Book Reviews of The Passage (Passage, Bk 1)

The Passage (Passage, Bk 1)
The Passage - Passage, Bk 1
Author: Justin Cronin
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ISBN-13: 9780345504968
ISBN-10: 0345504968
Publication Date: 6/8/2010
Pages: 766
Rating:
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 163

4.1 stars, based on 163 ratings
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

55 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 16
The world as we know it has gone horribly awry. The author has written a thoughtful, exciting and, very addictive book. This is not the typical vampire novel. The creatures are frightening and mindlessly ruthless. Cronin has created a very believable, albeit terrifying scenario and, while there is hope, it is a grim read. For fans of well-written thrillers, this book will be very satisfying. The characters are well developed and the action is excellent. This is a fine novel for fans of this particular genre, as well as for those eager for a very thrilling ride. Highly recommended.
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on + 49 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
Folks, this is one terrific book. I actually bought the hardcover version. It is a huge book, and I wish it was it had been longer. I started to get sad around the last 1/5 of the book knowing that it was going to end, and that I will probably have to wait quite a while for the sequel. But, I am extremely grateful there will be two more books. I am so involved with all the characters, that I want to know what is going to happen to them. It is being compared to Stephen King's "The Stand", and I agree they should be in the same category, but this is a much better book.
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on + 175 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
4.0 out of 5 stars Intense post apocalyptic drama..., June 7, 2010

This review is from: The Passage (Hardcover)
Although I don't typically read books that feature paranormal creatures, this particular novel grabbed me immediately and kept me interested and entertained throughout the very lengthy volume (my paperback ARC had 766 pages). The first novel in a planned trilogy, The Passage was fast paced and chilling. Although the ending is somewhat of a cliffhanger, the rest of the book was good enough to keep me glued to the pages and racing to the final chapters. I think I speak for most everyone who has read this book when I say that I can't wait for the next in the series! Many reviewers have remarked upon some similarities to other works -- most notably Stephen King's The Stand, but I feel that this book was not so much about the battle between good and evil as it was about the nature and expansiveness of the human spirit and its will to survive.

Without rehashing plot or detailing what happens in the book, let me just say this: I really liked the characters and the shifting point of view as well as the storyline! Rarely does a novel come along that brings out so many different moral issues that can be discussed long after the final page is turned. What makes a person human? How does the loss of hope affect the way that people live their lives? Does a vision of a medical advance that can transform the nature of humanity ultimately mean the destruction of the species? And what of using convicted killers as human subjects in a testing program? How far can/should humans go to protect each other and save mankind from predators and threats? All questions that arise during the course of the novel.

Bottom line: order it today! You won't be disappointed though you should definitely set aside a hefty chunk of time so that you can devour it quickly.
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on + 57 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Unlike other reviews that I have read about this book, this book is a fantastic, imaginative story from start to finish. The sequel to come "The Twelve" is definitely on my future list of books to acquire. No doubt. For those that love a good future world thriller do not miss this one! The author keeps just enough of everything going to make you want to read in every spare moment. Have fun with this one. :) I did.
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on + 127 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This book is a huge commitment of your time and of your patience. There were so many times I wanted to give up on the book. Basically because I didn't understand where the author was going plotwise. Thankfully, I stuck with it. Cronin is a beautiful writer and he clearly is an expert on character development. He does an incredible job of bringing the story together at the end. My only gripe is the end was 1000 pages or so so you had to be willing to work hard to reach the pot of gold.

Will I read the next book?

