The Strain & The Fall prove that Vampires DO NOT Sparkle!!

In fact, they are virus infected empty shells of their former selves on an endless search to quench their blood lust. (Whew! said that in one breath!)  And by the way, the sun is still the greatest weapon against them, because it BURNS them, not makes them shimmer.  Just sayin’! 

 The Strain Trilogy is off to an awesome start!  Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hoganhave joined forces and created a unique, imaginative take on classic Vampire lore.  The novels are a quick read–they’re short, about 300 pages & there is the fact that you can’t put them down–yet both linger in your consciousness.  I have a pretty tough constitution and I was a little creeped out–which is totally cool!!   

It all begins with the successful landing of a 777 in NYC.  And within a few minutes the plane is stopped, with no sign of life.  The mysterious occurence garners the attention of the CDC and Dr. Eph Goodweather is called to the scene.  And then as I like to say about most of my favorite books…people start dying!  🙂

I am going to give Del Toro credit for weaving a tale that plays like a movie in your head.  It is extremely visual and has the beats for a well constructed film.  I have not read anything else by Hogan, so it is difficult to feel his presence.  It screams Del Toro to me all the way.  While Cronin’s The Passage  plays like a thoughtful independent film–The Strain and The Fall play like blockbusters.  Moving fast with bad ass action and edge of your seat suspense. 

What was really cool though, were the insights into the victims minds.  It was heartbreaking and tough to experience their transformation.  I also fell in love with the main characters pretty quick. (Abraham Setrakian, Vasiliy Fet and Augustin Elizalde are my favorites.) 

The Strain focuses on the outbreak and the introduction of the main players.  The Fall focuses on the history of the Vampires and elaborates on the mythology.  It is one story–and must be read together–actually the second begins immediately where the first left off. 

So, what did I not like?  Well, they left me on a cliffhanger!  Of course!  The final act–The Night Eternal–is set to release on October 25,2011 and trust me I will be waiting in line.  Now, all I can hope for is that Del Toro will adapt and make the films he had in mind when he wrote this trilogy–that would totally ROCK!

Reading Eat, Pray, Love was an interesting journey…

Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert, 2007.jpg

 I will admit that I was worried.  Would I relate to Eat, Pray, Love A rich, white woman travels around the world for a year to find herself.  Oh, woe is she!  Really?  Yet, I had heard nothing but rave reviews from friends and I enjoyed the film adaptation, so I decided to give it a try.  And I am glad I did!  Elizabeth Gilbert won me over with her easy writing style and self-effacing humor. 

Having been through a divorce and a self finding journey myself (although not around the world :)), I understood a lot of what Gilbert was experiencing.  I knew the yearning for enlightenment and the guilt of being unhappy.  And I as I read I grew a bond with her.  She was a sister in this adventure we call life. 

The novel is broken into three distinct sections.  Eat in Italy, which focused on pleasure (my favorite part).  Pray in India, which focused on devotion (dragged a bit, but LOVED Richard from Texas!).  And Love in Bali, which focused on self-love (my least favorite part, except for some cool discoveries).  

I understand the hoop-la now.  I am sure that many are afraid to ask the questions that Gilbert asked throughout and many more are terrified of truly looking at themselves–honestly and objectively.  Eat, Pray, Love allows the reader to share this journey of self discovery and in turn helps them begin the journey for themselves.