Monday, June 28, 2010

The Passage by Justin Cronin

Last week I invested in a 782 page hard-back novel called "The Passage". Though a little slow at first, I was not so sure about the vampire label it had, it did pick up and keep my interest enough that I finished it off after 4 days with satisfaction. I have to say that though dark this book held commendable elements of humanity, horror, love, suspense, and delved deeply into what it actually means to be a human being.

Who are human beings? Who are we? The basic premise of "The Passage" was that scientists in South America are attacked by bats who carried a virus that could turn humans into a vampire-like creature who craved blood. The US government tested criminals with this virus in an effort to create a chemical that would cure all diseases and help humans live for hundreds of years, rather then just a hundred years. Flawed, of course, since the first ones tested are hardened murderers who were to be put to death and these are exactly the type of people we want to live forever.

Finally, they test a little girl named Amy, who was abandoned by her mother (not willingly so do not be harsh on that poor woman!). It almost seems as if Justin is starting to introduce fate. Amy has an otherwordly side to her, as do her rescuers.

So the world as we know it ends, humans are mostly killed off, and these vampire creatures who used to be our brother's, sister's, mother's, and father's are controlled by the original 12 creatures in a hive-like way.

The main group of characters are not defined until halfway into the book (which is considerable) but this also sets up a good deal of history and mystery. Suspense is the name of the game for this book and though long it does a good job. I did read one review that likened this book as simply a way to pay the bills for the author but I really do not believe that to be the case.

Delve into the book, discover each of the character's and watch them change and their understanding of the world changes. Peter, Michael, Theo, Maus, Alicia, Sanjay, all of these characters are manipulated but by who? Is everyone being manipulated? What does Amy want? What can she do? I look forward to the next book in the series.

A few books that I am going to be posting on:

1) "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson

2) The first few books of the House of Night Series by P.C. Cast and her daughter Kristin Cast.

3) "Lonely: A Memoir" by Emily White

4) "Someone Knows My Name" by Lawrence Hill

See you soon!

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