Absolutely. I feel a loss not having this book to read even though I seriously wanted it over when I was reading it. I really felt I knew the characters. When the story was gone, I kept on thinking about Peter, Amy, Michael, Sara, etc.
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on + 96 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A+ Excellent book and well worth your time. At one time in the beginning, I stopped reading it for a while because I thought it would be more horrific than it actually was. I started it again and was happy that I did continue because it turned out to be a great book about people who were left from a secret experiment gone very wrong and the world paid for it by changing everyone's way of life. I was happy that the pace was quick and things were interesting. This is the best book I have read in quite a while.
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on + 186 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Long book ... sometimes confusing to this "read 45 minutes in bed before falling asleep" kind of reader, although I did stay up and spend several 2-3 hour reads before putting it down to fall asleep. Probably should have read it by starting and reading when I had time to devote to the book. Don't get me wrong: GREAT story. I just couldn't keep the story line over the 800 pages of solid print (Cronin should learn to use the "Enter" key more, many paragraphs run more than a half page long) reading it the way I did in short segments.
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 2
For the first hundred or so pages, I just didn't think I could finish this behemoth....it was too conventional a thriller. Once the scene was finally set, I really enjoyed the rest of it and the 700+ pages didn't seem quite so daunting.
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 2
This is my new favorite book! The closest comparison I can make is "The Stand" by Stephen King, but this was better. Great characters, intense paranormal plot, thought provoking messages. It is going to be a trilogy so just beware- the other books are not out yet:( That is my ONLY complaint. If you like the TV show, "The Walking Dead", you will love this book. I know I do.
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on + 41 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I'm so happy to be done with this book. It was really hard to rate, because I really liked some parts, but other parts bored me to the point that I completely lost interest in it for months at a time. I feel like this book was way too long and quite a lot could have been cut out, because it seemed irrelevant to the story
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on + 70 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
The Passage is a sweeping dystopian story that starts out a few years after our current time in a society that is still "normal." It is FBI Special Agent Wolgast's job to collect identified human test subjects for a secret Army project that has been developed after a virus was uncovered in the jungles of Bolivia that cures illnesses and slows aging - and it could potentially be turned into a weapon of unbelievable proportions. Soldiers that heal themselves? It would be a fighting force of unprecedented capabilities.

This is one of the most incredibly engaging stories I've read in quite a while - I was pulled into each character's story and event. The structure is interesting - in one section, it's in third person, and then in the next, the story unfolds through a chain of emails. In other chapters, a full report of what occurred while patrolling the compound wall on watch is detailed, and then later, a diary entry is included, or a newspaper article. It's an absolutely fascinating way to keep the reader engaged in every aspect. There were a few minor issues here and there that I could quibble with, such as pivotal moments that I wish had been revealed to the reader as they actually happened, instead of jumping to the next chapter and reviewing how the characters dealt with these major moments. It happened often enough that I noticed it and was wishing that we instead got a chance to experience these incredible events with the characters as it happened. Please - don't write this off as a vampire book. Although capturing similar elements to the popularity of vampire culture, it is so not a book about that. In fact, don't even use that word with this book. Instead, it is a post-apocalyptic story, the dystopian culture setting it far apart from anything you've probably ever read. It is a story about religion, survival, and love. Justin Cronin has successfully created an unbelievable journey into an alternate future, one that still encompasses the very basics of humanity and decency, but is also consumed by an ungodly force and power that cripples the existence of the most important thing of all: hope.
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I don't do vampires, but this book is so good, I'm willing to forgive this master storyteller for having them as part of this compelling story. There are over a thousand reviews at Amazon.com and the majority agree the book cannot be put down once started. After it ended, I wandered around for a couple of days, really missing the characters I'd come to care about so much and the adventure that had me totally hooked. Pretty soon I was considering starting it all over again (and knowing I'd enjoy it all over again). The only reason I've listed this book here at PaperBackSwap is that I've replaced the paperback with the hardback version. This is something I do to honor good writers. The last time I did this was after reading "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo." Now I'm on my way back to Amazon to see if I can pre-order the second book in this planned trilogy.
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on + 107 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The reason why it didn't make 5 stars for me was the middle of the book was boring for the most part. I loved all the action in the beginning and end parts so it took alot to get through the middle. I loved Lacey as a character even though she wasn't in the book all that much and just had a feeling she would be back eventually! Amy is also a great character and I cannot wait for The Twelve to come out to see what happens next.
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on + 48 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is a true "heavy reading" book not only because of the subject matter but also because at over 700 pages its heavy. The premise is good and reminded me of a cross between Stephen King's "The Stand" and any government experiment gone wrong senario book. I was only able to get to page 447 before I had to stop. The story began to bog down and as I skimmed the remainder was disappointed to realize it is a continuation book and I will have to read the next book "The Twelve" to have it concluded. I like serials that can be read as a stand alone.
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on + 473 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Great book. A must read. Probably the best book I have read in the last 10 years!
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
I'm so confused by all the rave reviews. I'm never going to get the hours of my life back I spent on a book that needed to be edited down by 1-200 pages. It could have been interesting but the writing wasn't that great and the excess hid what is a creative plot. One of the only books I deeply regret reading.

