Review – “The Passage” by Justin Cronin

I was sitting on the sofa reading The Passage and my husband was bored.  So he asked me his usual I’m bored while you are reading question – “What is that about?”  Now I know that he doesn’t really want an answer, he is just bored.  But I decided to try to explain the story to him (I was about half through at that point.)  “Well, you see, there is this girl Amy who was abandoned by her mother and these agents are assigned to bring her in to this government testing facility.  The agents grab Amy from a nun who was taking care of her and then the nun disappears.  They have been gathering death row inmates and taking them here as well.  But, before that, there was this research group who was in the jungle and something really bad happened.”  At this point, I noticed my husband’s blank stare and thought about what I had just said.  It really did make little sense (let’s be honest, it made no sense to him).  For the life of me I couldn’t describe the book and how much I was enjoying it.

My point is this – if you want a summary of The Passage read it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Goodreads.  I’m definitely not the person to explain it to you.  All I can say is I LOVED IT!  The Passage has so many elements that I enjoyed – government / scientific experimentation gone wrong, post apocalyptic world where people are just trying to survive, a little love story thrown in here and there (some definitely happier than others) and VAMPIRES!

Stephen King wrote a cover blurb for this one and I definitely got an overall King vibe.  But, I wouldn’t mistake this for a King novel if a copy were given to me without the author listed.  There are differences that I’ve been trying to pinpoint for myself.  I think King is a little more raw in his descriptions and Cronin almost seems to be somewhat high-brow.  (I would love to know if anyone else felt this way.)  Not a bad thing for either but definitely different.

This was a solid 4-star read for me and came close to getting a higher rating.  There were a few spots where I’m pretty sure there was a minor plot inconsistency.  But, honestly, there was so much going on I could be wrong (I’d love to re-read when I have time to see if I still feel this way.)  Plus, when the first section ended, it really caught me off guard.  I had no idea where it was going from there (a good thing) but one of Amy’s actions didn’t make a lot of sense to me.

I would recommend this for anyone who enjoys more adult vampire novels or, of course, Stephen King.

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