Newest Review: ... in a worse place than death row. He's wrong. FBI Agent Brad Wolgast thinks something beyond imagination is coming. It is. As intriguing a... more
Keep the lights on!
The Passage - Justin Cronin
Member Name: jeffjen
The Passage - Justin Cronin
Advantages: Well written, good characters and interesting story.
I suppose it is times such as this where I can see the advantage of owning a Kindle, however, I am sticking for my preference to hold an actual physical copy of a book in my hands for now.
Once I finally got around to picking up this book however, the comfort factor didn't bother me too much as The Passage proved to be a good read, despite the fact I couldn't take it into the bath with me.
I mentioned the interesting blurb which was short but intriguing nonetheless...
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.
As intriguing as this appeared to me, I can honestly say it doesn't even begin to describe the engaging content this book has.
At the start the book flicks between the three characters mentioned above and features Amy and her troubled mother who is struggling to earn money and then leaves her at a Nunnery after doing something bad and then Anthony Carter, who is ready to face the death sentence when Agent Wolgast turns up one day with a deal... go with him and he will be free from death row, as Wolgast is going round 'collecting' inmates from death row for a secret military operation. This storyline immediately had me hooked and takes an interesting turn when it is revealed they want six year old Amy too, which is too much for Wolgast to handle.
The sudden dramatic ending of the secret military operation, consequently puts the world in crisis, fighting off the creatures that are becoming infected by a virus released from the operation. Throughout the course of the book they are given different names such as virals, flyers and smokes, but ultimately they are vampires. Now if like me you are not a fan of the vampire craze, you would be forgiven for having a groan to yourself as I did at this point, thinking it was suddenly going to turn into another Twilight saga. However, I am pleased to say that the vampires in this book are far from the ones you'll find in your Twilight books and for that I was personally very grateful, as from the start I had a feeling that this book had more to offer and I was right. Whilst I am not knocking anyone who enjoys the Twilight series etc, it isn't really something which appeals to me personally and to be quite honest for most of the book I would say you can even forget that they were even vampires as such, as not only does the word vampire not feature much, they are more than what you may expect from a vampire amidst this current vampire craze. The book is also heavily focussed on its apocalyptic storyline and fight for survival, where humans have to fight against infected people who are out to attack. I didn't find I was thinking about 'vampires' to be honest.
The story actually spans a hundred years, however, the middle years don't really feature as one part ends amid all the carnage and we start up again 90 years later at a small colony surrounded by walls which are guarded at all times and explaining the most important thing, the lights. Without the lights at night, the virals will get in.
It is also at this point where we are introduced to some changes in character away from the main characters at the beginning as the story now features people from the colony, which again was another interesting turn. I was slightly disappointed by this sudden charge forward in time at first, but this feeling didn't last very long as it is written so well that, I found myself becoming quite attached to these characters and intrigued throughout as to what was going to happen. Here you have a small group fighting to survive, trying to figure out how to end it all and begin getting the world back to normal, whatever 'normal' is, as the group knows only the colony and what they are taught, as their world. They have little knowledge of how the world used to be, which makes for some interesting reading.
The Passage is well written and keeps a steady pace throughout, with plenty of interesting turns and unexpected events and the closer I got to the end, the harder I found it was to put down. Indeed sometimes it was only the fact that I was feeling a little uncomfortable holding the book which forced me to put it down for a while!
The way it ends gives scope to future sequels and indeed its sequel, 'The Twelve' has recently been released which is going on my wish list. I shall read without hesitation next time as my only regret about The Passage is that I wish I had picked it up sooner.
Summary: For fans of apocalyptic thrillers who aren't afraid of the dark.