The Seasonal Reading Challenge discussion

GROUP READS > The Passage discussion - will contain spoilers

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message 1: by Sandy (last edited Aug 31, 2010 07:54PM) (new)

Sandy | 15695 comments Mod
If you choose to read The Passage for the Group Reads task (or another task for that matter) please feel free to discuss it here.

message 2: by Pinky_rocks (new)

Pinky_rocks | 68 comments I'm still figuring out whether I should get the audio book or the real book... I have seen that the audio is shortened and usually I don't like that at all...but recently I've become a fan of audio books so I'm quite undecided...Has anyone listened to the audio book and can tell me if it's shortened to an amount where you can still understand the story or if important things are missing?

message 3: by Nicki (last edited Sep 06, 2010 08:34AM) (new)

Nicki (luluminstrel) | 285 comments Well, I've just finished this and it's hard to say what I thought of it. I didn't know anything about it before I got it out from the library, but I had seen it advertised everywhere. If I'd known what the plot was I probably wouldn't have bothered, which goes to show how good these challenges are - making me read different things. But in the end it was OK - 3 stars from me.


The first 100 or so pages were excellent and I was really glad I'd chosen to read it. The suspense was great. By page 250 or so I was annoyed and wishing I hadn't chosen it! I've seen far too many movies with the 'virus in remote bit of the world that someone wants to use as a weapon but it wipes out humanity' storyline, and then to throw in vampires as well... For goodness sake... And one of the best characters was dead and we were suddenly way in the future. Not where I wanted the story to go.

Reading other reviews, a lot of people hated the diary bits, but I liked them. However, some of the other inserted bits were irritating as they were just confusing. And I HATED the post-apocalyptic language. It was like Mad Max or Waterworld. It took me ages to realise why everyone kept saying 'flyers', and it's only been 100 years so why not call children 'children' instead of Littles - ugh.

But it picked up again and by the end I was reading away desperate for a happy solution. It got really good for a bit with Lacey reappearing. And then it just stopped. What an awful ending! So many unanswered questions throughout the book - missing people, vanished villages, and what about patient Zero? Wasn't he a viral? Which would make it 13, not 12. Argh!

So to summarise, over hyped with an unoriginal storyline that got a bit too much in places. I feel the author got so carried away he forgot where he was going sometimes, and then storylines got forgotten and I forgot who was who and who was where. Too many characters that came and went and we never really got to know or identify with. It started off well, went downhill, picked up again and then just ended. It made me cross and frustrated, and it certainly wasn't scary, but I guess I am glad I read it. Apparently, it's one of a trilogy like everything these days. Will I read the next one? I suppose so - that ending was just so not an ending...

Edited to add... 2 days later and I'm still thinking about this and realising what a really good start it was and how frustrated I am that it just didn't live up to it. It's a long time since a book has made me so cross because it let itself down!

message 4: by Joanie (new)

Joanie | 95 comments I finished this just as the challenge started so I won't be able to claim any points for it but figured I'd jump in on the discussion anyway.

*Possible Spoilers Ahead*

First off-I never did figure our why they said "flyers" all the time (and I'm probably going to be embarrassed by my stupidity when I find out) but can you please tell me?"

As for Zero-I thought he was Babcock. Now I'll have to look back and see. It took me over a month to read this which never really happens to me so I might be a little fuzzy about the early stuff. Even if he was Babcock though I guess there would still be 13, not 12, right? If they were numbered 0-12 that is.

I liked this but I think I had different expectations than you did Nicki. I knew it was a vampire book so I was pleasantly surprised at the introduction of the whole dystopian society thing. It was definitely reminiscent of a lot of other post apocalyptic stuff (The Giver, The Road, even Hunger Games) I have never made it all the way through Mad Max or Waterworld so that didn't bother me. It was a much more developed story than I was anticipating.

I agree that the ending was really abrupt but I guess that's what #2 and #3 are for. I did get a little confused at the end though and didn't get why Theo and Maus and Sara and Hollis decided to leave the cabin-weird. I'm sure I'll read the next one but hopefully it will be awhile before it comes out. I need a break!

message 5: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 15695 comments Mod
0 was, I believe, Fanning - the scientist from Columbia who was in the jungle with them at the beginning. 1 - 12 were the prisoners, 0 was Fanning. And I think they used "flyers" as a swear, because it referred to the virals.

I think there was just too much thrown in here - too many characters, too many plot lines, but too little reason for why people did what they did. Every time we'd get somewhere new, he'd throw a whole bunch of new characters at us, most of whom weren't important at all.

