The Passage: A Novel (Book One of The Passage Trilogy) Info

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Reviews for The Passage: A Novel (Book One of The Passage Trilogy):

4

Apr 25, 2010

THE PASSAGE is a lot like the month of March. It comes in like a vampire thriller and goes out like a batty soap opera. And it's big! Spreading its bat wings, it measures in at 766 pages (or at least the ARC version does). TWILIGHT this aint, and regular vampire fare it isnt either. Its a hodgepodge of Bram Stoker, Tom Clancy, Stephen King, and John Steinbeck: one if by vampires, two if by military games, three if by bloodbath, and four if by brotherly melodrama.

Overall I liked it. Honest. I don THE PASSAGE is a lot like the month of March. It comes in like a vampire thriller and goes out like a batty soap opera. And it's big! Spreading its bat wings, it measures in at 766 pages (or at least the ARC version does). TWILIGHT this ain’t, and regular vampire fare it isn’t either. It’s a hodgepodge of Bram Stoker, Tom Clancy, Stephen King, and John Steinbeck: one if by vampires, two if by military games, three if by bloodbath, and four if by brotherly melodrama.

Overall I liked it. Honest. I don’t read 766 pages during the school year easily. “Big Mo” (that’s “Momentum” to you young folk) carried me through as the Laws of Physics applied. Meaning? Cronin got this off to such a sick start that the action carried me. I couldn’t put it down.

The opening plot line was simple: Dr. Strangelove goes to South America to find the cure for death and instead turns it loose. You can always count on your military brass for that sort of screw up, no? You see, they wanted a serum from these batty vampires living deep in the jungles (only why didn’t they migrate and take in... er, over... the world, like they did later in the book?) so they could extract the GOOD part of vampirism (you know, extended life, superhuman strength, and damn near indestructibility) without the bad part (bad skin, bad breath, restricted diet, No Exit signs in the Mortality Room, etc.). The idea was to give the serum to U.S. soldiers and then look out world! That's right, the USA would be able to kick some North Korean slash Al Qaedan slash Taliban butt!

You know the drill, though: the best laid plans of bats and uniformed men.... At their underground Telluride, CO, fortress, the Army injects 12 death row inmates and one special little 6-year-old girl (hint: key to the book) and keeps them under lock and key (and 12-foot steel walls and multiple doors and so on) for observation. Only the hanging upside down former prisoners, now “virals” (that’s the word for them in this tome), are playing with their guards’ minds because they want to come out and play. Can you say “telepathic disaster”? Uh-huh. All hell breaks loose and the score winds up being Hell 1 and U.S. Army 0.

Here’s where the book takes wing. These nasty hobbits come out of nowhere and rip you open like a can of beets. Every couple of dozen victims are just “scratched” on the throat so they can become part of the Viral Army. And soon America as we know it and love it turns into Cormac McCarthy PlayLand.

Yep. It’s THE ROAD all over again. Dystopia with teeth. And compelling stuff, too. We go to various outposts where certain humans have figured out certain ways to survive. Lights, chiefly. Because the virals are creatures of the night and don’t like the spotlight.

Where the wheels start to wobble is halfway through. Suddenly Cronin plays fast and loose with his own rules. Suddenly a viral attack develops more than two possible results (death and the equivalent of taxes – being a vampire for life). Suddenly “the good guys” (i.e. major characters) are given preferential treatment.

And he delves more deeply into the social life of our hearty crew of humans, too, including a fraternal rivalry between bros named Theo and Peter. This is the Steinbeck part -- East of Eden, West of Transylvania. Here Cronin gets a little too sentimental for my tastes, too, especially with the single “good vampire” Amy, who has none of the bad attributes (elongated bicuspids, penchant for Bloody Marys) but all the good ones (extended life, telepathic abilities, the keys to the city and the book, etc.).

In the end, the virals become less scary, the bag loses some of its punch, and you're flipping pages just to find out how Cronin ties this mess together. Then, when you get to the promised land, you see that he doesn’t. Then you see on the Internet that this is the just the first of three books. Then you say, "Oh, no!" and ask yourself how in hell a book just south of 800 pp. would ever need a sequel when it's too long by far already.

Finally, you collect yourself and recall where you are – the United States of A-Royalties. This, after all, is supposed to be the Summer Blockbuster of 2010! This, after all, is supposed to be money in Cronin's (and Random House's) bank! This is a book already in the cinematic pipelines with Ridley Scott as director. Fasten your seat belts, then. Get home before dark and pay your electric bill, too. This won't be the last you hear of THE PASSAGE.

Five stars for the first half, three for the second. I'll rate it down the middle and let you judge this glorious, bloody mess for yourself.


NOTA BENE: If you like this review AND reading poetry (I know, I know--what are the odds?), check out my vampire-free poetry (hey, a viral rhyme!): Lost Sherpa of Happiness. ...more
3

Apr 19, 2011

Oh, The Passage. You promised me such wonderful things with your sparkly cover, your titillating title (a passage to WHERE??), and your massive hype. Also your sizable heft, as you are a large, obese book, full of words and things. I figured if I didn't like you, I could use you to stone evil-doers in some town square somewhere. How could I turn you down?

Your promises, though, were only partially fulfilled. While I enjoyed stoning people in the village square with you, your cover was simply too Oh, The Passage. You promised me such wonderful things with your sparkly cover, your titillating title (a passage to WHERE??), and your massive hype. Also your sizable heft, as you are a large, obese book, full of words and things. I figured if I didn't like you, I could use you to stone evil-doers in some town square somewhere. How could I turn you down?

Your promises, though, were only partially fulfilled. While I enjoyed stoning people in the village square with you, your cover was simply too pretty to be true, and your title too vague to really *mean* anything. I still don't know what the passage was, but it was full of vampire-things and massive doses of character backstory that also didn't really *mean* anything... except make you a very, very heavy book. Brick-like, really. I believe next I'll tie a ransom note to you and throw you through a window, just for the giggles.

You had such lovely backstory, such vivid characters in your opening quarter, I couldn't put you down. Well, I could, because you are a fatass and my arms grew lethargic and weak after about an hour, but figuratively speaking. I was hooked, and I loved you for it. Vivid characters, shocking scenery, emotion. You had it all, baby.

But then things changed. Oh, did they change. You forgot your old ways and introduced me to a whole slew of new characters. Characters that I didn't care about, in a situation that seemed so distant and unreal compared to your sharply defined predecessors that I thought perhaps I was reading a different book. Gone were the late nights of voracious reading. Gone were my massive biceps developed from holding you at a readable height. I slogged through you, sometimes telling friends that you were "getting better," even daring to say "really good again" in whispered tones... but you would then disappoint, like a dog who is allergic to grass, and I would yell angrily at perfect strangers that you were a meandering, lame book with stupid characters and unbelievable situations. I finished you, though, because I had devoted a better part of the year reading you, and I had to see it through. Like climbing Everest, I just wanted to *breath* again, but I knew I had to finish you anyway.

And see you through I did, to an ending that only set you up for a sequel, likely full of more meaningless backstory and characters painstakingly developed over 100's of pages only to be forgotten or rendered unimportant. I did not spend 3 weeks reading you to get a cliffhanger, damnit. !@#$ you, The Passage. !@#$ you.

