampire into its story, without any real thought as to what they are or where they come from. I’ve never made any bones about my severe dislike for most vampire fiction books and although I might like them if I could just get through the bad sentence structure and the almost angelic romantic views of vampires, I could never really get into the authors’ lack of understanding about the creatures that stalk our dreams and take over our imaginations.
Then I was talking to a friend during my lunch break and he told me he was reading the new Guillermo Del Toro book. I had mentioned I wanted to read it and the next week was given the book. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t even know it was a vampire story until reading the back of the book but I decided to give it a shot and, hoping for at least an entertaining read, opened the book and began the journey. What I got was perhaps one of the best written, most UN-romanticized, old and yet slightly modernized view of the vampire.