mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli
mordicai

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Canticle of the Wurm. (30)

The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan.

Secondary mouth!
Sucker snaps! Crawl in the warm dirt,
Vamps in Ground Zero (!?)

I had hoped that this was going to be co-written on account of GDT having English as a second language, but now I question if either GDT is a kind of schlocky writer (which would be fine-- I only need him to be a good director, really) or if this was co-written in the school of "notes on a cocktail napkin." The book is in the best seller tone-- very Grisham, takes time to re-state its facts (how many times did you tell me, point-blank, that Abraham was in a concentration camp? How many times did you tell me that Eph drinks milk because he craves the calcium like he used to crave a drink?), that sort of thing. The beginning was a bit of a hump; the characters are cardboard (Fet is the only decent one of the batch) & the relationships are hollow. Still, the monsters are good (& distressingly similar to ideas I've had), picking up where Lumley left off, & the plot is basically one big nod to Dracula without being slavish or over the top about it-- instead of a dark boat that pulls in all ghostly, it is an airplane, &c. There were a few moments of insensitivity that made me cringe-- Nora is a total non-character, & the Haitian nanny has (of course) a grandfather who was a Voudon houngan. Still, the latter is made up for by having the nanny try holy water in a squirt gun, & when that fails, abandoning that tactic entirely, immediately. No "good lawd!" moment for her saved it. Towards the end I was enjoying it plenty, but the very end? Is a total, full on bullshit cop-out. Spoiler: They corner the Big Bad, they have him on the ropes, in the middle of the day, after a well done chase, crisis moments galore...& the Big Bad just runs away? Like, into the sunlight, which burns him, but he makes it to a shadow in time? Foul. Boo. Foul. There were already plenty of seeds planted for a sequel, you didn't need to keep him "alive."
Tags: books, haiku
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