Goodbye, The Passage. You were a good workout, and my man-arms thank you. But you were bit of a slog and kind of boring. Sorry.

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2

Jul 03, 2010


Later, Keith Olbermanns words, WORST PERSON IN THE WO-O-R-R-L-L-D!!! would echo in my head.

The other morning, my daughter called, crying, and said, I just did something terrible.

I froze. As a parent, these words could mean anything. I waited.

I hit a car. I was trying to move over because the street was narrow. I hit someones mirror. I panicked. I just took off. Im late for work already. Theyll fire me if Im late. I know I damaged the mirror. I feel awful. This was all delivered in pieces, as she


Later, Keith Olbermann’s words, “WORST PERSON IN THE WO-O-R-R-L-L-D!!!” would echo in my head.

The other morning, my daughter called, crying, and said, “I just did something terrible.”

I froze. As a parent, these words could mean anything. I waited.

“I hit a car. I was trying to move over because the street was narrow. I hit someone’s mirror. I panicked. I just took off. I’m late for work already. They’ll fire me if I’m late. I know I damaged the mirror. I feel awful.” This was all delivered in pieces, as she was weeping by now.

During this, I go into parental stream of consciousness: "Thank God. No one’s hurt. She’s not hurt. She left the scene. What does that mean? What do I do? What do I do? Trouble? Fines? Tickets? Jail? Oh my God. Money. Trouble, Money, money, money. Trouble, trouble, trouble.... ...Then, the devil’s words: Did anyone see you?

But that’s not what I said. I heard myself say, “Can you go back and leave a note on the windshield?”

More wailing, “Noooo. I’m late now. They’ll fire me. I know it.”

“All right. Okay. You have to report this. I’ll find out what you need to do. It’s okay. Go to work. It’ll be okay.”

Of course, I had no idea if it would be all right. I’m in Wisconsin; she’s in Minneapolis, and I started to make phone calls. The first officer was a huge help. He said he didn’t know what the rules were, but she’d LEFT THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT. I said she panicked, she feels terrible, she’s sobbing. He said, “It doesn’t matter whether she's crying, laughing, smiling. She LEFT THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT. That’s a crime.” My heart was pounding, and I wanted to say, “Look you Neanderthal fuck. She killed a mirror. Could you be human for a moment?”

An hour or so later, I finally reached the right people, and the sergeant assured me she was not in trouble, took my name, number and hers, and said she should report it as soon as possible.

…Situation handled, I suppose. But I kept thinking of my first thought, and what I almost said, Did anyone see you? Epic fail.

I’m drawn to apocalyptic fiction, and one of the reasons why is that characters are often tested, and The Passage is no exception. Faced with temptation or in the clutch of terror, characters succeed or fail. While the book has compelling moments, too often Cronin starts to develop a character but never really completes the task. With such a large array of characters, this needs to be done. You want to empathize with the characters, and they need to be distinct enough so that you can keep them all straight.

One problem – and this may sound minor – but it drove me crazy, was Cronin’s inability to handle dialogue. With the exception of the soldiers, who spoke in an exaggerated military fashion, many of the characters sounded the same. Also, they seemed to have one expletive: flyers, which referred to something horrible in their midst. Accordingly, most of the characters, when excited, would begin a sentence by saying, “Flyers, what will we do?” or “Flyers, did you see anything?” It was absurd.

Picture, for example, something horrible in our lives. Sarah Palin, for example, and then picture her being able to survive, as she is, for decades.

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Would we all suddenly start using “Palins” as our only expletive, and then placing this word only at the beginning of a sentence? “Palins, hot enough for you?” or “Palins, we should get moving!”

No, for starters, though Palin has been on the international scene just shy of two years, we’ve been pretty creative in coming up with variations on her name:
~ Caribou Barbie
~Failin’ Palin
~the Thrilla from Wasilla
~Palin bailin’
~Bible Spice
~Deranged asshat (…sorry, that’s just me)

Imagine the variations we’d conjure up after decades.

Just why Cronin thought having most of his characters use this one expletive (flyers) baffled me, but I also started to wince every time someone used it.

I wanted to like this book. I’m a sucker for apocalyptic books where science-screws-up-big-time, starting with books as intellectually thoughtful as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein right down to Richard Preston’s The Hot Zone. And, the book gets off to a good start. The first third of the book is quite good—the plot moves forward, and characters are developed.

Then, you reach Part III, which begins with a long military report that sucks out whatever momentum the book had attained. And Cronin does this sort of thing far too often. He’ll get the plot moving and then deaden it by letting a military report or pages and pages of someone’s diary (in italics! I hate fucking italics!) stand in for the plot he should have developed. This is poor writing, poor pacing, and piss-poor editing. For a couple hundred pages, the book crawls. It gets into gear in spurts, which are again deadened with dull reports or italicized diaries.

Cronin’s book, which had promise, lacks the rich characterization needed for such a long book, fails to sustain momentum, and has moments – particularly at the beginning of new sections - of horribly overwritten passages, such as this sentence fairly early in the book, which introduces Chapter Fifteen:
”When all time ended, and the world had lost its memory, and the man that he was had receded from view like a ship sailing away, rounding the blade of the earth with his old life locked in its hold; when the gyring stars gazed down upon nothing…”
This sentence, already painful, continues for another 37 words.

Worst book in the world? Not at all. Cronin has talent, which he needs to develop, and—most of all—he needs to learn how to pace a novel, and not cheat by having climactic scenes told in the form of dry reports or diary entries.



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3

Jan 09, 2019

(3.5) This was a wild ride!

I've been going through my list of "post-apocalyptic books to read" and this one had been recommend to me so much that I had to read it. Within the last year I read The Stand by Stephen King (disease) and Swan Song by Robert McCammon (nuclear war) so it's impossible for me not to compare them.

In The Passage, the apocalypse happens though vampires (not the shiny type!). You get to see the before, during and after through the eyes of a few characters and writing-wise it (3.5) This was a wild ride!

I've been going through my list of "post-apocalyptic books to read" and this one had been recommend to me so much that I had to read it. Within the last year I read The Stand by Stephen King (disease) and Swan Song by Robert McCammon (nuclear war) so it's impossible for me not to compare them.

In The Passage, the apocalypse happens though vampires (not the shiny type!). You get to see the before, during and after through the eyes of a few characters and writing-wise it did remind me a bit of SK.

I understand why there's an abridged version - this book is very long and I honestly felt a bit exhausted after reading it. I do recommend it if you're someone that likes character driven books since, while there is quite a bit of action, you get to follow them while they go through a lot.

While it wasn't my all time favorite post-apocalyptic book, I am open to reading the rest of the series!

Shoutout to the author for making the villain call women "females" and making the male characters think it sounds like he's talking about livestock.

Can't wait to hear your thoughts as this was our first buddy read in the Fox Book Club! ...more
4

Sep 27, 2017

Epic . . . very, very Epic!

I feel like I just read about 5 books. Not because it was long, but just because there is so much story here that changes direction so many times. I cannot believe there are still two books to go . . . I mean, I can believe it because there is more story to tell, but how much more epic can this get!?

