Teen Volunteer Review: The Strain

Boston Public Library's teen volunteer program has gone remote! As part of this program, local high schoolers share their thoughts on books, movies, and more on our blog. This week, Boston Latin School sophomore Kien Bui read The Strain by Chuck Hogan and Guillermo Del Toro.

The Strain is the first book in a horror fiction trilogy written by Chuck Hogan and Guillermo Del Toro. It follows Eph Goodweather as he tries to stop a global vampiric epidemic. The story is set in New York, where Dr. Goodweather is struggling to balance his position in the CDC with family life. On top of his job, Dr. Goodweather is fighting for custody of his son, Zachary. Dr. Goodweather's world turns upside down when a plane mysteriously lands without any signs of life. He and his team are dispatched to find out what has happened. Soon after, a virus begins to spread throughout the city. It turns people into bloodthirsty vampires controlled by an evil master.
I enjoyed this book because it was always suspenseful, and the character development was very well executed. I liked the gripping plot and how each of the characters has their own motives for destroying the vampires. Some characters want revenge while others care most about the safety of mankind.
However, one thing I didn’t like about the book was the fast pace of the story, which results in sometimes unexplained details. This was a little confusing, especially as new characters were introduced. Nevertheless, the book was still very entertaining, and I could not stop reading it.
People who like reading apocalyptic or dystopian books such as World War Z by Max Brooks will definitely enjoy The Strain. The Strain was also adapted for TV on FX if you're looking for a new show to watch.