I knew very little about this book going in. I thought THE PASSAGE would be a dystopian novel. I had no idea it apocalyptic masterpiece that would occupy my mind even whilst not reading it and make me fall in love with all it’s perfectly written characters. I almost think going in blind is best. Plus, there is no good way to describe the experience that is THE PASSAGE.
“It happened fast. Thirty-two minutes for one world to die, another to be born.”
This story starts with the gathering of death row inmates to volunteer for project NOAH, a government experiment taking place somewhere in Colorado. It goes horribly wrong and the inmates escape and unleash hell to anyone not affected. It is a vampireish virus which turns it’s victims into flesh eating, sun fearing, monsters. FBI agent Brad Wolgast, once the man who gathered the inmates, now seeks to save a small girl from the facility where she may or may not have been affected as well. They try to live a life away from the virus, but it doesn’t last.
“Mankind had built a world that would take hundred years to die. A century for the last lights to go out.”
Much later, 90 or so year, civilization is taking it’s last breath as the light, the only thing that keeps the “virals” at bay, are about to go out. For one community this catastrophic ending may be prevented by a road trip to find a signal that is still being beamed out from Colorado. When they find a small girl acting as an ally they all know something is different about her. None of them realize how different and that she may be the key to keeping their community alive.
Oh gosh, I hope I didn’t say too much. The premise of this story is hard to digest and even harder to condense into just two paragraphs. This book is 766 pages long, so there is no way I could do it justice. What I really want to express about this book is all depth of characters, of the beautifully describes scenes and landscapes, of adventures both big and small, of fears and hopes and desires, of really everything that matters most to me while reading a story.
This story encompasses so much time and distance that it is a wonder anyone could put it all into one book. Not only that but all the characters have so much depth. As the virus breaks out we meet all 12 candidates that get the virus initially. We also get to know (and love) a small child called Amy who comes from nothing, is abandoned, and then stolen before finally being saved. Amy is crucial to this story and yet remained a big mystery for me as I read. Ninety years later we meet a whole community of survivors, most of whom were not around to know any different. Their run in with Amy is impossible, and yet there she is almost unchanged.
There is a bit of gore (yay) and some really terrifying scenes in THE PASSAGE. There is also so much hope and love between characters. I cried a bit in the middle and it still makes me sad to think about it, tbh. From the middle straight through to the ending there was adventure and no safe place for these refugees. I felt actual fear for their safety. I also felt all the hope they carried, especially from Peter, who becomes Amy’s constant companion.
I am so glad there are two more books in this series. I borrowed this ebook from the library but found I wanted to get back to it even when I had my hands free so I bought the audible version as well.I honestly cannot wait to get back to the writing style, the characters, the drama, the loves and new beginnings, the inevitable obstacles, and all the feelings this book brought forth from me. I will definitely be reading the rest of this series. I highly recommend this book.
The Passage Series
The Passage by Justin Cronin
Series: The Passage #1
Also in this series: The Twelve
Published by Ballantine Books on June 8th 2010
Length: 36 hours and 52 minutes
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers, Suspense
Also by this author: The Twelve
eBook provided by The Library
NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST NOVELS OF THE YEAR BY TIME AND LIBRARY JOURNAL--AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post * Esquire * U.S. News & World Report * NPR/On Point * St. Louis Post-Dispatch * BookPage An epic and gripping tale of catastrophe and survival, The Passage is the story of Amy--abandoned by her mother at the age of six, pursued and then imprisoned by the shadowy figures behind a government experiment of apocalyptic proportions. But Special Agent Brad Wolgast, the lawman sent to track her down, is disarmed by the curiously quiet girl and risks everything to save her. As the experiment goes nightmarishly wrong, Wolgast secures her escape--but he can't stop society's collapse. And as Amy walks alone, across miles and decades, into a future dark with violence and despair, she is filled with the mysterious and terrifying knowledge that only she has the power to save the ruined world. "Enthralling . . . You will find yourself captivated."--Stephen King "Magnificently unnerving . . . The Stand meets The Road."--Entertainment Weekly "Great entertainment . . . [a] big, engrossing read."--The Dallas Morning News "Mythic storytelling."--San Francisco Chronicle The story of Amy continues in The Twelve, coming soon. Look for a special preview in the back of the book.