I kept hoping he'd have some resolutions of some plot lines before he'd add in a bunch more, but it seemed as if every time he had another idea, we'd zoom off to another plot line and a batch of new characters.

That said, I basically enjoyed reading it - it certainly flowed along just fine - I had no expectations whatever of the plot - I just read it because I'd already read Mockingjay and I'm only #45 on the waiting list at the library for Little Bee! I always like science fiction and fantasy, and I liked this, too.

I really think I would have liked it better had this been a trilogy itself! Deal with a plotline, have at least a partial resolution, even with a cliffhanger ending, then let us catch our breaths before moving on!

message 6: by Nicki (new)

Nicki (luluminstrel) | 285 comments Yes, Zero was Fanning but not one of the 12. Which makes me wonder if because he was infected naturally (presumably by the bats) he didn't infect others and control them. Not really explained, but I don't think he could have otherwise the virus would have spread at once from the local people.

And 'flyers' was used in the same way that we might say 'rats'. But it did take me ages to realise that!

It would have been much better if maybe this book was just about Amy and Wolgast, and then in the next book we moved forward. Too many people - especially in the Colony.

message 7: by Joanie (new)

Joanie | 95 comments I forgot about Fanning-you're right. I think he was infected by the bats. In one of the emails from Lear he talks about them swarming him and he got really sick but then seemed to get better.

I guess I was over-thinking the "flyers" thing-equating it to "rats" makes sense. I even had a dream about "flyers" last night-that it has something to do with a Radio Flyer or a bowling ball-whacked! No nightmares, just crazy "rosebud" dreams!

message 8: by Nicki (new)

Nicki (luluminstrel) | 285 comments Those emails from Lear were excellent - that bit of the book promised so much :) Would have been good to get to know Lear better.

message 9: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 15695 comments Mod
Nicki (UK) wrote: "Those emails from Lear were excellent - that bit of the book promised so much :) Would have been good to get to know Lear better."

I thought so, too - I didn't think the secondhand info later on was enough. Since he's the one who really set this whole mess into motion, seems like he would be important enough to warrant a little more attention - both before and after.

message 10: by Joanie (new)

Joanie | 95 comments I agree. Maybe there will be more about him in one of the sequels. Seems like that's where Cronin would go-back to what started them experimenting with the virus in the first place.

message 11: by Jessie Marie (new)

Jessie Marie (jessiemreads) Just FINALLY finished this one for the Group Reads task. I really thought it would never end and am too disappointed to believe I spent so much time on this tome.

I'm in agreement with everything that's already been said here - specifically the fact that the first 200 pages set up for a really awesome, scary, thriller that kept you guessing. And then it plummeted.

I feel like we fell so in love with the first few introduced characters; Wolgast, Doyle, Amy and Lacey, even Carter. And then they were all lost only to be brought back for like 30 pages (other than Amy, of course).

I'm rambling and not likely making too much sense but I was so excited to read this. I was really looking forward to a good vampire story lacking in the department of teenagers and glitter. So I'm just bummed.

It could be just me, but it seemed like he went on for small, unimportant things for pages and then the scary scenes involving the virals were cut to but a few short lines when I wanted every gross detail.

I also didn't understand the need to change the names of things around, such as 'Littles' for children and 'half a hand' for half an hour. Perhaps to separate the people of the Colony that much from today's world? I dunno.

I'm glad I read it to form my own opinions and I can safely say that not all of it was bad... Just a good 60%, if I'm feeling generous.

message 12: by Nicki (new)

Nicki (luluminstrel) | 285 comments I agree exactly Jessica - that's how I felt too. So frustrated and and disappointed with what could have been a great book instead of a mediocre one.

message 13: by Stacey (new)

Stacey (stacita) | 241 comments I just finished this up last night and really enjoyed it - but then, I love a good dystopia, and I am not a fan of scary/thriller stuff, so a story that dwells on the details of the day to day dystopian life and then mostly skims over the scary attack stuff works perfectly for me.

I did *not* realize that it's the first part of a planned trilogy, and so was not expecting to be left without resolution at the end, which always drives me a little crazy.

message 14: by Adrienne (new)

Adrienne Teague (ateague) | 56 comments I liked it. I got bogged down in the middle. Like, right at the halfway mark. But, I finally got back on track and blazed through it.

I was also annoyed by the dystopian-speak.

Aside from that, I didn't really feel like anything could have been cut out. I'm looking forward to the next one.

message 15: by Pinky_rocks (new)

Pinky_rocks | 68 comments I really liked the beginning but then it started to suck...I couldn't wait to finish it. It definitely wasn't what I expected and I'm utterly disappointed.

