Friday, November 4, 2011

Weekend Reads: The Passage

Tags: Horror/ Thriller / Dystopia/ Apocalypse/ Disease
Pages: 800
Rating (out of 5): ****
Buy-Me Blurb: “It happened fast. Thirty-two minutes for one world to die, another to be born.” 
First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear — of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.
As civilization swiftly crumbles into a primal landscape of predators and prey, two people flee in search of sanctuary. FBI agent Brad Wolgast is a good man haunted by what he’s done in the line of duty. Six-year-old orphan Amy Harper Bellafonte is a refugee from the doomed scientific project that has triggered apocalypse. He is determined to protect her from the horror set loose by her captors. But for Amy, escaping the bloody fallout is only the beginning of a much longer odyssey — spanning miles and decades — towards the time and place where she must finish what should never have begun.
Keeping with the Halloween inspired monster theme, I recently finished The Passage by Justin Cronin. Dystopian/Apocalyptic fiction is a guilty pleasure of mine but for some reason I put off reading this book for months. I'm not exactly sure why, it was highly rated on Goodreads, and it seemed as though everywhere I looked the book was recommended as a new spin on the "vampire virus" that has been so popular lately. The problem was simple, I've heard this line before and been left feeling far less than satisfied after taking the plunge.

In general, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it for anyone looking for a slightly creepy read to pass the witching hour. It's well written though the author does get a little "preachy" and "we failed God" a couple of times as a kind of weak explanation to move the plot along. Copout, yes I think so, but I enjoyed the rest of the book so much, I'll overlook it as a laps in judgement or potentially temporary insanity.

This author, like many others the last couple of years, just loves to switch between perspectives, as with George R R Martin and Stieg Larsson. Though I think it ultimately works if done correctly, it did leave this book a little disjointed in places. The major problem is for the main concept of this soon-to-be series to work, the author had to fast track the downfall of the world and the establishment of a new way of living. It's nice that we didn't have to wait for the second book in the series to see this progression, but by combining a loss of time with shifting perspective, I was left a little confused and it sometimes felt like I was starting a new book every couple of chapters.

Other good news is that this is the first book in what is looking to be a good series, and will be a movie in the near future. You can find an excerpt of the upcoming second book in the series, The Twelve, slated to be released sometime in 2012, by clicking HERE.