Wow, just Wow! I loved, loved, loved this book and I loved it even more after I found out it is the first in a trilogy (with my only complaint being that the next one is not out until 2012.) There are so many layers to the story - it is about a government experiment gone bad which turns people into vampires; it is about how we as humans have this innate desire to survive, even is the most dire of circumstances; it is about love and relationships. There were moments that left me utterly breathless, hiding under covers. There were moments that touched my heart and made me want to cry, it was amazing. And if you are thinking this is another vampire book, it is so not. The vampires in this book are like none we have ever seen before - they are much, much scarier. I read the last page and wanted so desperately to talk to someone ABOUT this book. There are so many questions left unanswered and it has a humdinger of a last line that left my jaw on the floor. I will be first in line to buy the next installment in *big sigh* another year.
Amazon Best Books of the Month, June 2010: You don't have to be a fan of vampire fiction to be enthralled by The Passage, Justin Cronin's blazing new novel. Cronin is a remarkable storyteller (just ask adoring fans of his award-winning Mary and O'Neil), whose gorgeous writing brings depth and vitality to this ambitious epic about a virus that nearly destroys the world, and a six-year-old girl who holds the key to bringing it back. The Passage takes readers on a journey from the early days of the virus to the aftermath of the destruction, where packs of hungry infected scour the razed, charred cities looking for food, and the survivors eke out a bleak, brutal existence shadowed by fear. Cronin doesn't shy away from identifying his "virals" as vampires. But, these are not sexy, angsty vampires (you won’t be seeing "Team Babcock" t-shirts any time soon), and they are not old-school, evil Nosferatus, either. These are a creation all Cronin's own--hairless, insectile, glow-in-the-dark mutations who are inextricably linked to their makers and the one girl who could destroy them all. A huge departure from Cronin's first two novels, The Passage is a grand mashup of literary and supernatural, a stunning beginning to a trilogy that is sure to dazzle readers of both genres. --Daphne Durham
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Fans of vampire fiction who are bored by the endless hordes of sensitive, misunderstood Byronesque bloodsuckers will revel in Cronin's engrossingly horrific account of a post-apocalyptic America overrun by the gruesome reality behind the wish-fulfillment fantasies. When a secret project to create a super-soldier backfires, a virus leads to a plague of vampiric revenants that wipes out most of the population. One of the few bands of survivors is the Colony, a FEMA-established island of safety bunkered behind massive banks of lights that repel the virals, or dracs—but a small group realizes that the aging technological defenses will soon fail. When members of the Colony find a young girl, Amy, living outside their enclave, they realize that Amy shares the virals' agelessness, but not the virals' mindless hunger, and they embark on a search to find answers to her condition. PEN/Hemingway Award–winner Cronin (The Summer Guest) uses a number of tropes that may be overly familiar to genre fans, but he manages to engage the reader with a sweeping epic style. The first of a proposed trilogy, it's already under development by director Ripley Scott and the subject of much publicity buzz (Retail Nation, Mar. 15). (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.