Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Passage by Justin Cronin

Have you ever picked up a book, started reading, enjoyed it, but still didn't know if you could finish it?  The Passage, by Justin Cronin, was like that for me.  So, if you are considering reading this really great book, just plug through.  You'll be glad you did.

The focus of the story is Amy, a young child who is just a little different and very brilliant.  When her desperate mother leaves her at an orphanage, the government swoops in.  The government is creating super weapons - vampire like creatures - to combat terrorism.  Of course, nothing quite works out the way they planned and after a mass escape, the creatures invade and infect at least the United States.  It's never clear how far it spreads. 

The next part of the book is about a pocket of survivors who are living on borrowed time and old batteries, with a system of walls and bright lights to protect them from the "virals".  When Amy arrives at their village, they discover a secret and a few set out to bring Amy back to where it all started.

Mr. Cronin crafted a very well detailed story with many surprises.  It is long and epic, spanning many, many years, but it's gripping and disturbing.  While it may be a vampire story, these are not your typical vampires.  They are not charming, that's for sure.  They are scary and not terribly human at all.  If I have any minor complaint it's the transitions between "sections" of the book.  I felt like so much was left hanging and all of a sudden I was one hundred years in the future trying to get to know a new group of characters.  Once I figured things out, the story began to flow again.  That's minor and it might not bother other people - I have a very linear mind, time-lines are very important to me in the books I read.  I do highly recommend this novel.  Just set aside a good chunk of time.

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