Why do they not remember normal things like driving a car or photographs? I just don't really get that. I mean, not everything is destroyed so they should have some kind of memory even if only told...that and the way the gave completely new names to things plus the variety of characters and the jumps in storytelling made it almost impossible for me to enjoy it.

message 16: by Lahni (new)

Lahni | 314 comments I've got 20% (e-reader) left to read (they just left the Haven on the train). I too LOVED the beginning and am feeling some let down. The book has really seemed to drag in parts but I want to like it so badly because the beginning was so good. I have some serious questions I hope get answered and I'm not really sure I'm vested enough to plow through 2 more books. I did like that the shoes that no one could ever walk in and the bags too small to hold anything were left in the shops at the casino.

message 17: by Izzy (new)

Izzy Holmes | 52 comments Just finished the book and it was not what I expected but I enjoyed it. Would have liked to have more about the virus and the science behind making the new creatures. It dealt well the time span of 100 years and made me think of the type of community that I would like to live in if I was faced with the same situation. I didn't mind the new words that crept into the book as language changes with time and I would have to have words to describe new dangers if they arose. I will definitely read the next book.

message 18: by Sue (new)

Sue (suetinge) | 1495 comments I just finished it this morning and am a bit disappointed. It started out really strong and interesting, but somewhere in the middle, to me at least, it seemed to really bog down.

I really liked a lot of the characters. Peter and Alicia were some of my favorites, along with Amy of course. My heart just broke for her in the first part of the book.

message 19: by Eliza (new)

Eliza (elizac) | 27 comments I agree with what seems to be the common consensus, that the first 200 pgs were excellent. Overall I liked the book and will probably read the others, but I think this one was just too long. There were too many characters and too much set up for what little actually happened. That being said I liked the premise and the characters and I found it readable all the way through.

message 20: by Sandra (new)

Sandra (sandra72) | 726 comments Just finished the book and not quite sure if I liked it or not! The first 100 pages or so got me hooked and I was really looking forward to the read. Then it just got tedious. I wanted to feel something for the characters but couldn't. Everything was too vague, not enough time spent on developing them and too much time spent on other things that just didn't add to the story. The ending was heartbreaking and disappointing all at the same time. All that said, I think I will read the next book when it comes out, if nothing just to find out what happens to the group at Roswell.

message 21: by Nicole (last edited Nov 28, 2010 09:22AM) (new)

Nicole  | 117 comments I did not actually know this was a planned trilogy until reading this tread, but really when you read a 700+ page book (or list to 30 hours on audio!) and the ending sucks it just make it seem as if the whole time spent with the book was wasted and does not make be inclined to keep going in the series.


Not knowing it was going to a trilogy, I felt that at the end the Peter/Alicia/Amy team was left to your own interpretation, but obviously they survive and triumph since the journal entries lead you to believe the world eventually revives.
But the fact the Sarah, Holis and team finally found the safety of the army camp and then died in the famous massacre just sucked. It was like he was making a statement that they were better off alone and bad things happen whenever people group together, i.e. The Haven.
I thought there were some interesting things in the book, but overall it just left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

message 22: by Kristina Marie (new)

Kristina Marie | 119 comments I am glad I read this book. While it did scare me, it was a good read. I enjoyed the characters and their world (though a lot of scenes could have been cut out). However, I wish it had ended better so that I could feel satisfied!

message 23: by Celeste (new)

Celeste | 47 comments I couldn't put it down. I told my husband he might like it and then I had to fight him to get it back so I could finish it. Okay not to thrilled with the massacre in the end. I'm ready for the next one aren't there 11 more virals out there for Amy and Peter to find and destroy? I didn't know there was a trilogy, so glad to read that here. Thats definately on my to read list. Funny when my husband "borrowed" this from me I began reading The Handmaids Tale by Atwood, another post apocolyptic book with walls and sanctuaries. Very interesting parallels.

message 24: by Chris (new)

Chris | 31 comments I actually liked the book. Not the greatest thing I've ever read in my life, but it was still good. Refreshing to have real, creepy, vicious vamps instead of glittery pussies. I was sooooo relieved when Alicia made it; if she would have died, I would have just given up on the book out of sheer frustration. I didn't know it was a trilogy and I think this book would have been good as a stand-alone except for that damn part at the end. Two words: Roswell Massacre. If he had just left that friggin part out, I wouldn't have been so depressed and wtf about the ending. That was just a huge let-down to what was otherwise a pretty good book.

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