Thursday, February 24, 2011

Review: The Passage by Justin Cronin

Title: The Passage      
Author:
Justin Cronin           
Genre: Science fiction, dystopian, horror

Where I got it:
Goodwill (four dollars for hardback!)

One sentence:
An experiment gone awry creates a vampire-zombie virus in the future, human colonies attempt to exist while waiting for the ones to save them: a strange little girl and a man named Peter.

Themes:
vampires, zombies, dystopian society, apocalypse

Main character:
There were a lot of characters. One of the main characters, Amy, was enjoyable and her mysteries were intriguing, but there really wasn’t much character development on her part, which made it tough to relate and remain interested.

Secondary characters:
Again, a lot of characters, but Cronin seems to do a good job of fleshing them out and making them rather memorable. Some of the characters did get a little lost in the shuffle, so I would have preferred more focus on the main characters.

Writing style: I really liked Cronin’s writing style: there was a lot of action and fast-pace when needed, but also a lot of slow, more descriptive language that brought the novel to the next level. I really liked the mixed media style of the novel which often gave extra clues and the breaks were well-placed, lots of cliff-hangers!

Plot:
The plot itself (vampire-zombies that take over the world) wasn’t particularly new or exciting, rather it was the way that Cronin added in mature threads and themes, twists, and sophisticated complexities that made it a truly engaging read. I literally could not put it down at the end, I was so transfixed on the magnitude of the story being told.

Best scene:
So many poignant scenes, it’s hard to choose. However, there are some awesome chase scenes and some chilling ones regarding Amy and the virals.

Positives: 
Writing pace and style, format, overall epicness (is that a word?), plot complexities

Negatives:
A little confusing, lots of characters, very long

Ending:
I wasn’t aware at the end that this was a trilogy, so there was definitely a momentary panic in which I was incredibly upset with the end. That being said, once I realized it was a trilogy, I don’t know if it made it any better. This novel was long enough on its own…

Verdict:
The length, over-descriptedness and unoriginal elements were definitely worth it. I think this novel has a lot to give the reader beyond the typical vampire-epidemic-post-apocalyptic-thriller, themes that deal with human nature and the horrors of humankind. It definitely resonated with me long after I put it down.

Rating:
8.5/10

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