The Passage (The Passage 01) by Justin Cronin

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

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.

My impressions:

Look again at the synopsis. Good, isn’t it? Now the problem: it describes just one third of the book. Mind you it’s the best third which lasts from the very beginning to, roughly, page number 246 or so. It’s your honeymoon with this novel, the time when you read and read and don’t want to put it down even for a short run to the toilet. The rest is definitely less interesting, less thrilling and generally not very original. Government projects gone horribly wrong, post-apocalyptic struggles for survival of a small community, battles between strong people and weak people, and lots and lots of vampires but only in the background as blood-starved beasts, nothing more complex than that. Borrow any vampire-themed B horror – you’ll get most of these features if not actually all of them and you’ll save plenty of time.

The author jams down your throat  detailed descriptions of lives and problems of a bunch of survivors living in an isolated settlement as if you were starving and these ‘juicy morsels’ could save your life. Unfortunately they can’t do the trick because a) there is simply too much of the text b) the narrative which quality can hardly be called decent introduces too many people in a too short reading time c) these people crowd the narration while you would like to read about AMY and AMY alone. It’s a major sin – denying your reader the pleasure of following a good, strong character and then practically marginalizing that character so she doesn’t matter so much anymore. Another sin: at the end of the novel there’s a gigantic cliffhanger, meaning that the whole thing was just a setup for the other two parts. Meaning the author plans to rake it in. Well, I won’t be one of the contributors for sure.

Final verdict:

Overall one big yawn. After a smashing beginning with a very compelling female lead the rest of the book felt like taken from another, inferior story. The Passage is definitely not worth the hype, the movie and a recommendation from Stephen King. Meh.

Rating icon. A hairless cat is wearing a santa hat and a sour expression. On the hat reads: meh.

This entry was posted in book review, contemporary, dystopia, fantasy, grimdark, horror, meh, rating and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to The Passage (The Passage 01) by Justin Cronin

  1. blodeuedd says:

    I dnfed it 😉

  2. heidenkind says:

    You know how I feel about overly long books, so.

  3. Carole Rae says:

    Welcome back! you have been missed. 😀

    BTW – sorry for the confusion…I had to change my url bc the old domain website I went through hated me 😦

Comments are closed.