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The virals are coming...
The Passage - Justin Cronin
Member Name: Gemma_C
The Passage - Justin Cronin
Date: 06/07/10, updated on 06/07/10 (97 review reads)
Advantages: Excellent story, doesn't overdo the whole vampires thing, apocalyptic story.
Disadvantages: Huge and heavy book means no reading in the bath ;)
When The Passage appeared on my Amazon Vine list I didn't even really know what it was about, as it was a bit vague. I know you should never judge a book by it's cover but it's short mysterious blurb and menacing cover did intrigue me, after reassuring myself it wasn't one of those 'misery novels.'
The Passage is a huge tome of a book. I own an uncorrected proof copy of the book and it's 790 pages thick making for an arm aching read and meant no chance of reading this in the bath. I dread to think how heavy the hardback version of this book is!
== Plot ==
Amy is six years old and her mother thinks she's the most important person in the whole world. She is.
Anthony Carter doesn't think he could ever be in a worse place than death row. He's wrong.
FBI Agent Brad Wolgast thinks something beyond imagination is coming. It is.
It's this rather intriguing blurb that appears on the back of the book however it doesn't even begin to describe the amazing story line this book has. At the start the book flicks between those very 3 characters, Amy and her troubled mother struggling to earn money who then leaves her at a Nunnery after doing something bad. Anthony Carter is ready to face the death sentence when Wolgast turns up one day with a deal, come with him and he's free from death row. Wolgast is going round 'collecting' death row inmates for a secret military operation, however he decides it's going too far when they want six year old Amy, only a child and too much for Wolgast to handle.
The secret military operation suddenly comes to a dramatic end, which suddenly puts the world in crisis, fighting off the creatures that are becoming infected by a virus released from this secret operation. Through out the course of the book they are given many different names; virals, flyers and smokes, but ultimately they are vampires. Yes, when I got to the part in the book where it began to hint at vampires I groaned. I'm not a fan at all of this latest craze of all things vampire related however the vampires in this book are far from the ones you'll find in your Twilight books and films and for that UI was hugely thankful. To be honest for the most part of the book I could forget they were even vampires at all as that word is rarely used, and it quickly becomes another apocalyptic story where humans are fighting off infected people out to attack them.
== My Opinion ==
I love all things apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic and I was over joyed to see this story turning into just that genre, as humankind fight for survival. The book spans a hundred years however the middle bit is missed out for the most part and actually makes for brilliant reading. We finish just at the midst of all the madness and start up again at a small colony, surrounded by walls guarded day and night, and the most important thing, the lights. Without the lights at night, the virals will get in.
The main characters we follow at the start of the book suddenly differs and you follow a few characters from the colony, and I quickly warmed to them and learnt all about them very quickly. For the rest of the book I became quite attached to these characters and just what would happen to them. The story keeps good pace, with lots of unexpected events and mysteries, and the last part of this book is the most unput-downable part of the whole book. Here you read a story of a small group trying to survive, and trying to figure out how to end it all and begin getting the world back to normal. Even the small details are brilliant, for example the group knows only the colony and what they are taught as their world, and they have little knowledge of how the world used to be.
== Summary ==
This book is set to be hugely popular, it's alright receiving brilliant reviews and the film rights have been bought by Ridley Scott. People are comparing this to Stephen King's The Stand, and I would say this really just as brilliant a read. The way it ends gives scope to future sequels, which I hope does happen as I enjoyed reading every bit of this huge tome of a book. I can't recommend this book highly enough.
Published by Orion, available in hardback on Amazon for £9.99 with a whopping 784 pages.
Summary: A brilliant sci-fi thriller and I enjoyed every page.