In one word "Vampacalypse". This story is many stories upon stories upon layers and layers. There are so many facets to this book I hardly know where to begin.
The first part of this book deals with the world as we know it today. A group of scientists embark on a journey for cures/immortatlity in the jungles, with good intentions, however end up combining their efforts with the military with all but good intentions. One side wants to cure death and the other wants to create super soldiers and what do you get, total human annhiliation. Yep, in a nutshell. Without going into too much "giveaway" details, it centers around the military using human experiments in the way of death row inmates as guinea pigs and one 6 year old girl. When all comes crashing down and the inmates escapes, the world as we know it falls.
The next part of the book deals with the world 100 years later and what it looks like, how small populations have survived, especially focusing on one in particular. The virals, jumps or dracs as the infected are known are immortal as well as the little girl who was experimented on. The original 12 that escaped, either killed or created more virals by infecting them with bites. However, Amy, the girl, is not a viral but has been infected with a more perfected dose of the virus via the experiment. When our band of rebels from one of the colonies decides to venture out and find out where Amy came from and wanting to find answers to the world and how it became what it is, they meet many interesting people along the way and learn very important things regarding the virals to help them win the world back. Be warned, this is book one of a trilogy so there are no solutions one you have finished this behemouth of a book (747 pages!)
I found the story unpredictable in it's telling with all sorts of details and layers within the story. I loved how the stories of vampires had a nugget of truth to them and it's explained nicely in this novel. Justin Cronin has a lovely, easy and comfortable way of writing which lets you just fall into the world he has created and allows you to love the people that live there. I look forward to the next installment of the Passage which should be out Summer 2012. Highly recommend.