For a better review, visit http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0345504976 and read Shiloh True's review, excerpted here:
=======BEGIN EXCERPT======================
Justin Cronin's 766 page, 2 + pound, mammoth epic of a novel, nearly gave me bursitis in my elbows, from hoisting it up in the air over a three night period. For the first 250 pages, I thought the pain was worth it; it was enthralling. Then the storyline jumps almost a century into the future, with a host of total strangers' inking out survival in the post-apocalyptic, virus infested world. I was shaking my head in total disbelief. Just who were these people, why should I care about them, and what happened to those I had become so invested in, besides the obvious, that is, my favorite character was presumed dead. Unbelievable! I kept trudging on thinking, 'I'll soon be reunited with a couple of them.' Well, not exactly! The structure of the book became my enemy, spoiling much of the enjoyment and crashing the ride.

There have only been a few books that I resorted to 'skimming' through in my entire reading history. I'm normally driven to read every word. However, I felt that there was so much filler, and situational redundancy, that wasn't integral toward driving the plot, that I simply lost the personal investment. I did revive my flagging attention span toward the end. Unfortunately, the end left me scratching my head, too, not quite comprehending the spiritual, and metaphysical viewpoints setting up for the sequel. I resigned that we were moving from mans' fight for survival toward the fantasy realm. In my personal assessment, this was throwing too many berries into the pie.

The military, bio-warfare, experiment gone awry, is not a new theme, but I had high expectations for this epic after reading the marketing campaign. I did not feel that it offered competition for 'The Stand,' or 'I am Legend,' both of which offered unforgettable characters. None of the characters in 'The Passage,' became that endearing to me. In fact, after finishing the book, I can only remember a few of the characters' names.

Overall, I view 'The Passage' as rather overly ambitious, AND, about 200 pages too long. Are there areas of greatness and creativity in this novel? Absolutely! I'd give the beginning 5 stars, but sadly the rest of it is only 2 stars---thus my average 3 star rating.
============END EXCERPT================
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I was really disappointed in this book. I agree with another reviewer of this book - I really liked some parts of the book, others were boring and frankly unnecessary. I felt the swearing was totally unnecessary, but that's just personal preference. There were parts that I consider "filler" - repetition of earlier segments of the book, not just a paragraph or two but pages at a time that I basically skimmed and skipped over. I always feel a bit ripped off when there is so much repetition as the book goes on. I purchased the next book in this sequence and will be returning it to the store.
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on + 246 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
From the epicenter of 6 year old Amy the variety of intertwining stories spirals out. This is not just one story, but many. While the stories are related they are interesting on their own merits.
The concept of human destruction at the hands of an experiment gone wrong, led by the military no less, is not new. The presentation is.
I don't like how the publisher is advertising this book.
It is a thriller with drama, romance and adventure in one. It is a story that will draw you in and not release it's hold on you. Even at the last page I wanted more.
I do hope this is a trilogy and the next books are written as well as the first!

