The Passage by Justin Cronin

passageTitle: The Passage
Author: Justin Cronin
Genre: Apocalypse/science fiction/literary
Publisher: Random House Books (2010)
Pages: 841

Brief Summary:

Amy is a six year old girl abandoned by her mother who is eventually captured by some mysterious men working for the government on a mysterious, yet terrifying experiment. When the man who captures her begins to be entranced by the young girl, he vows to do everything he can to protect her even as the experiment dissolves into apocalyptic nature.

What I Think:

I’ve heard about this book before, but never really had an interest in reading it. I don’t know why I picked it up this time around, but I decided to pursue this huge monstrous book. And monstrous, it is: at 841 pages, it’s not easy walk in the park.

The book had some interesting concepts: a group of men working on a virus that could potentially make people live forever, a young girl who survives it but lives forever in the hope of saving the world, and a cast of characters determined to survive in a world of new, terrifying expectations. It’s hard to fit this book into a certain category. It’s not exactly science fiction, not exactly fantasy, not exactly thriller, or even literary. Instead, it’s a combination of everything. Even the monsters don’t comfortably fit into one mold.

When I first heard about the book I heard the creatures were zombies, which is why I held off reading it for so long, as I hate zombies. Then later I heard they were vampires, which made me want to read it even less, as I don’t like them either. But they’re not either/or, as they’re kind of a combination of both. Which makes it terrifying, and a little gross.

But here’s the thing: I thought the book was a little bit too long. I was riveted by the story in the beginning. But what took me so long to read the book was the endless descriptions. We’d get to an exciting part, but when it was over, we just went back to reading the descriptions and long thoughts of the characters. It would have been much better if he trimmed it up in different places in order to keep it concise and fast pace. With the way he writes, Cronin could be an author similar to Stephen King with all the words he writes for his books.

I enjoyed the concept of a small girl being the catalyst to saving the world. And while it’s been done before, I like the idea of a viral monsters escaping and taking over the world. And for that reason I’d be interested in pursuing the other books in the trilogy.

Rating: 3 Stars

4 thoughts on “The Passage by Justin Cronin

  1. This is one I really want to read. I thought the TV series was great and was bummed it got cancelled after only one season. It had a lot of potential. I did pick up the book while the show was still on, but had a hard time getting into it while I had new episodes to look forward to each week. Now that it’s cancelled, I think I’ll give it another shot.

    1. It’s definitely worth a shot if you don’t mind long passages (no pun intended!) I was expecting to see more action in it, but it’s more thoughtful meandering, you know? I had the show tie in copy of the book so that sparked my attention. Didn’t realize it got cancelled. Bummer, would have liked to have seen where it was going.

      1. Yeah, it was really disappointing. Especially when the season finale left things on a cliffhanger, not knowing if they were being picked up for a second year.

      2. Well, bummer! How sad. Adapting big books and series for television’s been more popular since Game of Thrones but I guess CEO’s need certain numbers to keep it going.

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