Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Passage.

Title/Author:  The Passage by Justin Cronin.

Genre:  Horror.  Post Apocalyptic.

Publisher: Ballantine Books.

Source:  Purchased.


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 primallandscape 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 trigged apocalypse.  Wolgast is determined to protect her from the horro set loose by her captros, but for Amy, escaping the bloody fallout is only the beginning of a much longer odyssey - spanning miles and decades - toward the time and place where she must finish what should never have begun.   ~Product Description.

Midnyte Musings:   (Please note:  Contains spoilers!)  The Passage is an ambitious novel.  It covers a long period of time, countless characters and many plot threads and twists and turns.

I thought the style was pretty cool.  The sections are partitioned by quotes and poems along with dates. It took me a while to understand what B.V. was and I thought this was a clever way to stress that the world had changed so much that a different timeline was created.  The the story also utilized e-mails, journal entries, notices and job logs.

Some of the writing is very beautiful and insightful.  How Carter felt he was protecting the woman he was convicted of murdering.  Sara's love for Peter and even all of Amy's secrets.   I was also very impressed by the research that must have gone into this.  The details about engines, batteries and  computers was mind boggling to me.  I thought the twists and turns were interesting and some were surprising.  What really touched me was how the characters talked about never seeing the stars in the night sky and how they missed them.  I would really miss seeing the stars as wel if I could no longer look upon them.
"It was good to die.  There was a lightness in it, a letting go, like love."
Although this is classified as a vampire novel, and the vampires were pretty scary there wasn't a whole lot of scares and gore.  I would have liked to have seen more of the horror aspect.  I think I would classify The Passage as more of a post apocalyptic book.

"And inside him, far down, a great, devouring hunger uncoiled itself.  To eat the very world."

Now for what didn't work for me.  This is certainly not the author's fault, but I had a wonky copy.  The first few chapters there were many sentences that were repeated in several places.  To top it off they were crossed out in pencil.  I was like huh?  Obviously an irregular copy that someone else had already gone over.  It was funny in a way, but it pulled me out of the story and I couldn't help but wonder if this was going to keep happening.  It did happen again a few more times, but then it stopped and I was able to get into the story as much as I could.  

I think another issue I had is that some of the writing was hard for me to follow.  I often couldn't ground myself into the setting and didn't know where exactly the characters were.  I also wasn't always sure who was thinking or doing what.   Another device I noticed is that the author led the reader to believe a character was dead and then wasn't.  I think this can be effective once or twice, but it happened often enough that I was not surprised anymore when the story alluded to someone's death.  

The ending was a cliffhanger and I suspect that in the next book The Twelve, it may start with action right where The Passage left off.

Constellation of Characters:  Unfortunately, I didn't really connect too many characters.  I enjoyed reading about them and found myself caring and wanting to know more, but I didn't feel the layers were peeled off enough.

Anthony Carter - a homeless man who was unfairly convicted of murder and then experimented on.

Peter - one of the main protaganosists, always thought his older brother Theo was favored and better than him.  Even on his mother's death bed he misinterpreted something she said and it stayed with him.  That is, until he realized he was the strong one.

Starstruck Over: I'm glad I read The Passage, but it didn't enchant me as much as I had hoped.  I am curious to find out what happens, so I may continue the series, but I'm not in a rush.

Other Editions:



Karen said...

I've been interested in reading this on and off for a few years now but I really don't think it would be for me.

Felicia the Geeky Blogger said...

This is one that I have but haven't gotten around to reading it. I need to some day but I think I am afraid I won't like it as much as most did. I think my reaction would be along the lines of yours.

Bark At The Ghouls said...

I read this but it was a real chore. It was just too darn long. That's so weird about your copy. I wonder if you had someone's tossed aside ARC?

Midnyte Reader said...

@Karen-This is not a book I would recommend to you.
@Felicia-Don't let my opinion stop you however...so many people loved it.
@Barkless-I agree...sometimes it was very onerous to read. I definitely think I got a bad copy, lol.

Jen | Book Den said...

Spoiler comment:

I hate so much that you had a wonky copy! I remember when I started reading The Passage I turned the light off to go to sleep and then turned it back on to read like 3 times.

You are right - nobody dies in The Passage. Haha. That was pretty bad. I still loved it, though. :)

Jen said...

I agree with your assessment. I did find it scary, but there were so many characters that it was hard to connect with any of them.
Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

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