The Passage

Work was slow yesterday! I finished The Passage by Justin Cronin, which i got free from Librarything. It isn't bad. There were many things in it that i really liked. i just didn't love it.

Good but not great. the basic story is that the US Army is attempting to create a virus that will allow soldiers to heal quickly or, barring that, create a sort of super soldier. They start their human experiments on death row inmates but the last patient is a six year old girl, Amy. The convicts escape and release a plague of super strong, fast, blood drinking semi-immortals. Amy is immune to the blood lust but her aging practically stops.

Then, though, the story jumps forward 95 years and we meet several people who live in The Colony, a compound in California of survivors. The social structure is very rigid and they are surviving on technology salvaged from the past. Unfortunately, the smokes are still around and the equipment is slowly falling apart. The Colony won't be a haven for much longer. When Amy shows up, age 14 now, several people set out to discover her past.

The problem i had with this one is that Cronin spends the first 300 pages introducing Amy and her protectors and the convicts and the army personnel. so the jump to the future i felt was quite jarring and it took me a long time to really be interested in any of the future characters. He also has the habit of writing things like "if they had known it would be their last meal together, they would have talked more" before a chapter where bad things happen, which i really don't like.

One more thing: if you want to follow some advice, don't read the postscript. maybe it'll be important if this ends up being first in a series but it detracts from the really good ending just before this part.

overall, a 5 from me. If you like epic horror/sci-fi, you'll like this!


  1. Good review. Sounds like an interesting premise that wasn't executed as well as it might have been--that's so frustrating!


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