4.5 out of 5 stars

This one lost a little for me in the middle due to a blah transition that caused me to lose interest for a period of time. Looking back after knowing what Epic . . . very, very Epic!

I feel like I just read about 5 books. Not because it was long, but just because there is so much story here that changes direction so many times. I cannot believe there are still two books to go . . . I mean, I can believe it because there is more story to tell, but how much more epic can this get!?

4.5 out of 5 stars

This one lost a little for me in the middle due to a blah transition that caused me to lose interest for a period of time. Looking back after knowing what happened, it makes sense, but it was slow for a bit. So, if you are reading this review before you read the book, know that you should not give up if you get bored in the middle . . . this too shall pass!

In addition to being epic, this was great story telling. And, despite the size, there really wasn’t filler. Each page, each paragraph, each sentence had its place and kept the story moving (even during the blah part!). From deep, meaningful conversations to gore-filled action sequences, the story was always moving on to the next place and had me hungry to find out what was next.

If you like post-apocalyptic and monster stories, but need a new twist and are not afraid to invest a lot of time, you should read this. I guarantee that you will enjoy it!
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2

Jul 05, 2010

The hype machine was working. With some terrific reviews, this was immediately one of THE BOOKS TO READ for summer 2010, a vampire tale not written by Stephanie Meyer, and not even promoted very much as vampiric. Maybe our capacity for reading vampire novels has clotted somewhat?

The world in question begins in 2022. Gas is $13 a gallon. Iranian jihadists have killed hundreds at the Mall of America. Jenna Bush is Texas guv (this is a horror story, after all). New Orleans, battered by another The hype machine was working. With some terrific reviews, this was immediately one of THE BOOKS TO READ for summer 2010, a vampire tale not written by Stephanie Meyer, and not even promoted very much as vampiric. Maybe our capacity for reading vampire novels has clotted somewhat?

The world in question begins in 2022. Gas is $13 a gallon. Iranian jihadists have killed hundreds at the Mall of America. Jenna Bush is Texas guv (this is a horror story, after all). New Orleans, battered by another monster storm, is now an uninhabitable industrial park. An expedition to a remote corner of South America, sponsored by the US Army, is searching for a promising and dangerous virus. What could possibly go wrong? The Passage is nothing if not very, very derivative. Although there are a few nifty new notions within its 766 pages, (I will not spoil them by telling) there will be little here that is not almost immediately familiar. Government projects gone wrong, post-apocalyptic struggles for survival, battles between good and evil, strong people, weak people, and lots and lots of vampires.

That said, I felt that there were almost two complete, independent books within the whole. The first tells of the beginning of the unpleasantness, lasts for 246 pages and is gripping. I hated to put the book down. Even with the been-there-read-that aspect of the book, there was something about the writing of that 246 pages that kept me turning the pages, thirsty for more. As for the remaining 520, not so much. We move forward almost a century and enter the too-familiar landscape of post-apocalyptic survival. Although there were elements here that were interesting, some characters that held promise, I found it a very, very long yawn. I also felt that the author cheated a few times too many in leading us to believe that certain events had taken place when they had not. He even jokes about it in the writing, having one character say out loud what any reader might wonder about how a particular event transpired.

If The Passage had kept up the frantic and so-engaging pace of its long opening, it would indeed have been one of THE BOOKS TO READ this summer. Instead of reading The Passage, though, I would look for an alternate route.

I gave it two stars instead of one because the beginning was so good. Otherwise, I resented the time it took to read this waaaaaay too long book. ...more
5

Jul 08, 2010

when i read horror, i'm usually looking for: (1) cheap thrills or (2) surreal and metaphysical weirdness or, best of all,
(3) an epic full of dread and melancholy .

there is plenty of the first sort and so much of it is trash. but fun can be had with trashy things and i'm no snob. the second type can be a little more hard to find, but there's a lot to be had as well, if you look in the right places, especially the past. but the third kind, that's the hardest, i've only found a few. Declare, It, when i read horror, i'm usually looking for: (1) cheap thrills or (2) surreal and metaphysical weirdness or, best of all,
(3) an epic full of dread and melancholy .

there is plenty of the first sort and so much of it is trash. but fun can be had with trashy things and i'm no snob. the second type can be a little more hard to find, but there's a lot to be had as well, if you look in the right places, especially the past. but the third kind, that's the hardest, i've only found a few. Declare, It, The Terror. and The Passage. in a lot of horror, i'm not exactly eager to slowly lose myself in the world depicted - the experience is often more like a rollercoaster or a fun nightmare. but that last category, those mournful sagas - they are my special favorites. i may not want to live in a novel's world, but if it is a world that is so carefully crafted and then grown, one filled with tragedy and sadness and coming together and coming undone... i find it very easy to get lost in those worlds. it is a great feeling.

so on to The Passage. it is an excellent novel, complete with multi-leveled characters, spiritual mysteries, exciting action set pieces, and the trappings of several genres (vampire, post-apocalypse, and in the first third, an on-the-run-from-the-government-style thriller). the writing is solid, well-crafted, and certainly in no rush. particularly outstanding is the depth of characterization present in even minor or elusive characters such as the scientist Lear or the child molestor Grey. the first third of the novel is pretty much perfect, tightly-paced yet generous with motivation and context, and featuring three of the most warmly written and sympathetic characters i've come across in a while: Agent Wolgast & Sister Lacey & Anthony Carter: fallen agent, unearthly nun, misunderstood criminal. the empathy created by the author for these three and the depth of their background stories... i just really was not expecting that and it was wonderful to experience.

unlike many other readers, i felt the remaining two-thirds were very strong, moving easily between a wide range of physical and emotional landscapes, from complex world-building to pointed irony to moments of eerie beauty to straight-up horror (particularly in the Haven sequence). although it could be said that characterization was a bit less rich in the last two-thirds, the range of emotions depicted was often on a wider and more dynamic scale - the reader is able to watch characters actually grow and change.

i appreciated Cronin's vampires. they certainly run against the current grain! although the threat of their bizarre, bestial presence looms over the entire novel, they remain enjoyably enigmatic and largely in the background. i assume the amount of attention paid to the vampire Babcock and his traumatic past (also very well done) will be paralleled in the sequels by depictions of the remaining vampires.

The Passage has been compared to The Stand; personally i think The Passage is superior. my only real issue is the very ending, which could come across as cheaply ironic and unnecessarily brutal if it wasn't clear that this is only book 1 of 3. i assume that this disturbing cliffhanger of an ending will eventually be resolved with the same sensitivity and grace brought to the rest of the novel's various episodic sequences. ...more
3

May 15, 2018

At the start of this book I was pretty sure it would be a 5* read. In the middle I was losing the will to read on and thought it would do well to wring 3* from me. By the end I give it a hearty 3* but just can't bring myself to offer 4.

So, this is a vampire book without the sparkling, the forever sexy trope, or the stalker-horror vibe.

Cronin's writing reminded me a lot of Stephen King, though with a more literary edge (which is not to say that King doesn't have a literary edge ... he does, and At the start of this book I was pretty sure it would be a 5* read. In the middle I was losing the will to read on and thought it would do well to wring 3* from me. By the end I give it a hearty 3* but just can't bring myself to offer 4.

