The Passage by Justin Cronin

Posted July 26, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Horror / 13 Comments

The Passage by Justin CroninTitle: The Passage (Goodreads)
Author: Justin Cronin
Series: The Passage #1
Published: Ballantine Books, 2010
Pages: 766
Genres: Horror
My Copy: Audiobook

Buy: AmazonBook DepositoryKindle (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

I’ve been wanting to read this book for a long time and considering The Twelve is only months away, I figure now was a good time to read it. The Passage is set in the not too distant future; a highly contagious virus has infected the greater masses turning them into vampire-like creatures. This is not your typical post-apocalyptic novel; The Passage follows the events for ninety years, starting with the outbreak and patient zero till the colonies of humans attempt to live in a world filled with these creatures.

I went into this novel expecting a post-apocalyptic vampire novel but I was presently surprised with this book. It was pure joy reading something so literary spanning from the apocalypse to the fight for human survival. I’m finding it really difficult to review this book, because I was impressed with it but I need to try and be a little critical because over all I don’t think I could rate the book more than 4 stars.

To begin with this book has so many characters, I was often lost with what was happening with all the characters, I had to keep a note pad and write down little things to remember just to keep my head straight. Simple things like ‘Amy; main protagonist, infected with a form of the virus which has made her immune.’ This has distracted me from fully enjoying this book, but when I had my head straight with all the vital characters, I was able to relax and enjoy the ride this novel took me on.

I also felt this book may have been far too long, but on reflection I can’t really think of anything that I would take out. It wasn’t repetitive and all the plot points just helped flesh out and make the characters interesting and three dimensional. I love how Justin Cronin gives you a story for each character but never really influences the reader to whether or not you like the character. In the end this just makes different people like different characters and the writer’s influence never seems to be a part to the decision making progress.

This is a beautifully written character driven story of survival and humanity. I find myself remembering what it was like reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy; another post-apocalyptic novel that I would also consider literary. The joys of reading something so wonderful and still feel like you are reading genre fiction; it’s a great feeling. Please, don’t be put off but the size of this book, it’s a wonderful read. Having finished the book, my biggest problem is that book two; The Twelve doesn’t come out to October and the final book in the trilogy; The City of Mirrors isn’t set for release till 2014.

13 responses to “The Passage by Justin Cronin

  1. Ryan

    I finally read this for the first time last year and enjoyed it more than I thought I would. It was far more than I was expecting.

  2. I read this when it first came out and enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I was. Whilst I have read my fair share of vampires before this was really the closest to true horror for me. Can’t wait to read The Twelve.

  3. Monthly Review – July 2012

    […] a little, but realistically it does seem to be about the same. Highlights for me this month include The Passage; a book I’ve been putting off but a wonderful and refreshing look at a post-apocalyptic world and […]

  4. I wonder if you would have 5 starred it after listening to it on audiobook like I did, probably not. 😉 But I think it may be easier to follow a lot of characters when it’s being read to you. Scott Brick read it, but if you could find the one read by Edward Hermann, I think you’d love it even more. I’ve listened to it 3 times now, it’s one of my favorite books.

  5. june seghni

    I picked this up when Waterstones had it at a promotional price, and although I didn’t think it was necessarily my ‘thing’ I actually really enjoyed it to the point of having to get The Twelve the day it came out..

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