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Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Passage by Justin Cronin: You've Gotta Read This Book!!

From Fantastic Fiction website

'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.

The Passage by Justin Cronin is, in a word, WOW!! I know, I know, this is the book really getting all the buzz this summer. But there is a good reason for that. IT’S REALLY GOOD!! So good, in fact, that I had a hard time writing a synopsis of it, and I don’t think the blurb I swiped from the website does a very good job of it either. This book just grabs you in the first couple of pages, pulls you in and doesn’t let go. It’s sort of The Stand meets Patient Zero meets The Postman. (Hey…no laughing, I LIKED that movie.)

The book takes place over almost a hundred years, the first part is pretty straightforward, and then it takes a giant step forward ninety-two years. It’s a little disconcerting, how the manner of living has changed, slang used in everyday speech is a bit different, and the author doesn’t waste any time explaining these changes. But these differences are to be expected. We certainly don’t live or speak the same as our counterparts did in 1920. I really liked the expectation that we readers could figure out these changes on our own. I realized pretty early that I’d better pay attention, or I was going to miss something important. This might be a long book, but that’s not because it’s crammed with unnecessary filler, but because it’s an epic novel, and worth every single word. Even though The Passage is book one of a planned trilogy, Cronin manages a terrific ending. The conclusion leaves us with a great starting point for book two, and yet still has a sense of finality to it.

If I were pressed to come up with a complaint about the book, it would be twofold. My Sony Reader has spoiled me, and The Passage was a regular book. It’s heavy. And I would have loved to be able to have it on my Reader instead. I took it everywhere with me, so I could read while waiting in line, or for the gas pump to fill, the movie to start, etc. and did I mention? It’s heavy. I would have loved to have it on my Reader. My other complaint is that I have to wait until 2012 for the next book. 2012?? And then two more years for the last one? Arrrggghhh!!! I almost wish I’d waited until 2014 when I could read all three consecutively. Sigh…..I guess it’s a good thing that I’ve got myself a hardcover copy to go with the advance reader copy I already had. And okay, I put an e-copy on my Sony Reader as well. I’m just being prepared. This way, when I read it again, I can have a copy upstairs next to the bed, a copy downstairs next to my chair and a copy for my purse when I’m out of the house. (Did I mention…it’s heavy??) Oh yeah….I’ll be reading this one more than once…

The Passage by Justin Cronin is a hundred different kinds of awesomeness. The best book I’ve read this year. Beg, borrow or buy a copy, but dang it…get going…it’s worth every single page it’s written on and every single penny it’ll cost you. A new addition to my favorite books and favorite authors list, Justin Cronin and The Passage, WOW!!

(Review copy provided by Ballantine Books)

My rating:


Nan said...

I keep going back and forth on whether or not I should buy this one... I'm leaning towards buying it now. :-)

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Gee, how did you *really* feel about it?!!! :--) Actually, I think it's great when someone really really loves a book - how much fun is that! I'm glad you loved this one!

bermudaonion said...

I keep reading fabulous reviews of this book and yet, I'm still a little hesitant to read it. I'm not sure why, though.

Angelique said...

Ordered it two days ago, CAN'T wait for it to show up!

Mystica said...

Keep seeing very good reviews on this book. Top of the TBR now I think.

Jess said...

To wait or not to wait? I should at least pick up a copy. Thanks for the review!

Anonymous said...

The best book you've read this year - now I must read this. Others have been lukewarm but the enormous publicity is hard to ignore. Especially from Stephen King, no less :)

Bookfool said...

I loved this book, too. But, not enough to buy two more copies. Seriously? You bought a hardback and downloaded it? That cracks me up. I'm hanging onto my copy so I can reread it in 2012. Having to wait so long for the next two books is definitely a bummer.