So, this is a vampire book without the sparkling, the forever sexy trope, or the stalker-horror vibe.

Cronin's writing reminded me a lot of Stephen King, though with a more literary edge (which is not to say that King doesn't have a literary edge ... he does, and in many ways it's his popular success that blinds a lot of 'serious' readers to King's writing chops).

Cronin writes very good prose. He is rather too wordy for my taste and spends too long getting around to things, but he writes some excellent lines and has a poet's sensibilities.

The book comes in many sub divisions but for me it breaks into three main parts. First there is the pre-disaster section where we dive in great detail into the lives of a handful of protagonists while slowly bringing them together for the "vampire stuff". The amount of time spent on these individuals makes you sure that they are going to be the pillars of this story. Which makes it rather a shock when you suddenly leave them all behind and start off with an entirely new and larger set of characters far away in time and space.

The second section, the colony, is where I started to lose interest. There were just so many characters and so few reasons for me to care about them. Additionally the point of view hops around between them regularly, which I found distancing and made it hard for me to attach to anyone.

I found this section particularly wordy and slow moving. Cronin is using these people and their detailed individual stories to indirectly paint a larger picture of the world we find ourselves in ... I understand that. And if it had been half the length with the focus on half the characters I would have been much more taken with it.

As it was it was a great relief when things started to go tits up and the roll call began to diminish rapidly.

The third and final section is the quest, and here I found myself much more invested. The interest level started to climb along with the tension, and I was pleased with myself to have predicted the existence of something that I felt was the literary inheritor of "the new warren" from Watership Down.

Even so, the pace was still sluggish and Cronin takes an age to get us anywhere.

Some will say that this is a book about characters rather than plot, and that's fair enough. I like character driven stories. I like stories about characters. It's just that in this particular book I found the plot far more interesting than the characters.

And finally, the book ends. But not with an great deal of resolution. It's very much a book 1 of a series (trilogy?). I can only think that some of the massive character building at the start of the book, that then vanished down a hole never to be spoken of again, may come to fruition in later books ... I'm looking at you Carter.

So yeah... Strong literary writing, a great imagination, but just too very many multitudinous words, too slowly meanderingly point failing to get toingly ponderously paced for this particular reader.

EDIT: And one small but crazy detail ... the only curse word they seem to own is fliers. I don't know if the editors were aiming for a PG rating but with so much time taken to build believable characters the dialogue seemed laughably clean and the appearance of "fliers" grew steadily more comical.


Join my 3-emails-a-year newsletter #prizes


…. ...more
3

Apr 29, 2010

I've had this book and the second of it's series for awhile. They set on my bookshelf and just look pretty. I would have read them one day...and then the third one came up on Netgalley. I have a Netgalley problem and I requested it, thinking that it would push me to read these. Yeah right.
Then my buddy Edward Lorn started reading this. He started posting updates. He teased me enough that I couldn't keep ignoring these books. Damn it.


So this does have one of my favorite 'end-of-the-world' I've had this book and the second of it's series for awhile. They set on my bookshelf and just look pretty. I would have read them one day...and then the third one came up on Netgalley. I have a Netgalley problem and I requested it, thinking that it would push me to read these. Yeah right.
Then my buddy Edward Lorn started reading this. He started posting updates. He teased me enough that I couldn't keep ignoring these books. Damn it.


So this does have one of my favorite 'end-of-the-world' things going. A virus happens, this one happens to be sort of man-made. Because man-kind is sorta stupid. Things NEVER EVER NEVER work out when they start tampering with sciency stuff.


This first third of this book was freaking awesome. I loved the whole FBI secret stuff and the lead up. Then the next third of the book happens.


I LOATHE how this part of the book worked. Cronin just jarred my little mind into a whole nuther story and I almost threw the book down and did my first dnf of the year. But I'm trying to be good and that Ed Lorn kept posting updates about how it got better and he is a dang old book pusher and I kept reading. DAMN IT!
I also did not like another thing about this book. Everyone using "flyers" as a cuss word confused the heck out of me. Just cuss or don't. Don't make weird words into them without the reader really understand it...because I thought since the boogers in this book have some super almost flying powers that they were talking about them.

Then the last third came in and saved the day. I didn't put the book down once it started. I couldn't, my fingers were glued to it. Now I'm interested enough that I can't wait to read the others.
Now for the baddies, these vampirey things don't sparkle. But you don't really hate them. I liked this..something new always gets my interest. Except I totally saw them in my head as this:




No question about who I'm spot lighting on this book. Ed's review is here Ed is one of my favorite reviewers. He makes me want to squeeze in books that I never would have picked up otherwise. Plus he cracks me up.
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2

Jun 29, 2010

This book, by far, was the biggest book I've read to date. And I stay away from really big books, usually, because I don't want to get to the end feeling dissatisfied. This big book left me feeling just that. The first 250 pages of this book were brilliantleft me wanting moreInitially. But, the rest of the 766 pages? Not so brilliant. By page 650, I wanted this way-too-long story to be over. I wanted to be taken off of life support and die. I had to convince myself to finish the last 100 pages This book, by far, was the biggest book I've read to date. And I stay away from really big books, usually, because I don't want to get to the end feeling dissatisfied. This big book left me feeling just that. The first 250 pages of this book were brilliant—left me wanting more—Initially. But, the rest of the 766 pages? Not so brilliant. By page 650, I wanted this way-too-long story to be over. I wanted to be taken off of life support and die. I had to convince myself to finish the last 100 pages and It took all my effort to do so, and I'm honestly glad I did. But in the end, this book was like a firecracker I was so anxious to light up, and once lit and backed away to see the display take place, ended up being a dud. ...more
3

Aug 16, 2010

Good afternoon. This is Wolf Blitzer from CNNs The Situation Room, the program that tries to make viewers think that youre seeing the busy hub of television journalism instead of admitting that despite our high-tech looking set and satellite feeds, youd probably learn more about whats actually going on in the world by looking out your window.

We turn our focus now to growing rumors that the U.S. Army is conducting secret medical experiments on American soil. The bizarre claims seem like something Good afternoon. This is Wolf Blitzer from CNN’s The Situation Room, the program that tries to make viewers think that you’re seeing the busy hub of television journalism instead of admitting that despite our high-tech looking set and satellite feeds, you’d probably learn more about what’s actually going on in the world by looking out your window.

We turn our focus now to growing rumors that the U.S. Army is conducting secret medical experiments on American soil. The bizarre claims seem like something out of a Stephen King novel yet despite repeated denials by the Defense Department the stories continue to grow, and documents posted on WikiLeaks seem to support some of this.

Is this just an urban myth gaining popularity thanks to the internet, or is there something to these rumors? Joining me now via satellite from his office is Major John Smith, a spokesman from the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. Major, thanks for joining us.

Major John Smith: Thanks for having me.

Wolf Blitzer: So I’m sure you’re aware of these persistent stories circulating, Major.

MJS: *laughs* Yes, they’re keeping my office quite busy.

WB: And the Army’s position is that they’re absolutely unfounded?