Do no miss this book!
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
I devoured this book! It's the first in a trilogy, so for those who have yet to read it, my advise is first, pay close attention to the very beginning when Amy is discovered -and- second, get to know the characters. You may feel like their introduction was pointless, as some don't seem to play much a part of the story, but I have a feeling they will return in the later books yet to be published. Another thing, this is a post-apocalyptic story and while it does feature vampires, it is not really about vampires. If you are expecting a lot of vamp action, you will be disappointed. However, if you enjoy long epic tales in which you get to go on a journey with the characters, trying to survive, you will enjoy this book. I sure did.
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on + 53 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I won't review the plot; others have done that before me quite thoroughly. I will explain my rating. "The Stand" is one of my favorite books of all time, as a great King novel, a great horror novel, a great post-apocalypse novel and great fiction. "The Passage" isn't quite that good, but it's close, which is why I gave it 4.5 stars. It's quite long, but the pages fly by, so don't let that scare you off. And if you're going to order it on PBS.com, you'd better order the sequel (and the threequel, when it's published next year?) at the same time, because you won't want to wait any longer than you have to for the next book in the series.
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
this is one terrific read. halfway through, i was already dreading the ending because it meant i would be through with these characters. this is the first of a planned triology and it is a great story. cannot wait till book 2 comes out.
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on + 291 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Wow, what a fantastic read! This is a post-apocalyptic book about what happens to the world when a horrific vampire virus is unleashed into society from a military accident. There are many survivors left to pick up the pieces and re-construct society and deal with the millions of vampires left walking the earth, one of whom is a young girl named Amy. There are actually many characters that come and go throughout this novel, so many that at times it is difficult to distinguish who is whom. Nonetheless, that should not discourage you from reading this great novel! It is highly addictive and quite well written. Also this book is apparently the first in a trilogy. Can't wait for the next one!
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on + 228 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
First third excellent, then they go to a hundred years in the future and wow seemed like a different book! I slogged thru the middle and had a hard time with the end. Good editor would have helped. Overall Ive read the Stand, and this is NOT the Stand by a long shot. Overhyped book, which is this authors first and it shows. Wont be along for more books if it is a series. Yawn.
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
Great book!! The end of the world mutated human story line has been done in more ways than one can count, but somehow this book seems to stand out above them as different from the norm. At one point in the story I actually had to close the book because I was afraid of what I thought was going to happen to someone-the characters are so well developed and you find yourself really caring about what becomes of them. As lengthy as the novel is it was good to the last drop and I really hated to see it end. I can't wait for the saga to continue in the next two books of this trilogy.
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on + 113 more book reviews
So I think that I had a different expectation about this book when I started it. I was ready for a little bit more of a thriller and at times I felt that the book was a bit of a drama. It was not as much as about the vampires or virals as I thought it was going to be. It was very exciting at parts and I did stay interested through all the 766 pages. It left some things for me to ponder at the end, some multiple conclusion possibilities. It even made me cry a bit which I was not expecting at all.
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on + 49 more book reviews
One the best books I have read in a long time. It is the 1st in a trilogy. I saw on Justin Cronin's wiki page that his next book, 'The Twelve', will be out in 2012.:-(((
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on
This book was a huge disappointment. It had so much hype, great buzz, all the literary types were saying it was THE book to read this summer. And it did take me all summer, although I usually finish a book quite quickly. The first problem was the pacing: fast paced thriller with a sci-fi flare in the first third of the book; thick, plodding and murky second third of the book; and finally a combination of characters being bandoned before we could care about them and a stereotypical post apocalyptic cliff-hanger for the end. After the first third of the book,the entire writing style and story line changes, and not for the better. Add to this some incredibly annoying facts, such as an entire cmmunity that had lived a whole century and yet had not developed any advances in science and technology. In fact, they seem to have lost half of the modern vocabulary of the previous century, along with its collective knowledge. The characters, after the first third of the book, were wooden. The prose could be beautiful at times, but not enough to carry the massive amount of tedious detail that did not advance the plot. And the ending, well I felt as if I had been set up for the next book. Such a shame. It is almost s if the author forgot what he had intended to do after the first third of the book. As a professional editor myself, I kept wanting to fire the editors who worked with this author. A shame, really.It could have been a good read. But I do not recommend it, although in the hands of a good filmaker and limited to two hours worth of script, it might work better as a film, which has already been optioned.
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on + 161 more book reviews
This is a great book. I had never read anything by this author before and a friend of mine bought me this book because she said it sounded like something I would enjoy and she was correct.

