I have a soft spot for good vampire books. I love the original Dracula, particularly it’s fast-paced epistolary style. I also enjoyed the first few books in Anne Rice’s original series. And I’m sure that if I started Twilight or any of the other currently popular brooding-emo-vamp series, I’d guiltily enjoy those, too.

But Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan have written a larger, more intense book than the current crop of tween sensations. This is a vampire novel that strikes deep at the heart of our modern fears of terrorism and biological weaponry. The protagonists have all the technology of the modern-day disease fighter at their disposal, pitted against an ancient — but intelligently updated — foe.

For me, The Strain is just what vampire books are supposed to be. It is fast-paced. It’s villains are sometimes cunning, sometimes brutish. It’s heroes are flawed but basically good. And the odds are heavily stacked against them.

If I have one complaint, it is that volumes two and three in this trilogy are not to be released until 2010 and 2011. What a pain in the neck. (See what I did there?)

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