Book 2 of “The Strain Trilogy”
by Guillermo del Toro & Chuck Hogan
Read by Daniel Oreskes
Produced by Harper Audio
Approx. 11.5 hours.
The teaming up of del Toro and Hogan to create this trilogy has turned out to be a pretty haunting affair. “The Strain” (the first book in the trilogy) introduced the horror world to a different view of vampires. This time around the heroes are not the vampires or are the vampires the subject of lustful desire, instead the mythology of vampires returns to the dark horror of life stealing blood suckers to be feared and staked or in this case killed with silver. Some other twists that del Toro and Hogan have added are; instead of fangs the vampires have stingers under their tongues, the spreading of vampirism is through parasitic virus-like blood worms and that there are seven “Ancients” that basically are the leaders of the vampires and have been around for centuries.
The story behind the “Ancients” is where this book focuses. The first book told of the spread of the strain of virus turning New York City back to ground zero, this time for the spread of vampires.
The heroes are Abraham Setrakian, a proffesor from the old world who has been hunting vampires since before World War II, Dr. Ephraim Goodweather a formerly with the CDC, he was listed as a criminal when he tried to alert the world of the vampire invasion, Eph’s Son Zach, whose mother was turned and is now hunting him, andFet an exterminator who now has a new form of vermin to hunt.
Setrakian has revealed to all that he has been hunting “The Master” for most of his life and that “The Master” is responsible for the sudden influx of vampires in the New World. The Ancients have all been around for centuries and have maintained their anonymity, so why now do they become public and seek to ponentially wipe out their food source? The secret lies behind the Master.
Setrakian, Fet, and Eph join up with a battle force from the Ancients in order to prevent The Master from completing his plans. Using silver weapons and UV lamps to battle the vamps the various skirmishes lead up to one big battle with The Master. A new character brought into this story takes part in the final battle and has some great fighting styles throughout the book. His name is Angel and he’s a former wrestler turned movie star, not a normal wrestler but a Luche Libre, a masked Mexican Wrestler. His movies usually had him pitted up against vampires, but nothing like he’s experiencing now.
The reader, Daniel Oreskes, does a great job of reading this book, his voice adds to the drama and horror underlying the story and at the same time he is able to allow the listener to discern between who is talking/thinking by subtle vocal changes.
The nice thing about this audiobook, in that it is part of a trilogy, but del Toro and Hogan write enough of the backstory so that if you were to jump in with this book instead of the first or that a long span of time passed between books, you wouldn’t be lost in what is going on. Don’t get me wrong though, read the first book, because both of these stories have some great storytelling of epic proportions.