I cannot get into paranormal vampire fiction because, in my book, vampires are not to be nice or heroic or cuddly/sparkly. The Strain is a great re-telling of the mean, all-powerful, abominable Dracula story, set in the world of the 21st century. It’s gory. It’s terrifying. There’s definitely at least one conspiracy afoot. And by the look of it, the world as we know it is doomed. To summarise: this is a wonderful book. The vampires here are not sexy. Seriously. Fully evolved, they don’t even have any sexual organs (rather like angels, I think. :o)). They don’t need them to reproduce or seduce or whatever. They’re superfluous so their organisms get rid of them, shrivelling and falling off and all that. After they have been turned, the vampires in The Strain are creepy, vermin-like, very Renfield. They are immensely strong, powerful and repulsive.I couldn’t help picturing the main protagonist, Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, as Jeff Goldblum, but I guess I can hardly be blamed for that.I care for all the non-vampire characters, probably due to the many-fold glimpses at their background stories. And I despise the vampires even though that’s as pointless as hating a highly-evolved virus. I’m afraid, though, that I might lose a few of the beloved characters along the way. The next two volumes are sitting on my shelf, but I have to wait until I have enough spare time to read them in one sitting – to do otherwise would be sheer torture.