I love to read, and for the most part, I lean toward intellectual pursuits: non-fiction, textbooks, science magazines, educational reading. Ah, but I also like to be entertained and scared witless, and my not-so-guilty pleasures include zombie and vampire books and movies.
I am not talking, just for clarification, about high-school-attending, wimpy vampires like Edward Cullen and the Twilight gang. I prefer my vampires bad-ass, thank you very much, not the moody, emotional, stalking type prone to teenage angst and teeny-bopper love triangles.
I had never heard of The Strain trilogy or Guillermo Del Toro or Chuck Hogan until my birthday, when Gary got me not only World War Z (the zombie documentary-style book being made into a movie starring Brad Pitt), but also The Strain, the first book of the vampire trilogy written by Del Toro and Hogan. All I can say is, Gary most certainly outdid himself with these choices.
I loved World War Z, and I devoured The Strain without coming up for air. These are not debonair, stylish vampires with Victorian capes, three-piece suits, or delicate little fangs, wincing away from crucifixes and holy water. No, these bloodsuckers are vicious, barbaric, animalistic, and frightening, damn near invincible, definitely not something you would like to stumble across in a dark alley. Or anywhere.
After finishing the first book, I was like a crack addict, frantically hunting down the second and the third. I finished the last book with a sense of sadness and disappointment: well, that’s the end. *sigh* I love being that intensely wrapped up in a book and so in love with the characters that I am angry when one of them fails, dies, or is otherwise mistreated.
One night, while Gary was out, I was buried in the last book, tucked into the corner of the couch and totally immersed in the story. I finally had to get up, and on my way down the hall, I froze: the small light at the desk in one of the bedrooms was on, and I knew damn well I hadn’t turned it on. I had, in fact, been in that room earlier that evening, and the light had not been on then.
My imagination was primed after ingesting vampire attacks for the past hour. I checked the bedroom window, made sure it was still shut and locked, then scoured the room for any hidden and unwanted guests (with fangs and bloodthirst, I presumed). I found nothing, but just in case, I settled back in with my book…with a baseball bat resting within quick reach beside the sofa!
If you have any affinity toward vampire stories, I highly recommend The Strain trilogy. The only thing I don’t recommend is reading them late at night…all alone…with only your hyperactive imagination to keep you company.