I'm quite new the the vampire genre - I haven't even read any Anne Rice - but I've got to say *this* is what a vampire horror should be. Reminiscent of I Am Legend, with the same creepy spook-factor (at least as the movie, I haven't yet read the classic book). I've read quite a lot of Stephen King, but have never been as freaked out reading a book as I was from the very first chapter of The Strain. Something about the way it's told, the suspense created...it is literally the scariest book I've ever read. If you like horror, you *must* read this!
Later edit: I re-read this book when the next two books in the trilogy came out, to refresh my memory. It wasn't as good the second time around, so I would revise my rating to 4/5.