Saturday, February 12, 2011

Review - The Passage by Justin Cronin

Title: The Passage (amazon)
Author: Justin Cronin
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: 2010
Pages: 766
Genre: Adult Fiction, YA

“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. (Goodreads)

Kim’s take - Wow. I don’t even know how to begin to describe how amazing this book was! It is my understanding that this is going to be the first in a series and I can’t tell you how excited that makes me. Justin Cronin is now one of my favorite authors. This book had such an amazing, suspenseful, intricate story line. I loved all of the characters. My favorite, of course, was Amy who is the key to the entire story. Cronin does an excellent job in adding such depth to his characters that you feel you really “know” them. 

The book grabbed me right from the first pages. As part of the FBI, Brad Wolgast has become responsible for delivering the agency chosen 6-year old, Amy, to a hidden government facility for experimental viral research. But Wolgast comes to think of her as a daughter and will do anything in his power to rescue her from the terrible fate he knows will befall her. What follows is the escape of the virus infected individuals which ends the world and civilization as we know it.

Peter, who grew up in The Colony which was a fortress secured in the early days of the infection, has known no other world than the shelter of The Colony and the threat of “smokes” which stalk humans after dusk until dawn. Similar to vampires in their thirst for blood, the comparison ends there. These monsters are much more vicious. The Colony has been able to sustain itself for almost 100 years but is now only a few years from losing its power supply which protects them from the smokes during the night. When Amy mysteriously shows up at The Colony, Peter embarks on a journey from California, The Colony's location, to Colorado where they have traced a cryptic transmission, and with hopes of discovering other surviving colonies. Have The Colony residents become the last of the human race?

What follows is a harrowing and nail-biting tale of survival, love, and terror.  I’m going to lose my mind waiting for book two! It’s apparently not expected to be released until 2012. I haven’t read a book this amazing in a while. I just never wanted to put it down because I had to know what was going to happen next! And that’s kind of hard to do with a book that’s 766 pages. But it is so worth it. This is one is going in my “have to own” collection!

Kim’s Rating – 5/5


  1. I really loved The Passage, too. I can't wait for another book in this series so I can dive back into his world!

  2. I have this book in to read pile and just haven't gotten to reading it.

  3. I loved the Passage too. I got my copy at BEA (signed!!) and Cronin is SOOOOO nice in person.

    Also, like you, I found this impossible to put down, despite it's heft.

    Fab review :-D

  4. I can't wait to read this book. It has been in my TBR pile for forever! Thanks for the review.