MJS: Of course. Frankly, Wolf, I’m surprised we even have to bother discussing this. It’s obviously the work of internet hoaxsters.

WB: But what about the documentation that’s leaked out?

MJS: They are clearly forgeries. Have you read this stuff? Secret bases on U.S. soil? Convicted felons recruited and used for guinea pigs for drug trials to extend human life? Vampire-like creatures that have some kind of telepathic connection and cause bad dreams? I think someone just posted an old X-Files script. I find it sad that Americans are wasting time on this nonsense.

WB: It does seem outlandish, but let’s talk a few specifics. The documents mention a Project Noah that the USAMRIID is running. And there are line items in the USAMRIID budget for a Project Noah for a significant amount of money.

MJS: I can confirm that there is a Project Noah, and while it’s top-secret, I have been authorized to disclose that it involves research into cutting edge medical technologies that could be used to save more lives on the battlefield. That’s all I can say about it. But it’s obvious that these conspiracy theorists just took a real project name and used it for their own purposes.

WB: So there never was a research team funded by USAMRIID that was slaughtered in the jungles of Central America while seeking a virus sample that could greatly boost human healing abilities?

MJS: Of course not. Unfortunately, we did have a team in that area that was researching a botany project, and they did sustain casualties after accidentally coming across some local drug runners, but that’s all it was.

WB: And the USAMRID does not have government agents recruiting death row prisoners to be the subjects of experimental drug trials?

MJS: Again, that’s ridiculous.

WB: So where have these prisoners gone, Major?

MJS: Considering they were death row inmates, I think it’s safe to say they got executed.

WB: I assume you’ll also deny the existence of this secret lab, hidden somewhere underground in the Rocky Mountains?

MJS: Absolutely.

WB: What about reports from Telluride, Colorado, of citizens having the same nightmares and behaving strangely?

MJS: Complete nonsense. I’m based in Telluride myself, and I sleep just fine.

WB: One last question, Major. A new wave of rumors regarding a small girl in Memphis being abducted by government agents have begun circulating today. Any comment?

MJS: The idea that the US Army had anything to do with abducting children is absurd, Wolf. Think about these stories. Does it really seem possible that the U.S. government has a secret base in Colorado where we’re experimenting with a virus on convicts and small children that turns them into some kind of Dracula-type creature with the ability to invade dreams and brainwash people. Seriously, what’s next? I’m sure the people who believe that will tell you that it’s inevitable that some kind of accident will unleash the virus on an unsuspecting public, and that the country will be consumed by a plague of these creatures until civilization is completely destroyed. And then what? Maybe a small handful of survivors will manage to establish a safe zone and a new type of society? Oh, and a couple of generations down the line, like a hundred years from now, a few of these survivors will embark on an odyssey to find the truth in a post-apocalyptic landscape? Does that really seem likely, Wolf?

WB: *chuckles* When you put it that way, Major, it does seem pretty far fetched….

(Crashing noises and screams are heard.)

WB: Major, what’s happened? Are you alright?

MJS: Ugh.. I’m perfectly…Arr… fine, Wolf. Ow! Just..uh… just dropped a glass. Arrgh..

WM: Major, I don’t mean to argue with you, but it seems like some kind of horrible vampire-like creature has just burst into your office and is biting you.

MJS: That’s…UHH…totally ridiculous…. Oh, shit!…. Ow… This is … arrr… my assistant…. EH!.. He just has….owwww.. low blood sugar. Arrrghh…

WB: Well, you’re obviously busy, Major. We’ll let you go now. Thanks for your time.

MJS: My plesur… OWWWW!… HOLY JESUS SOMEBODY SHOOT THIS GODDAMN…..

WB: It appears we lost the link. So did we just see a US Army officer get his face gnawed off by a vampire-like creature that he had just finished denying the existence of? Or is this just another internet hoax? We may never know. Up next, global warming critics continue to say that the whole thing is a liberal lie.
...more
5

Apr 11, 2012

Cronin combines two classic and overused literary elements--vampires and the end of the world--and spins them into something entirely fresh and new. To me, it's an amazing accomplishment.
4

Jul 11, 2015

The Passage (The Passage, #1), Justin Cronin
The Passage is a novel by Justin Cronin, published in 2010. It is the first novel of a completed trilogy; the second book The Twelve was released in 2012, and the third book The City of Mirrors released in 2016. The novel and its sequels were to be adapted into a film trilogy; however, they will now be written for television. The novel is broken into 11 parts of varying lengths. The story itself is broken into two sections: The first and shorter The Passage (The Passage, #1), Justin Cronin
The Passage is a novel by Justin Cronin, published in 2010. It is the first novel of a completed trilogy; the second book The Twelve was released in 2012, and the third book The City of Mirrors released in 2016. The novel and its sequels were to be adapted into a film trilogy; however, they will now be written for television. The novel is broken into 11 parts of varying lengths. The story itself is broken into two sections: The first and shorter section covers the origins of the virus and its outbreak, while the second is set 93 years after the infections, primarily following a colony of survivors living in California.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز نوزدهم ماه جولای سال 2015 میلادی
عنوان: گذرگاه دوجلدی از کتاب 1 سه گانه گذرگاه؛ نویسنده: جاستین کرونین؛ مترجم: محمد جوادی؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، کتابسرای تندیس، 1392، کتاب 1 در 1104 ص، شابک دو جلدی: 9786001820854؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان امریکایی سده 21 م

داستان گذرگاه، در آینده ای نزدیک و دنیایی آخرالزمانی روی میدهد. ویروسی بسیار خطرناک و مسری در جامعه رها و بیشتر مردمان موجوداتی همانند خون آشام شده، و نظام جهانی از بین رفته است. چیزی که بعنوان پروژه‌ ای، برای تولید دارویی برای افزایش سیستم ایمنی بدن، با استفاده از ویروسی که از نوعی خاص از خفاش، در آمریکای جنوبی به دست می‌آمد، شروع شده، در نهایت تبدیل به ویروسی شد، که دنیا را دیگر کرد. داستان رمان، در سال 2014 میلادی آغاز شده، و بیش از 90 سال ادامه پیدا میکند ...؛ کتاب دوم از سه گانه با عنوان: «دوازده»؛ و کتاب سوم عنوانش: «شهر آینه ها»؛ میباشد. ا. شربیانی ...more
2

Oct 25, 2012

The hype machine worked! With a delay. The Passage was a publishing sensation of 2010 - cleverly marketed as The Stand meeting The Road, its gorgeous cover (will you just look at these trees!) immediately caught attention of readers, and even its bulk was not discouraging - after all, who does not enjoy getting caught up in a good novel? Publishing details topped the cake: Cronin received a $5 million advance payment: $3.5 for the publishing rights to The Passage and two planned sequel (in North The hype machine worked! With a delay. The Passage was a publishing sensation of 2010 - cleverly marketed as The Stand meeting The Road, its gorgeous cover (will you just look at these trees!) immediately caught attention of readers, and even its bulk was not discouraging - after all, who does not enjoy getting caught up in a good novel? Publishing details topped the cake: Cronin received a $5 million advance payment: $3.5 for the publishing rights to The Passage and two planned sequel (in North America alone), and Riddley Scott bought the rights to film the novel for $1,5 million. A relatively unknown novelists whose previous output consists of just two slim novels - Mary and O'Neil: A Novel in Stories and The Summer Guest - both of which having nothing to do with end of the world, vampires, infections, and an epic on a grand scale. Where did this surprising development came from? I have no idea, but apparently this goose lays eggs of gold. Stephen King sealed the deal, giving the novel a glowing recommendation: "It has the vividness that only epic works of fantasy and imagination can achieve...read this book and the ordinary world disappears" (King also blurbed Hannibal as being better than both Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs - I can understand much but I genuinely have no idea where he got that idea from). And did you know that the author of this huuuge novel with vampires is a professor of English at Rice Univeristy in Texas? Get it? Rice? LOL!

