Annette2009's Reviews > The Passage

The Passage by Justin Cronin
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Jun 25, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: my-favorites

A combination of King's The Stand, McCarthy's The Road, and the movie I Am Legend.

Very engrossing; the first third reads like sci-fi thriller, thoroughly setting up the scenarios of the plague that alters the world. I enjoyed the small details of the future world; no spoilers, but look for the name of the Texas governor and certain details about evacuation plans and state secessions.

Unlike others, I enjoyed the second third the best. I found the society and government established to precariously survive this new and dangerous world was very well constructed, and grew to care about all of these characters. Knowing now that the book is the first in a trilogy, I think Cronin would have been better served ending the first here, with central characters departing on their heroes' journey.

The last third just seemed rushed to me. Too many characters resolving too neatly; too many details about the viral plague explained mystically, rather than scientifically. Above all, I found myself very frustrated by the end. I know that some of these answers may be resolved by Book 2, but would love anyone's theory about just this one sentence from page 759: "Like Peter, what he was. For Amy believed Alicia knew that, too." Huh? Was this something I was supposed to understand from all that had come before, or something that has to wait for Book 2?

Also, was anyone else bothered by all the typos and misprints in Chapter 19?
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Reading Progress

June 25, 2010 – Started Reading
June 25, 2010 – Shelved
June 25, 2010 – Finished Reading
July 28, 2010 – Shelved as: my-favorites

Comments (showing 1-16 of 16) (16 new)

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message 1: by PJ (new) - rated it 4 stars

PJ There's going to be a book 2?! I agree with you completely about the cryptic and abrupt ending. What about Peter? What happened at Roswell? Wasn't Lish of any assistance? Why didn't Amy let them all turn? Was Wolgast a ghost or a viral?Hmm. Great review!


Annette2009 Thanks, PJ. Not even sure I would have read this yet if I had known it was a trilogy. I like to wait until at least there's a shorter time between releases. By the time 2 comes out I'm not sure I'll remember 1 well enough! Good question about wolgast. I'm thinking viral. Now what is Peter?


message 3: by Nadine (new)

Nadine Yes, I was bothered by the typos. But the quality of line-editing has deteriorated so much in the publishing business, I've come to expect it.

Still, if they correct it in the future editions, it will make my "first" worth more, won't it? :)


message 4: by Erin (new) - added it

Erin I am glad to hear it's part one as well, as it does make some of the things left hanging more palatable. As in -- what ELSE is Amy? She could talk to animals BEFORE the experiment. Also, what is the point of letting Alisha become immortal and not any of the others? AND the question of Wolgast. I am curious to see what the next parts bring.


message 5: by Mary (last edited Aug 23, 2010 07:02PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mary "Like Peter, what he was. For Amy believed Alicia knew that, too.

That too really got me.....I loved the book, your review was awesome, but I felt, I don't know, kinda miffed when I read that sentence.

I have no clue as to what Peter was.....and to just leave me hanging after reading all those pages sucked...can't wait for the next book to come out!!


Mona Mary wrote: ""Like Peter, what he was. For Amy believed Alicia knew that, too.

That too really got me.....I loved the book, your review was awesome, but I felt, I don't know, kinda miffed when I read that sen..."


I kept thinking "soul mate," whether as a father or a lover, but both Wolgast and Peter J. were their life partners -- just not sure which life he's talking about!


Kirk I am in the middle of reading this book and agree with your assessment so far.


Annette2009 Erin, great question - what ELSE is Amy? That scene at the zoo was really spooky. Is Cronin saying that the animals could sense her future, as some animals can sense a coming storm? Or is there already a terrifying OTHERness about her? I found Amy to be completely good throughout the book; what is this "else" that caused the animals to panic?


message 9: by Tom (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tom Totally with you on the Stand/I am Legend comparison. Did you visualize the "virals" as the I am Legend monsters as you read too?


Annette2009 Tom - yes, now that you say it! - though probably much sadder. Is it time for Book 2 yet?


Tanabrus Just finished reding the book. And I'm hammered with this same question, that is why I ran here in search for an answer on Goodreads. The only answer seems to be "it's a Book 1 in a trilogy" (and I didn't know, of course), so I fear there are no clues in this book, no sentences to re-read for a better understanding.

Damn, let's hope book 2 comes out quickly, or it'll be hard to remember all the details :(


Annette2009 YES - I read this book months ago now, and my 40-something brain can only retain so much! Just saw a very nice plot summary on Wikipedia, and also these details - Ridley Scott's company has purchased the movie rights (Alien, Blade Runner, Black Hawk Down -we'll just try to forget Robin Hood and GI Jane!. Good possibilities, right?) Also, I see that the new book will be called The Twelve, and will be available 2012. (Leaving us with the inevitable wait for Part III!) I'm trying to stay patient with Professor Cronin - can you imagine the pressure of this kind of success?


Sheree I think you've nailed it with your assessment. I'd like to add that I feel the whole 'colony' setup is reminiscent of M Night Shyamalan's 'The Village' . All in all, it terrified me & after all the nightmares I had, I don't know if I'm up for another two doses, or maybe that just proves it IS a good read!


Annette2009 Hi Sheree - I hadn't thought about the similarity to The Village! Good catch. Fascinated me to think of the lights, the wall guards, and the challenge of providing power.


Annabel Smith "Unlike others, I enjoyed the second third the best. I found the society and government established to precariously survive this new and dangerous world was very well constructed, and grew to care about all of these characters." I agree. I think this section really elevated this book above the standard military-experiment gone wrong thriller.


Lynne Parker "but look for the name of the Texas governor"
That was the scariest part of the book.


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