Nearly two months I dedicated to this behemoth. I read the previous four books consecutively, some 8ish years ago, before I began reviewing books hereNearly two months I dedicated to this behemoth. I read the previous four books consecutively, some 8ish years ago, before I began reviewing books here. When I added them, I only remembered that I liked them all, and I found the first one to be the best.
By the time the HBO show arrived, I couldn't remember a lot of what I'd read, and so I enjoyed the show for what it is. My GoT watching-companions, however, were more fresh readers of the series, so every week I would learn what the show changed from the book. I thought I was missing out on this comparative experience, so I started reading this one during the most recent HBO series, which largely coincides with it, as well as parts from the previous book. I think.
Unless you're a fast reader or able to devote more time to the thing that I did, this practice is folly. I couldn't keep up with the rapid pace of the show, so instead I would look forward to reading what I had already seen. Then sometimes that would never happen, because of the differences and changes HBO made. The HBO season ended while I was 78% done, and I struggled to continue after knowing (mostly) how it would end. I considered giving up, but instead I quickly skimmed through the chapters of people I didn't care about, or ones that had died in the show weeks ago (*boggle*).
By the end, I'm glad I finished it, but I'm unsure if I'll read the next one. I will, however, keep watching the HBO version. At this point, they're becoming separate entities anyway.
* These books are WAY TOO LONG. Too many characters, major, minor and tangential. Too much repetition in thought (how badly Dany wants Daario, or what rhymes with Reek), in description (here is so and so, of house blah blah, the X of his name, from the etc, etc.) and more.
* I like the epic scale and Martin's skill at character development. I've made peace with his penchant for killing off characters.
* The glacial-speed pacing = bleh.
* I'm glad some of the other characters from the previous titles finally began to make their way back into the series by the later portions of this book. I'm not a fan of the half of the major characters in one book, the other half in this next book. Just make shorter books with everyone!
* I wish I had finished this before HBO's 5th season. I found the changes between the show and the book difficult to reconcile and keep track of. However, note that I agree with and like most of HBO's changes. Bring on season 6th; I'll bring popcorn and wine....more
For me, this wasn't as good as the first one, but it's still a great read. The first part of the book mostly introduces and follows a new se4.5 stars.
For me, this wasn't as good as the first one, but it's still a great read. The first part of the book mostly introduces and follows a new set of characters. I wasn't down for that. Where is everybody else?!? I need to know what happened to them! But it didn't take me long to fall into this new storyline and get over myself. Plus, eventually my questions are answered.
Cronin's gift of world and character building are evident here, and the epic battle against the nasty virals continues in a mostly satisfying manner. The ending worked well; I was left wanting more yet not irritated at the stopping point.
I'd recommend this to anyone that appreciates strong writing skills that also likes a post-apocalyptic story doused with vampire-like creatures. Many of the best and worst parts of humanity and life is covered here, though it was just wee bit too much of religious stuff for me. I didn't feel the story needed it.
Now then. When's the third book coming out?...more
I liked it, I did. I wanted to love it, for it's Neil Gaiman, and so many others praise this as his best work. Maybe I would have liked the shorter, nI liked it, I did. I wanted to love it, for it's Neil Gaiman, and so many others praise this as his best work. Maybe I would have liked the shorter, non-anniversary edition more. I am not a fast reader, but a book that I thought was amazing would not take me a month to read, even a big one.
Still, Gaiman is an amazing writer. I heard his voice in my head when I read Shadow's lines. The characters are intense, varied, deep. One complaint--there are just too many of them. Three-quarters of the way through names were being dropped and characters were showing up that I know I had met earlier, yet I just could not remember them. And I couldn't be bothered to search through the book to find out exactly what part they played in Shadow's grand journey.