Although the novel has been compared to The Stand, I see another comparison which would be way more apt; Robert McCammon's
Swan Song, another gargantuan post-apocalyptic epic. Unlike The Stand, McCammon's novel has largely failed the test of time. Although one cannot deny the author his efforts and ambition, it remains deeply rooted in the 80's fear of a nuclear war - which is not essentially a bad thing. What is bad is that it's populated by cartoony characters and sugary sentimentality, with little or no ambiguity. Still, there is a certain merit to Swan Song resulting from nostalgia - it's the epitome of the bulky paperback novel which once was what captured our attention and kept us reading late into the night when we were younger and did not mind its flaws, captivated instead by the story which still had time to get old and cliched. Now, the Huge Post-Apocalyptic Epics are a thing of the past - most novels concerned with life after the Big Bad are much slimmer, and adressed to young adults. And here, in 2010, Justin Cronin brought it back to life! How could we not get excited? We still remember reading The Stand years ago and hoped for at least a glimpse of that feeling.

The trouble is that this is the 21st century - the author would be hard pressed to come up with new ideas instead of relying on all familiar plot devices and developments...and well, he doesn't. The novel opens with a weak first act, consisting mainly of a stereotypical story of a young mother and her troubles; eventually it gets so bad that she has to sell her body, and then she leaves her daughter at a convent. There is also a B-movie like episode of scientists investigating some wild occurences in South America. Then two cops show up on the stage and have to take the girl who was left at the convent and deliver her to the feds - for some unknown reason (probably because she's a messiah character). The author likes backstories - instead of letting these characters act and come to life, he dumps pages after pages of their past on the poor reader's conscience - care damnit! It does not help that all the characters are bland as hell - the child with hidden powers, the good cop/bad cop routine, an innocent prisoner and I swear that there's even a Magical Negro in there and this hasn't been cool since John Coffey. But something finally starts to happen - the promised apocalypse is sloowly starting to boil!

Aaaaaaaand that is the moment the novel takes a surprising leap! Around quarter through it the reader is suddenly and unexpectedly catapulted into the future, and introduced to a completely new set of characters who are left in the world AFTER the apocalypse happened. The fireworks went off, and we weren't even there! The post-apocalypic world itself I did not find to be very interesting - anyone even vaguely familiar with the themes the author approaches will find little, if any, surprises in this part of the text. While the first part of the book manages to maintain at least a mild sort of interest in the reader, the rest of the book is meandering and unfocused, never gaining any real momentum.
In over a thousand pages periliously little happens, and the narrative feels stretched to the maximum - and to top that any possible violent or sexual content The Passage is consciously toned down by the author, probably to met the PG13 and reach the younger audience. This is reflected in the relative simplicity of the storyline, complete with melodramatic expressions in all the right places ("Oh, How he loved her").

And at the end of the novel there's a giant cliffganger, meaning that the whole thing was just a set up for the other two novels - the sequel has just been published. Loose ends will probably be tied in the subsequent installments - but to take a hardly original idea and stretch into a sprawling and overlong novel which barely accomplishes anything on its own makes me not be at all excited about reading them. ...more
3

Jul 01, 2010

This book got me to the important realization that zombies are just vampires gone retarded.
0

Jul 07, 2017

All three books (Kindle edition) in the trilogy (The Passage #1, The Twelve # 2 and City of Mirrors #3) are currently on offer: 0.99p in the UK and $0.99 (I think) in the US. No idea how long for. I bought the first two novels, awhile back, when they were on offer; and now, I've finally got the third book, uber cheap. Hope they're good. I might get around to reading them, someday. I hope.
3

Mar 21, 2018

When it comes to Science Fiction or Fantasy that has a literary aspect to it, I usually have to step back & ask myself:

"Mary, did you enjoy this because it was good? Or did you enjoy it because it was written well?"

Such was the case with Justin Cronin's The Passage. Did I like this book? Well. Yes and no. At times. Sort of. I guess.

This book has its really excellent moments, but it has some not so excellent moments too & that makes assessing the work as a whole difficult to say the When it comes to Science Fiction or Fantasy that has a literary aspect to it, I usually have to step back & ask myself:

"Mary, did you enjoy this because it was good? Or did you enjoy it because it was written well?"

Such was the case with Justin Cronin's The Passage. Did I like this book? Well. Yes and no. At times. Sort of. I guess.

This book has its really excellent moments, but it has some not so excellent moments too & that makes assessing the work as a whole difficult to say the least.

It's honestly hard to even summarize neatly what you will find if you choose to pick up this title. There are many things happening all at once; constant switches in points of view, character histories, and the current plot line all jockeying for your attention. The best way to describe it is a story about a web of interconnected people and how they all interact with each other while they deal with the end of the world.

Another important thing to note is that this book could easily have been split into two books. In fact, if you read the blurb it does an excellent job of encompassing the first half of this book, which in my opinion is spectacular.

Cronin begins on an incredibly strong note with a character that immediately grabbed my attention & kept me engaged on an emotional & intellectual level. I remained fully locked into the story for almost all of the first half, and had it been a separate book on its own I probably would have rated it a 4-4.5 stars at the very least.

But then...

There is massive jump in the timeline right smack dab in the middle of this 766 page (or 37.5 hours on audio) book & while sometimes that technique works, in this case I consider it a negative.

The story fast forwards a hundred years into the future & that my friends is where I lost my groove almost completely.



Once I reached this leap, I set the book down for what? Maybe 2 weeks? Which is quite a long time for me & my normal reading speed.

The characters I cared about were no longer at the forefront of the story, the aspects that kept my attention were replaced with a much less intriguing set of circumstances, and I had to seriously consider whether or not I wanted to continue.

That's not to say that the last half of this book turned out to be dreadful. It definitely is not. But the abrupt gear change & the feeling that I was tricked into reading the first two books in this series instead of just the first was something I couldn't shake.

Where the first part of the book felt very careful & intentional with how it introduced each character to the situation, the second part haphazardly tossed a new cast of characters at me whose faces were hardly developed in my mind before we were off on the next adventure.

I never formed any sort of bond with anyone from the second half of the story & while certain parts of the narrative held my attention more than others, this lack of connection absolutely affected my ability to care about what was going on.

The switching perspectives in the first half were brilliantly timed & once the threads were woven together I could see a beautiful & terrible picture. This technique applied to the second half felt careless & without the precision I had come to expect from the previous chapters.

