The Passage, By Justin Cronin

22 Oct

“You should have seen it.  The way they swoop down from the trees.  We really should have seen that coming.”

Recently, a facebook advertisement was kind enough to inform me that while Justin Cronin was on Good Morning America talking about his book The Passage, Stephen King called in to congratulate him on such a great book. Being the dedicated King fan that I am, I had to check it out.

The Passage is written in several parts, following several hundred of years of Post-Apocalyptic history. It begins with several story lines that all come together at a government research facility studying the effects of a virus that seems to give eternal life, give or take a few nasty side effects. As these things often do, the “experiments” get out of hand and seven scary creatures escape into the world. This marks the creation of a new world where light is the key to survival and very few actually make it.

Fast forward a hundred years later and the remaining survivors have created their own society.  The “virals” are held back with constant light.  Things are still dangerous though, and they are about to change once again, thanks to a little girl who has been there since the beginning.

I’m sad to say that I was disappointed. In fact, it took me quite a while to get through this book. The beginning started out slow. Eventually things picked up, and right as I was getting really interested, that part ended. I think I was really put off by the fast forwarding in the middle of the book, into what felt like a completely different novel. It took some getting used to. That being said, I think I can see why King would be really into it. Cronin created a complete world, full of detail and mixed into reality. As a fan of Post-Apocalyptic fiction, I appreciated the explanation of a brand new government structure. There’s also a great scene in Las Vegas that got my imagination stirring.

I only recently learned that this is the beginning of an intended trilogy. Learning that, I still don’t know what to think of the ending. Three out of Five stars, which is disappointing because I was really excited about this novel.


4 Responses to “The Passage, By Justin Cronin”

  1. sally906 October 22, 2010 at 3:59 pm #

    I’m not sure I will read the rest of the trilogy – will have to see 🙂

    • Jenni October 23, 2010 at 2:50 pm #

      I agree. I’m really curious about it. There’s just so much in that first book…I feel like reading a whole trilogy is just a really big commitment!

  2. leeswammes October 23, 2010 at 3:37 am #

    What a pity you didn’t like this book too much. I thought it was quite good, although it dragged in the middle a bit.

    I thought the world Cronin created was quite interesting and likely. For me, the part in Las Vegas didn’t stand out. Instead, I especially liked it when they met this group of soldiers (that had been going for all these years even though there wasn’t much of a nation to fight for). When they were watching Dracula, the comments they made really illustrated the difference with our situation. I loved it!

    My review is

    • Jenni October 23, 2010 at 2:51 pm #

      I might have been really hard on this book because I was expecting so much. I do agree about the world Cronin created. It was just how much the story jumped around that brought it down for me. I’ll check out your review!

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