Don't let the "vampire" talk keep you away from this book because although there are "vampires" (well kind of anyway) it is definitely not your usual vampire in this book. I would call it more of an "end of the world" type novel.

When I hear the name Justin Cronin (after reading this book) I think of him as a great storyteller like Stephen King or Dean Koontz.

With a new take on vampires and viruses, intense storyline, and characters you really care about this book is a wonderful read and I cannot wait to read the next in the series as soon as it comes out!
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on + 504 more book reviews
I borrowed the audiobook version from my library after seeing it on all sorts of best of/must read/best book eva! lists. I swear I saw this title repeated so many times in various feeds that the damn thing had been imprinted on my brain and I requested it mindlessly from the library. What I didn't realize though was how long it was until my request came in. Even my librarian commented on the girth of the thing and complained in front of several other patrons that I always request the big ones. Well, that was embarrassing. And its not even true most of the time.

Sheesh, is everyone socially awkward or do I attract this sort of comment?

Anyway, where does one even begin with such a tome of a book? It is painfully long and spans nearly a century and features a cast of plenty that made my head spin. It starts out well enough and focuses on the tumultuous early life of a young child named Amy. I really felt for Amy and just as I was getting to know her the book switches gears and outlines a program to develop a race of super humans. Experimental injections are performed on twelve death row inmates and eventually Amy . . . Things go awry (surprise, surprise) and the world as we know it ends when a virus that turns humans into bloodthirsty beasts changes the landscape forever more.

Then the book fast forwards, oh almost a hundred years or so, and follows a group of survivors trying to make the best of their world which is still overrun with virals. The First Colony, as they call themselves, live their lives during the day, some of them tucking themselves safely away at night while others keep a lookout for active virals. The virals cant abide sunlight and lights keep them away. But the batteries that allow the lights to function are starting to fail . . . This section of the book pretty much bored the hell out of me. It goes on for hundreds of pages, without too much of anything exciting or engaging happening. We get glimpses into the characters but never truly get to know any of them that well. Too many of these people all blend into one, especially the men who (in this audio version at least) all came across as very similar. They sound similar and there was nothing distinctive about their personalities to help me tell them apart. A few of the women (Sara, Mousami, Elisha) fare a little better. Also, way too many of these First Colony people spend their time lamenting about the fact that they are married to someone but longing for love from another, Um what? Why the heck, in a world where you could be eaten by a viral at any moment, wouldn't you express your feelings to the one you adore and find a little happiness? It didn't make sense and now that Im finished with the book it still doesn't make sense. I guess people are idiots in the future too. The other thing that didn't make sense was the segregation of the children who are kept oblivious of the dangers of the world and live separately from their families. These people were like sheep, just mindlessly going along with the flow. Why no parents ever stood up and demand change was really unbelievable to me. Wouldn't most parents want to spend every available moment with their child instead of sequestering them with a Teacher until theyre eight years old? I just didn't get it and it made me care a lot less about all of them.

This review is getting as long as the book so Ill try wrapping it up. The last third does pick up the pace and is actually worth reading. Amy plays a large role in the story. Things all gel together and the big picture is super interesting but the getting there? Not so much. The book is mostly humorless and read in an intensely serious tone by narrator Scott Brick. He does a decent job with the material but at times I completely tuned out without realizing it and had to rewind entire chapters at a time. Now I realize this isn't supposed to be a laugh-fest but a little humor to lighten things up here and there, or even one sarcastic character, would've gone a long way to make the story go down easier for me. And its all about me, isn't it? I like darkness but this book is too long to be so somber. I realized things were indeed dire when I was smiled after a dog viewed a puddle of vomit as an unexpected present. Yeah, I was looking for humor wherever I could get it.