Even the writing style, which was pleasingly descriptive & tonally appropriate suffered from the lack of adequate characterization. Where before I had been actively focused in on the details, I came to find them tedious & exhausting by the end of the story.

At this point, I'm not sure that I want to continue with The Passage series. While there's no denying Cronin has the ability to write deeply engaging characters & spin a distinctive tale out of a trope we've seen many times before, I'm not sure I can fully trust him to keep the focus of the story relevant across two more books equally as massive as this one is.

Only time will tell! ...more
5

Jul 03, 2010

I havent read any of Justin Cronins books. I picked this one up solely based on an interview the New York Times did with the author. Of course, the interviewer was asking Cronin if he read Twilight (he hadnt.) Is Twilight REALLY the be-all, end-all of vampire books? This book runs circles around that teenage sop-fest. A better comparison would be Bram Stokers Dracula. Actually, an even better comparison would be to the movie The Village (without the awkward twist) or George Stewarts Earth I haven’t read any of Justin Cronin’s books. I picked this one up solely based on an interview the New York Times did with the author. Of course, the interviewer was asking Cronin if he read Twilight (he hadn’t.) Is Twilight REALLY the be-all, end-all of vampire books? This book runs circles around that teenage sop-fest. A better comparison would be Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Actually, an even better comparison would be to the movie The Village (without the awkward twist) or George Stewart’s Earth Abides.

When I first picked up this book, I considered not reading it because it was 766 pages and that seemed way too long. However, I read the first sentence and got sucked in: Before she became the Girl from Nowhere -- the One Who Walked In, the First and Last and Only, who lived a thousand years, she was just a little girl in Iowa, named Amy. Amy Harper Bellafonte. It took me about a week to get through this book -- I couldn't put it down (except to sleep and work.)

Cronin’s writing is exquisite. I felt like I truly knew (and cared about) the characters. I was even sympathetic to the vamps (or virals as they’re called in this book). Let’s face it, his vampires are the creatures in the night you warn your children about, not the ones you want to make out with. I couldn’t get a good sense of what they looked like, but I visualized something that was a little human, a little praying mantis and a little bat. And let me tell you, the thought scared the bejeezus out of me.

It was a fascinating read. I love reading these post-apocalyptic books because there’s such a sense of hope. Even when the world is overrun by scary bloodsucking bat-things, pockets of humanity somehow find a way to survive. I need to start stockpiling batteries and canned food!

The ending is a little abrupt – and hopefully what appears to happen doesn’t actually happen. There are two additional books in the series. I think the next one is coming out in two years (ugh). ...more
1

May 20, 2016

I feel that I need to explain my one star rating.

Firstly, it's really not that bad, its just that I always award one star to any book I feel compelled to abandon before the end, and I didn't get beyond half way on this one. Secondly, most of the first half is very good but then it descended into the realms of dull, futuristic nonsense of the type that completely switches me off.

Let me clarify. I like apocalyptic tales of the end of the world as we know it. I'm interested in the different ways it I feel that I need to explain my one star rating.

Firstly, it's really not that bad, it’s just that I always award one star to any book I feel compelled to abandon before the end, and I didn't get beyond half way on this one. Secondly, most of the first half is very good but then it descended into the realms of dull, futuristic nonsense of the type that completely switches me off.

Let me clarify. I like apocalyptic tales of the end of the world as we know it. I'm interested in the different ways it could come about and how people react when the reality of their situation dawns. I also like the stories that develop from the immediate effects of the bomb or the virus or the collision with another planet that bring current events to an unseemly end. Books such as The Stand and Seveneves cover the initial catastrophe and its immediate aftermath really well, but then they descend in to fantasy and far future science fiction, respectively. This book drops in the same trick as Seveneves in that having engaged your interest in a group of characters and their fates it suddenly abandons them and leaps forward about a hundred years to an imaginary world I found totally unengaging. Moreover, the characters I’d invested so much time and emotion in are, of course, now nowhere to be seen.

I know many will disagree with this view, and that's fine with me. I know my limitations. I've never been able to deal with supernatural figures, ghosts, demons or worlds where the science or social rules are far removed from what l’m familiar with. Call it a lack of imagination if you like. My favourite science fiction novel is probably The Road and I think that's because although the events that caused 'the end’ are only referenced briefly and obliquely, the world it leaves behind feels believable. I could relate to it.

For all that, I’ll continue to seek out books that deal with this scenario because it’s something that has a huge draw for me. Suggestions welcome! ...more
4

Mar 01, 2010

Thank you, GoodReads for this Advance Reader's Edition. So hard to rate. Act I is simply superb - brilliantly written, suspenseful, beautiful, a full 5. Act II is cluttered, (too) many actors moving on and off stage, rarely doing anything of consequence while they are there. Act III is a combination screenplay, set-up for a sequel, exciting in a dystopian, end-of-days sort of way, (with a ray or two of hope).
5

Aug 03, 2017

Great book, loved it. Highly recommend for those post apocalyptic fans. The world the author created was vivid and real. The characters were wonderful as was their plight.
One criticism and it might just be the author in me. I thought the outstanding train scene was so well done that it overshadowed the final climax that came later in the book. This threw off the timing of the book just a smidgen. Not a bit deal. That train scene was something else.
Tried the second book in this trilogy and Great book, loved it. Highly recommend for those post apocalyptic fans. The world the author created was vivid and real. The characters were wonderful as was their plight.
One criticism and it might just be the author in me. I thought the outstanding train scene was so well done that it overshadowed the final climax that came later in the book. This threw off the timing of the book just a smidgen. Not a bit deal. That train scene was something else.
Tried the second book in this trilogy and couldn't stay with it. It didn't have the same tone, or interest. I heard the third one was back to form but have not had a chance to crack that one as of yet.
David Putnam author of the Bruno Johnson series.
D. ...more
4

May 10, 2013

First things first. I need to mention I won this book in GoodReads Giveaways.

A high-secret military experiment (some scientists decided to play God) went Terribly Wrong and as a result a terrible virus is unleashed in the wild. I had trouble suspending my disbelief when I realized the virus already existed in a remote place; it would be more believable if it was artificially created. It kills the lucky majority of infected people; unlucky few who do not die become - for all practical purposes - First things first. I need to mention I won this book in GoodReads Giveaways.

A high-secret military experiment (some scientists decided to play God) went Terribly Wrong and as a result a terrible virus is unleashed in the wild. I had trouble suspending my disbelief when I realized the virus already existed in a remote place; it would be more believable if it was artificially created. It kills the lucky majority of infected people; unlucky few who do not die become - for all practical purposes - vampires. They love garlic and do not care much about holy water and crucifixes, but otherwise they behave exactly like their famous great-great-great-grandfather Count Dracula.


The humanity is practically wiped out on North American continent; the scattered groups of survivors have no idea what is going on in other places on Earth and some of them are not even aware other such groups exist. One seemingly ordinary day several people in one completely isolated group found what they think a mere glimmer of hope for all survivors. Other circumstances force them to act upon the information they have. Good old-fashion carnage ensures.

This part of the book does have a strong Max Max (the original) Vibe.

