Monday, August 16, 2010

The Passage by Justin Cronin

If you plan on reading The Passage and don't want the plot spoiled for you, I wouldn't continue reading this review.

I feel like the only way I can give a thorough explanation of why I disliked The Passage so much, is to be specific on why I had such issues with it. And unfortunately, contrary to popular opinion out there, I am definitely NOT a fan.

The first 100 pages or so of this book completely sucked me in and I was all on board with the premise, thinking that it would be good for me to get outside of my comfort zone and enjoy an intriguing science fiction/thriller once in a while. And just when I was getting attached to all the different characters and able to keep track of who was who - the author then kills everyone off!!!! Are you kidding me?! This is at like 300 or so pages in and he just starts from scratch and fast forwards a hundred years after the virus disaster breaks out! THEN I got to spend the next hundred pages or so trying to relearn new characters, NEW SLANG AND LANGUAGE (which kinda pissed me off - I mean "Flyers!" seriously?) and figure out what the crap is happening now. It moved so ridiculously slow in some places and then the momentum took off in others. Which thankfully, it did get pretty exciting at times and that kept me going, but really my main motivation in finishing the book was having some closure at the end by finding out how it all wraps up. And all I could keep thinking as I'm plowing through all 800 some pages is - 'Man, he should have broke this up into a 3 part series!" Finally around 1am, sometime last week, I'm nearing the last 50 pages and thinking, 'This is it, it's all coming down to this' - and then I come to realize, IT'S THE END OF PART 1!!!! WHAT?! I mean are you kidding me? I was so frustrated, cause after all that I didn't have hardly any closure.

And just a little side note, I know most people are thinking of these creatures as vampires, but really I would liken them more to an enlarged, scaly bat. They can't speak at all and instead make clicking noises in their throat and hunt in packs of three, which is more animalistic than human. The only 'vampirish' characteristic about them is that they can't survive in daylight and feast on humans.

Description: "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 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. He 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—towards the time and place where she must finish what should never have begun.

With The Passage, award-winning author Justin Cronin has written both a relentlessly suspenseful adventure and an epic chronicle of human endurance in the face of unprecedented catastrophe and unimaginable danger. Its inventive storytelling, masterful prose, and depth of human insight mark it as a crucial and transcendent work of modern fiction. (From the Publisher, Random House)

Even though my review is less than flattering, I do really want to thank Random House Publishing for sending me a copy to review!

So in closing - in MY opinion, this is not the Great Summer Read of 2010 (as it has been proclaimed to be), but I do think it would make for a much more fascinating movie being as how I could watch in two hours what took me two months to get through, not to mention I've heard the rights have been sold to Ridley Scott's production company.

For more flattering reviews, please visit Charlotte's Web of Books, Hey Lady or Book Chatter. I love these ladies and highly value their reviews, so I was a bit surprised we felt so differently about the book. But just so you don't think I'm crazy, you can also visit Devourer of Books or visit

My rating: *

Recommend: I've heard that this book is likened to The Stand by Stephen King (which I've never read) so if you're a fan of The Stand, than you might enjoy this as well. Otherwise - don't waste your energy on the book and just wait for the movie, it will save you A LOT of time!!


melanie said...

I love to read reviews that go against popular opinion! I read the first 50 pages as a free download and was tempted. But I think if I do end up reading it, I'll move it further down the list.

Stephanie said...

Whew, I'm so glad that I'm not the only one who thought The Passage was a slow read. I'm not quite sure how he is going to drag it out in two more books!

I just posted my review of The Passage and am giving away my honking large hardcopy in hopes someone else will like it more than I did!

Susan said...

LOL - I'm not sure I've read a review that disses THE PASSAGE as strongly as yours does. I actually really liked the book, but I'm all about the dystopian stuff lately. Too bad you didn't like it, especially after sticking it through for ALL THOSE PAGES.