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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Passage by Justin Cronin

Alright, so my next read was going to be something French for the Paris in July challenge, but I got sidetracked.  On Friday, my Amazon order came in and well I couldn't help but look over my new book purchases - one of those being The Passage. I had barely read the first few sentences when I knew that I was not going to be reading anything French this weekend. 

From the book flap:

IT HAPPENED FAST.
THIRTY-TWO MINUTES FOR ONE WORLD TO DIE, ANOTHER TO BE BORN.

First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment.  Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to a sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered.  All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear - of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.

As civilization swiftly crumbles into a primal landscape of predators and prey, two people flee in search of sanctuary.  FBI agent Brad Wolgast is a good man haunted by what he's done in the line of duty.  Six-year-old orphan Amy Harper Bellafonte is a refugee from the doomed scientific project that has triggered apocalypse.  Wolgast is determined to protect her from the horror set loose by her captors, but for Amy, escaping the bloody fallout is only the beginning of a much longer odyssey - spanning miles and decades - toward the time and place where she must finish what should never have begun. 

My thoughts: WOW!!!

What a gripping and fantastic read! I just could not put this book down at all! The Passage is a must read book that tells the story of a group of people journeying towards survival and answers.  You have a world that is no more because of a military experiment gone awry - the virals (vampires) they created have gotten loose and have destroyed the world.  People are scarce and therefore history, culture, society, laws, etc. have pretty much been forgotten.  The Colony we happen upon has their own governmental system that consists of a hierarchy and lineage based on who was here first.  As for the virals that are roaming the earth, well they all follow their thirst.  I don't really want to write much about the plot, because there is just so much that happens and its better for you to read it yourself to fully get the picture of all the events that lead to 'the passage'.  Plus, it has been noted that Cronin will be writing 2 more books to follow The Passage - thereby making it a series. I cannot wait to find out what happens next to Peter and Amy and everyone in the book. Will they survive? Will they succeed?  What happened to The Colony?  Where is everyone? Hmmm.

As for the writing - excellent!  And by excellent, I mean the kind where you refuse to sleep, eat, leave the house, etc. because you are so involved in the book that aside from breathing, everything else can fall to the wayside.  Yes, I was that consumed by my book!  It was just so easy to fall in step with the writing and follow along on this journey being taken by a group of characters that are so engaging , you can't help but cheer them on when they succeed and shed a tear when they don't.  I found myself completely immersed in this world of virals, corrupt government officials, The Colony, nuns, and the Girl from Nowhere.  I also found myself wondering where Cronin got the idea for this book, because, though it is a vampire book, it really isn't.  There's more to it then just virals that need to be killed - its a book about humanity, love, hope and despair.  Its a book about a world that can be mended.  

And I would most definitely recommend The Passage. Even if you aren't into vampire books, it is a fun book to read - it has action, suspense, thrills and love. Definitely one of my favorite books of 2010.     

18 comments:

Ash said...

I was a little put off when I heard about the whole vampire thing but it's really nothing like what you'd expect. The virals aren't really even vampires. I really enjoyed this book as well and couldn't put it down, although I thought the first half was much better than the second. Looking forward to his next book though! I heard we have to wait two years for it- eek!

Nadia said...

Ash - I know what you mean. When I first heard that it was another vampire book, I was not sure I wanted to read it ( I figured, another vampire book - ugh!, but I am so glad that I did! It was definitely not what I expected and I agree with you about the first half being a bit stronger than the second - maybe because he wasn't sure about where to take the people in the next book? Hmmm. Either way, I am really excited about the next book and I hate that we have to wait 2 years! Double eek!!

Coffee and a Book Chick said...

Well, since I'm totally into anything with vampires (or versions of), I can certainly see myself eagerly putting this on my TBR list! Thanks for recommending this, it sounds fantastic!!

StephanieD said...

People either love this book or can't get into it. My excitement for it was tempered by the negative reviews. But now I'm not so sure.

Dot said...

I am so impressed that you read this in a weekend! I am about half way through but I have to agree that it is very good!

Nadia said...

Coffee and a Book Chick - you will love it! Its such a fun book! And come one, a book about vamps is a must read:)

StephanieD - Well, I had only read positive reviews about this book and I wasn't sure if it would live up to all the hype, but it did. At least I though it did. I'm not saying it was the best book ever written about vamps, but its a book that has great writing and interesting characters and universal themes that really do captivate you and leave you wanting more.

Dot - Thanks! I wasn't sure I would finish it so fast, but I couldn't help it. Its spellbinding!

wallace said...

You are convincing me to read this. I am not one for apocalyptic lit but you are intriguing me with your excitement! :)

Ti said...

I can see why the book is marketed as a vampire book but it's so not like a vampire book. Know what I mean? I loved it. Glad you did too. I can't wait for book 2 but I guess we'll have to since it isn't coming out until 2012. I wonder if there is significance to that date since supposedly our world will not exist past that year.

Anonymous said...

In the end of the book when Amy says Peter does not even know who he is yet but she is sure Alicia does...so what is he really?

Lisa said...

You read this in just a couple of days? Wow! The whole vampire thing has really turned me off. And I have read a few reviews where the reviewer really found a lot of the book to be dull. But then I read a review like yours and I really want to read this one! What to do, what to do?

Nadia said...

wallace - read it! You will definitely enjoy it!

Ti - So glad you enjoyed it, too! Its such a great summer read! I can't believe we have to wait so long - ugh! And that is a good point about the release date, hmmm.

Anonymous- I'm not sure what Peter is really. Hope? He's the answer to ridding the world of virals isn't he? He's the one on the mission to do this job and everyone seems to know that there is more to and for Peter, except him. He has yet to fully realize what he is capable of and who he is destined to be. Maybe?

Lisa - I think that its a great summer read and that the second half of the book isn't as strong as the first half, but I think that is due to the fact that the author is continuing with a series - 2 more books are lined up to come out. So, maybe his direction of where everything is going is not completely clear yet and therfore that is why some parts towards the end are not as tight as the beginning of the story. Overall though, the book is great. I loved it! If you get the chance to read it, I say go for it. You may just like it as much as I did:)

Mrs.B. said...

Wow, you seemed to have read it quickly! I almost bought this during my holiday but the weight of it put me off and I'm a bit daunted by the number of pages. So many other books I've got to read. But your review definitely has me intrigued. I'll wait till it gets into paperback though.

Nadia said...

Mrs B. - I totally understand about the weight of it putting you off. I hated that it was so heavy, because holding it up to read is a bit awkward and tiring. However, it is worth putting up with the weight :) I say get it in paperback and then dive right in! I'll look forward to your thoughts on it then. Cheers!

Aths said...

I will hopefully be reading this one over the weekend! I sure can't wait!! Fantastic review!

Coffee and a Book Chick said...

Hi there! I just linked your review to my blog -- thanks for your review! http://coffeeandabookchick.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

ive just finished the passage, i loved it! but i am very confused by the ending, did they all die?? and was amy born the way she was as when she went to the zoo in the beginning the animals reacted 2 her n thats before anything had bin done 2 her. im prob just bin really thick. explain please, haha x

Anonymous said...

Probably the worst book I have ever read.....description to the point of boring me to death.......and the ending........what happened? Did they all die? Then who found the journal? What is Peter? What is Amy? Just way too long.......could have been better with much less description and more story.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't disagree more with the person above me yes the book had it's slow moments in the beginning but after that I was obsessed with reading it! I have to say it was the best book I've ever read!