I would like to discuss the book weaknesses first. Once upon a time there lived a German philosopher Immanuel Kant who according to Wikipedia is now considered to be the central figure of the modern philosophy. The first logical question a this point would be, " What the heck does Kant who lived in eighteenth century have anything to do with the book I am trying to review here?" With all of his brilliant contributions to philosophy - and I would be the first one to admit they were brilliant - Kant was not exactly get-to-the point kind of guy. In fact some of the passages from his works are outright painful to read.


Now fast forward to twenty first century. Justin Cronin wrote this book. I suspect he is a great fan of Kant's style as his pace makes Kant's look like a charging cheetah. Look at the page count of this monster; I am sure one would not be allowed in some weapon-free places while carrying it (the book size makes it qualify as one). What contributes to the size? Author's inability to listen to his editor, first and foremost.


You will get to see a background of every single character appearing (the tale is of epic proportions, so there are quite a few of them). The said background is usually presented in flashbacks. The flashbacks themselves often contain other flashbacks, several levels deep. In fact I think Cronin created a brand new type of flashbacks - one ones with changing POVs. The most frustrating part: about half of the characters with flashbacks would be killed two pages after the tale comes back to present day. Why do we need a complete background of this book's equivalent of Redshirts??? Starting all the way from his/her birth.


I could not help noticing one huge plot hole. I mean big enough to host a couple of galaxies. The vampires could not be stopped by modern military armed to their teeth. Make no mistakes, modern military has some very neat toys with serious destruction potential at their disposals. Look no further than Russian RPG-29 as an example.

This guy can penetrate frontal armor of a modern tank, but vampires could not be killed with it? To add more insult to the injury the dystopian survivors successfully held vampires at bay with just bows and crossbows. Some explanation of the phenomenon would be welcome, but none was given.

Now with all my criticism of this book you would think it was bad. Take a look at my rating. This is right, 4 stars. The plot was interesting and intriguing enough when it was not dealing with flashbacks. Exactly the same can be said about some characters. While reading I kept asking myself that one question typical for a really good book, "What is going to happen next?" I do not regret reading this one even though the problems with it made for a very frustrating read. In the beginning of my read I though about DNF, but now I am curious enough to give the second installment a chance. ...more
3

Jun 22, 2011

Three and a half stars. It was an enjoyable read, enough to keep me reading all day--as in eat-dinner-while-reading kind of day. It is not particularly original (must the vampires glow) and by the end, I was struck by a resemblance to Resident Evil Apocalypse. But, hey, that could be because after a while, aren't all end of the world stories kind of the same?

One possible limitation, depending upon the reader, is that an atmosphere of horror and fear isn't given the chance to grow. I have to Three and a half stars. It was an enjoyable read, enough to keep me reading all day--as in eat-dinner-while-reading kind of day. It is not particularly original (must the vampires glow) and by the end, I was struck by a resemblance to Resident Evil Apocalypse. But, hey, that could be because after a while, aren't all end of the world stories kind of the same?

One possible limitation, depending upon the reader, is that an atmosphere of horror and fear isn't given the chance to grow. I have to agree with another reviewer who thought the vampires weren't all that scary. Maybe instead of so much prologue, more time showing how people coped, how communities were wiped out or tried to make it without lights would have built the tension. Sure, the vamps rip people open with a slash and move amazingly fast, but really, don't cheetahs as well? Then, of course, were the one or two times when Cronin was doing an adequate job of building tension during a confrontation, then threw in the "looking back..." paragraph that lets you know our main people are going to survive. However, he still does an adequate enough job that I wasn't always sure how it would come out.

I could have lived without the mysticism as well, first exemplified in Amy at the zoo. By the end, however, I was feeling the Alice (R.E.) vibe, when (view spoiler)[ Alisha becomes super-powered kick-ass, and Amy makes the decision there shouldn't be any more 'like her.' Except, of course, there never were really any like Amy, since who goes to the zoo and causes animal riots? (hide spoiler)]

Pick up the next book? Sure--from the library. ...more
5

Feb 28, 2019

I already know I'm not going to be able to fully convey how much I enjoyed reading this book - I suppose that's always true to some extent, but when it comes to a story so involved and complex, a few paragraphs on my part won't really do it justice.
It took me a month to read, which is fairly slow for me. There were two reasons for this: I was simultaneously rereading a pile of Saddle Club books, and got completely lost in childhood nostalgia and a much-loved familiar world. I also found that I I already know I'm not going to be able to fully convey how much I enjoyed reading this book - I suppose that's always true to some extent, but when it comes to a story so involved and complex, a few paragraphs on my part won't really do it justice.
It took me a month to read, which is fairly slow for me. There were two reasons for this: I was simultaneously rereading a pile of Saddle Club books, and got completely lost in childhood nostalgia and a much-loved familiar world. I also found that I would read about 50 - 100 pages of The Passage, and then want to stop and think it over, to just let myself absorb everything that was happening.
I loved all the characters, especially Amy of course, who captured me instantly. I loved the way I never knew where it was going, how things would connect up so beautifully, and how completely real it all felt. It was pretty much a perfect reading experience. Having read a few reviews here on Goodreads, I've noticed it is a divisive book for many people, so perhaps take to the time to look over several varying reviews to see if it sounds like something you'd like. It's a long book (my copy actually has 977 pages which is more than is listed here) and the first of three - I personally found it worth every second spent reading, and would highly recommend it.
I'll be ordering a copy of The Twelve as soon as I can; in the meantime though, I'll be thinking about The Passage for a while. ...more
4

Nov 17, 2017

The book, The Passage (The Passage # 1) by Justin Cronin is a prime example of an excellently written story that the reader draws and draws to read. Although the story dark because the whole world is experiencing apocalypse enormity scale, the book tells the story about people who find themselves in these catastrophic times, who are struggling for daily survival even though the survival conditions are minimal. But in moments in the book I have too many descriptions that sometimes draw attention The book, The Passage (The Passage # 1) by Justin Cronin is a prime example of an excellently written story that the reader draws and draws to read. Although the story dark because the whole world is experiencing apocalypse enormity scale, the book tells the story about people who find themselves in these catastrophic times, who are struggling for daily survival even though the survival conditions are minimal. But in moments in the book I have too many descriptions that sometimes draw attention to the main story, despite everything in the story have tense and the reader does not know who will survive and who dies. In some parts of the book, I have a sense of how a writer literally deliberately kills some protagonists from the book to keep the story from spreading. Regardless, this is a very good book with a post-apocalyptic story featuring vampires - Viral. We should be honestly afraid of what the story tells us because in laboratories controlled by the government and the army who knows what is being investigated to destroy the “enemy”. In this book, one such research has gone catastrophically and the world has become the place of hell overnight. Since in each summary of the book you have a description of the book I do not intend to recount the story of the book, I just want to say that we have to keep it of human stupidity because it is undetectable. The book tells us what would happen if a crazy experiment went out of control and turned Earth into a place where the human species would be food. The characters and story in the book are well elaborated, if you love stories about vampires and post-apocalyptic world, this is a book for you. I would like to recommend the book to all lovers of horror, dystopia and post-apocalyptic science fiction. ...more

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