I cared about what happened at the end, and enjoyed most of the weird side-turns the characters took to get to their inevitable climactic scene. The ending was quite fulfilling. Next, I might need to try his current novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane....more
I wanted to like this book, since I have fond memories of enjoying The Pillars of the Earth. But I ended up skimming through most of it. While I persoI wanted to like this book, since I have fond memories of enjoying The Pillars of the Earth. But I ended up skimming through most of it. While I personally turned every page in this monster of a book, I did not read the ones that dealt with war or religion. What on earth did I read, then? I liked the character interaction, and that is what I focused on. After a while even that became weak. I recognize that Follett wanted his wide list of characters to become intermingled, but it just felt forced to me.
Maybe it wasn't the right time for me and this book, trying to digest in the summertime this many pages of (hardcover!) WWI with sprinklings of religion and too-similar sex scenes. I am glad so many have enjoyed this; they have more to look forward to in the future, it seems. As for me, even though I skipped so much of it, I still noticed several times that Follett would spend a few paragraphs at the start of a section providing background information and reiterating what those characters did some 300 or whatever pages earlier. Ugh. I expect a bit of reminding between books in a series, but in the same book? Maybe it's time to cut your book size down!...more
When I downloaded the eBook, I had no knowledge of how long this title is. After noticing that my % read-o-meter was increasing at a slower than uWOW.
When I downloaded the eBook, I had no knowledge of how long this title is. After noticing that my % read-o-meter was increasing at a slower than usual rate, I checked. And while I think that this could have easily been cut into two or three separate books, and this is the longest time I've spent reading any one book in I don't know how long, it's ALL WORTH IT.
The Passage's scope is so epic, that my meager attempts to explain it to my family (who wondered what had come over me), felt lame. Afterward, they inevitably said, 'so, it's a vampire book?' While there are beasts involved that have some typical vampire traits, I didn't consider them vampires, especially not the kind of vampires that modern fiction has unfortunately churned out.
So what is it about? It starts off with a military experiment, which later goes wrong. Then it focuses on a couple of characters. After many more pages we flash forward to a new generation, all the while relationships are being built and destroyed, battles are waged, and humanity is explored.
It's not really horror, fantasy, or sci-fi, though it contains elements of all those genres. Cronin blended these things and threw it all into a weirdly believable post-apocalyptic world, and because of his skill it all works exceedingly well. Really, the best book I've read in years. Years!
For me, strong character development determines how involved into a book I become. The chapters switch viewpoints between characters just the right amount for me to feel like I know all of them quite well. The Passage sunk its hooks in me, and didn't let go, still hasn't let go.
What a kick-ass mini series this book (and hopefully, The Twelve) would make. For now, I'm going to take a little break to let all that I've just experienced sink in before I move on to the sequel.
With its gripping story, incredible depth of characters, and great sense of epicness, this is one that I highly recommend....more
I added the original shelves and rating on July 19, 2010--around the time I joined Goodreads and was adding my collection.
Now I'm reading it aloud toI added the original shelves and rating on July 19, 2010--around the time I joined Goodreads and was adding my collection.
Now I'm reading it aloud to my sons (14 and 12), something I've waited a long, long time to do. I hope they like it at least almost as much as I did, and I hope I still love it.
*EDIT, now that I've finished reading it to my sons*
I'm leaving my original rating of 5 stars, because I'm sure I felt that way about the book a few years ago when I added it, or at least when I initially read it, way back in the '90s. Sadly, if I were to rate it today, I wouldn't give it 5 stars. Maybe it's the extra 20ish years I have behind me now, along with a different perspective, a different title (mother), and the inevitable changes that we undergo as people. Or maybe it's the reading it aloud that lessened it for me, or heck, just reading it *again*, something I don't usually do.
My 12 year old would give it 3 stars. He found it too violent for his liking. He enjoys lighter, more humorous (and fantasy oriented) fare. Still, he was willing to read the sequel.
My 14 year old said it was okay, though he didn't like how most of the book was devoted to the build-up. Then the big build-up is just a small part of the book. He found it repetitive, all the battleschool skirmishes and such.
All that said, it's still a great book, and my whole family is looking forward to seeing the movie this fall. ...more