I spent nearly two weeks listening to this on audio and Im relieved its over. It drained me but not emotionally which is a shame. It was a chore to get through most of it and I probably wont seek out the next one but dont quote me on that . . .
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on + 1152 more book reviews
Cronin seems to be an able writer, but with The Passage, he has used his talent to produce a very long book with not much story to tell, or re-tell: dont look for a lot of originality here. Things started out well enough, then just fizzled, leaving me to slog, numbly, through hundreds of pages of tedious prose going on about wooden characters. I finally resorted to skimming the last two thirds of the book, and will be avoiding any sequels.
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on + 11 more book reviews
This is an excellent book if you like post-apocolyptic fiction. It is nearly 900 pages but they fly by and you can't wait to get back to it! Well written and suspenseful!
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on + 329 more book reviews
Very good book, but it left a lot of things up in the air. Only after I finished it did I find out that this book is the first in a trilogy. I don't normally read this kind of sci-fi/apocalyptic genre, but it was very engrossing.
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
Liked...actually loved.. this book until I got to the end. Hated the ending. Even a book in a series needs to have an ending!
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on + 618 more book reviews
I loved this book! It is a long book, but it does not drag at all. There are many scenarios going on. It begins in the present/immediate future and how the world changes into what it becomes. The main character is a small child, Amy, though everything is experienced mostly by those around her. This moves along 92 years in the future and many characters and scenarios in that time become the central story then. It is told in many perspectives throughout and, at times, in the writing of emails, journals and historical documents. It extends as far as 1,000 years in the future. It is one of the most unique tales I have read. It was scary, and it was also beautiful with some most endearing characters! Well done!
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on + 30 more book reviews
This was an excellent read. The story is original and really draws you in. I also really enjoyed the presentation and the way the chapters were broken up. I was a little disappointed when I reached the end, but was happy to learn there is another book to continue the story in the future.
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on + 47 more book reviews
The fours stars I gave it are more like 3.5. Although I enjoyed the story of Amy, I did not appreciate the massive amount of characters and all the necessary details upon details that sometimes were repeated under some other person's reveries.

It was too much for me, in one word: cumbersome. I think it would have been a more endurable read had it not been told in so many pages, so many little characters and the details and descriptions upon descriptions that at times bore me.

I struggled to finish it but I did. I am not keen the way it ended or the lack of there of.
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on + 20 more book reviews
Very disappointed. Thought this would be similar to Stephen King's The Stand, and the concept is, but the story telling is not. This book is around 750 pages and the story isn't finished, it's the first book of 3. Had I know that I would have never started it. The story starts out with a cast of characters that you become involved with, then 1/3 thru the book, it changes scenes, characters and story. Now you have to learn all about this other group. Then again another 1/3 of the way in, they bring back one of the characters from the beginning, and at this point, I just hoped they'd all die. Then of course, you get to the end... and there's no ending. Really frustrating to put in that much time and get nothing.
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on + 90 more book reviews
Excellent read! Looking forward to the rest of the trilogy.
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on + 19 more book reviews
Good beginning for a trilogy..all characters are easy to follow..interesting idea for the future generation..waiting to see the follow-through..
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on
Loved it. While there were a few lulls in the story...especially around halfway through...then it is off and racing again. Incredibly written and a fantastic imagination by the author. Thought I'd take a break before jumping into the second book but I'm afraid I didn't make it even five minutes before I was downloading The Twelve to my kindle.
reviewed The Passage (Passage, Bk 1) on + 504 more book reviews
I borrowed the audiobook version from my library after seeing it on all sorts of best of/must read/best book eva! lists. I swear I saw this title repeated so many times in various feeds that the damn thing had been imprinted on my brain and I requested it mindlessly from the library. What I didn't realize though was how long it was until my request came in. Even my librarian commented on the girth of the thing and complained in front of several other patrons that I always request the big ones. Well, that was embarrassing. And its not even true most of the time.

Sheesh, is everyone socially awkward or do I attract this sort of comment?

Anyway, where does one even begin with such a tome of a book? It is painfully long and spans nearly a century and features a cast of plenty that made my head spin. It starts out well enough and focuses on the tumultuous early life of a young child named Amy. I really felt for Amy and just as I was getting to know her the book switches gears and outlines a program to develop a race of super humans. Experimental injections are performed on twelve death row inmates and eventually Amy . . . Things go awry (surprise, surprise) and the world as we know it ends when a virus that turns humans into bloodthirsty beasts changes the landscape forever more.

