Bianca van Willigenburg's Reviews > The Passage

The Passage by Justin Cronin
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's review
Aug 01, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 2010, fiction-horror, fiction-post-apocaliptic, 2012
Read from October 07 to 18, 2012

I really liked this book and I can't wait for the second (and third) installment.

The story is made up of three parts. The first part (about 200 pages) tells the story just before and after "The Big Event". It's fast paced and a good read despite that some characters are stereotypes. The characters aren't that rounded but since nearly all of them die by the end of this sequence it doesn't really make sense to have character development anyway.

The second part is set around 90 years after TBE. A group of decendants of survivers of TBE live together in The Colony and have managed to stay alive whilst constantly being attacked by Virals (Vampires). Now the old technology they were depending on is starting to fail. At the same time a teenager, Amy, walks in to the camp raising more questions (why wasn't she killed by the virals, etc). Strange things start to happen and Amy is blamed for it. A small group, including Amy, flees from the Colony in search of answers. They go through a lot before finding help. This section is rather long; about 400 pages. It is also a lot slower paced than the first part. All the major character are well developed. In my opinion this part could have done with some good editing, the long descriptions of The Colony and it's people are great but they also take the pace out of the story and you keep wondering if it will ever pick up.

The last part is again about 200 pages. Comparable to the first part; it's a fast read and hard to put down. The group, minus some they have lost along the way, gets help from militia men to get to their destination. They find some answers there and manage to partially do what they came to do. They also find out that their task isn't over yet.

It ends with a rather annoying cliffhanger which makes me wish the second part would be released earlier than 2012.

Although the story is good and it's well written it still has some flaws. First of all, as I said before, the middle part could have been cut down to keep up with the pace of the first and last part.

Second of all, at times Cronin's sentences are too long and complicated. You have to read them several times to make sense of what he's trying to tell. This threw me right out of the story.

Lastly, the word "flyer" is used as both a curse and as an exclamation to express eg surprise "flyers, you gave me a scare" (basically; the way we use the word "shit"). It is hard to believe they have only one word to use like this. Plus Cronin uses it too often.

Despite this I can't wait for part 2.

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08/11/2010 page 35
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