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Justin Cronin’s THE PASSAGE

“See what?”

“What you came to find, The Passage.”

WARNING: I am going to gush about this book but please note none of it is exaggerated . I am completely obsessed with this book. From the moment I started reading it I found myself holding my breath and completely ignoring everything around me. This is one of those books that not only can you not put it down you want to squeeze reading it into any spare minute you have, even if that means only time for a sentence!

THE PASSAGE is a monster of a book (700 pages), which can be quite daunting. I picked up a copy at the beginning of February and stupidly have let it sit in my pile for three months. This is a book you will just devour and the fact that when you start reading it you feel like you have eternity to go excites you even more because it is that good. In fact you will start to get worried once you pass halfway that there is not enough of the book left to read! I found myself toward the end of the book slowing down because I did not want the book to end. I even caught myself reading from the start again!

This is one of those books that you want to try and read without any preconceptions, which of course makes writing a review more than challenging. If you were already thinking about reading THE PASSAGE and haven’t started it yet leave this blog now and pick it up.

There are so many elements to this book it is beyond genre fiction. Yes it is a vampire novel but it is so far beyond any other vampire book it’s not even worth trying to compare it to them. The depth of the characters and the writing is refreshing and exciting. Just when you think you have it figured out Cronin turns the tables on you and you have to figure things out again. It is the essence of why reading is one of the best pleasures in life!

While there are elements of Michael Crichton and Stephen King it is beyond these authors. The first part of the novel taps into early X-Files but is at times heartfelt and always absorbing. The middle to end sections could be compared to Cormac McCarthy’s THE ROAD but again comparisons are unfair because the book is so startling. A new world is created so richly on top of our old world you are taken there seamlessly. And the creatures that stalk every character of the book are conjured so that you bring forth your own horrible rendering of a what maybe a vampire but is definitely more frightening than anything you have read or seen on TV or in a film before.

THE PASSAGE is more than just thought provoking it is dream provoking. When you are not reading it your mind is ticking it over constantly. And yes I got a bit teary at the end. I will definitely be reading this again and hope that the second book in this planned trilogy is not too long off, but I’d wait as long as it takes!

Justin Cronin dedicates the book to his children but I think a big thank you should go to his daughter who when asked what she thought he should be writing about said “Write a story about a girl who saves the world.” And boy has Justin Cronin done that and then some! Government experiments, blood-thirsty creatures, an apocalypse, unlikely heroes. What is not to love!

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