Then the book fast forwards, oh almost a hundred years or so, and follows a group of survivors trying to make the best of their world which is still overrun with virals. The First Colony, as they call themselves, live their lives during the day, some of them tucking themselves safely away at night while others keep a lookout for active virals. The virals cant abide sunlight and lights keep them away. But the batteries that allow the lights to function are starting to fail . . . This section of the book pretty much bored the hell out of me. It goes on for hundreds of pages, without too much of anything exciting or engaging happening. We get glimpses into the characters but never truly get to know any of them that well. Too many of these people all blend into one, especially the men who (in this audio version at least) all came across as very similar. They sound similar and there was nothing distinctive about their personalities to help me tell them apart. A few of the women (Sara, Mousami, Elisha) fare a little better. Also, way too many of these First Colony people spend their time lamenting about the fact that they are married to someone but longing for love from another, Um what? Why the heck, in a world where you could be eaten by a viral at any moment, wouldn't you express your feelings to the one you adore and find a little happiness? It didn't make sense and now that Im finished with the book it still doesn't make sense. I guess people are idiots in the future too. The other thing that didn't make sense was the segregation of the children who are kept oblivious of the dangers of the world and live separately from their families. These people were like sheep, just mindlessly going along with the flow. Why no parents ever stood up and demand change was really unbelievable to me. Wouldn't most parents want to spend every available moment with their child instead of sequestering them with a Teacher until theyre eight years old? I just didn't get it and it made me care a lot less about all of them.

This review is getting as long as the book so Ill try wrapping it up. The last third does pick up the pace and is actually worth reading. Amy plays a large role in the story. Things all gel together and the big picture is super interesting but the getting there? Not so much. The book is mostly humorless and read in an intensely serious tone by narrator Scott Brick. He does a decent job with the material but at times I completely tuned out without realizing it and had to rewind entire chapters at a time. Now I realize this isn't supposed to be a laugh-fest but a little humor to lighten things up here and there, or even one sarcastic character, would've gone a long way to make the story go down easier for me. And its all about me, isn't it? I like darkness but this book is too long to be so somber. I realized things were indeed dire when I was smiled after a dog viewed a puddle of vomit as an unexpected present. Yeah, I was looking for humor wherever I could get it.

I spent nearly two weeks listening to this on audio and Im relieved its over. It drained me but not emotionally which is a shame. It was a chore to get through most of it and I probably wont seek out the next one but dont quote me on that . . .
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This book has the undertone of X-files. Many parts of it reminded me of the X-files series. Roswell. FBI. Even the smokes remind me of creatures from the show. Government experiments that went awry. Etc. Really great book to read.
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I was drawn to this book since I am a big fan The Stand by SK. Going into this book with that expectation was a mistake, not saying this isn't a very good story, it is not up to The Stand but does hold it's own very well. It does have slow lagging spots like any 800 plus page books but I didn't see the repetitions that others have spoken about. Everything seemed to move at a good pace, you are given enough of the backstory to keep you reading to find out more, just as any good author will do. A good end of the world as we know it story and how to stay strong.
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Great Story.
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Vivid and gripping. Can't wait for the rest of the triology!
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SPOILER ALERT - SPOILER ALERT - SPOILER ALERT - SPOILER ALERT - SPOILER ALERT - SPOILER ALERT - SPOILER ALERT - SPOILER ALERT -What's sad about this book is it was so well written and then ended so badly. And now a movie of it is in the planning? Hope it ends better than the book did. And the author is writing 2 more books to make it a series? Are you *kidding* me?! Who's left to write about?!
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THis book is half good half not so good. I would not waste my time reading it again. It is just way too long and a lot could have been left out. Great writing. Dont expect an ending.
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Never has a book inspired so many nightmares in me. I was impressed with how the story wormed its way into my mind and narrated so many of my dreams. That's probably the highest praise I can think of for a book. The second highest praise would be changing my thinking halfway through the first chapter from, "Really, 750 pages?" to "Thank goodness, 750 pages!"

Recommended.
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This book is the beginning of the Passage trilogy. I was hooked from the moment I picked up this volume, and I remained completely entranced all the way to the last page of the 3rd (last) volume. Justin Cronin is an amazing author, and this trilogy is definitely one not to miss. If you like sagas full of really interesting people and lots of plot, this is for you. It is speculative fiction about our world and specifically the USA, but a few moments into the future, when something goes badly wrong. The story is, all the once, about fear and despair, hope and love, and about the resilience of the human spirit. Unlike too many trilogies, this saga does NOT flame out at the end, as if the author had no idea how to end it. It ends perfectly. Justin Cronin is a writer to watch. Strongly recommended.
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I forgot (I don't know how as it was so good) I read this one before. I really enjoyed it. Some fascinating and neat ideas here and it kept me mesmerized through every page.
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I did not enjoy this book (and stopped reading about 3/4 of the way). I have read really good post apocalyptic book (world war z, earth abides etc) and this book doesn't have the caliber of the well-written ones, not even close. It had several problems for me: 1) the writing seemed disjointed - it went from POV of characters to excerpts of documents to the new vocabulary of humans after the event, which did not seem highly original. 2) the character development was good in the first couple of chapters but when it came to the community of humans after the escape of the vampires, the characters become uninteresting that I did not care anymore how they will fare in the future 3) it was too long (it had 800 plus pages).

sorry I will be skipping his next 2 books on this one...
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The book has a lot of pages. Before tackling this opus, I told myself I could put it down and still have something to come back to. I have never read a book like this one. The story line is very unique and extremely we'll-written. It is a solid five stars and could easily become a classic Thank you, Mr. Cronin.
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It took me a couple of weeks to read this mammoth apocalyptic novel. I've had this on my shelf since 2011 and thought I better get to it since I heard the third book of this trilogy, The City of Mirrors, will be published in May. I also have the second book, The Twelve, on my shelf but will probably hold off on it for a while to let The Passage settle in. Well, The Passage is one of those long novels in the Stephen King vein (i.e. The Stand) about a government inflicted apocalypse which appears to put an end to life on earth as we know it. In this case, the government is trying to produce a strain of vampire-like creatures that can be used as a weapon for war. Well of course this is a very bad idea! The first part of the novel details the events leading up to this catastrophe and then the novel jumps ahead 92 years to a group of survivors in California.

I really enjoyed the first part of the novel. The characters introduced were all well thought out and as I read, I really cared about what happened to them and where the novel was heading. This included Amy, a little girl who is wanted by the government in their experiments; FBI agent Wolgast, who is used to recruit death-row inmates for conversion; and Sister Lacey, who takes in Amy at her convent.

Then, after the inevitable release of the vampiric creatures, the novel jumps ahead to a group who have survived almost a hundred years in a fortified colony in the hills of California. This part of the novel reminded me a lot of the TV series, The Walking Dead, with the almost total destruction of humankind and a small group trying to survive. The novel goes on for several hundred pages with the group trying to find answers and a way to overcome their situation.

As mentioned, this is the first in a trilogy and I do want to read the remaining novels to see how this eventually turns out. Overall, I would recommend this but a lot of it seemed really familiar.
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If you like this genre, you will enjoy this book. Very well writtren
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* *. Apocalyptic/sci-fi. If only the 250-page introduction hadn't been so good. A secret government experiment turning deathrow inmates into vampires-of-war goes horribly wrong.

And then . . . ? And then . . . ? Bring out the bucket of ice water and put out the fire. Fast forward years later. What follows is another story with a different setting, different characters and much slower pace that may or may not be related. Although the characters in the remaining 2/3 of the novel are interesting, the book still is formulaic. If other post-apocalyptic novels didnt exist, this book might have had a chance. As a whole, it left me unsatisfied. Please let this NOT be the 1st of a purported trilogy.