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 BOOK REVIEW      

The Passage by Justin Cronin

Passage I was working in the library when this book came out, and I picked it up, read the inside flap, and put it back down about sixty times, it seemed like. It sounded intriguing. It was a thick book that would keep me busy. The cover was gorgeous. But it’s a vampire book. I’ve never been a vampire fan, and the few great vampire books I’ve read have pretty much exhausted me of the genre, anyway.

But after much wishy‐washing about ‘The Passage,’ it was recommended to me in glowing terms, so I finally took it home. And you know what? It’s freaking awesome. True, it’s about vampires, and although the take on it is fresh‐ a deadly disease released by the government spreads vampirism, ultimately causing the collapse of civilization‐ it, at first, didn’t sound super unique to me. But there are quite a few nice twists that you just don’t see coming. Also, the writing style is magnificent. I was drawn in immediately, from the very first page, and I find that’s a rare quality in a book these days. The author pulls the story away from the vampires and tends to focus on the characters and how they live in a world that’s different from ours. Said characters are nicely thought out as well. You can tell the author has their entire lives mapped out somewhere in the back of his mind. We start with somewhat modern times, following a man and a girl he rescues, as well as some very intriguing side characters, as they figure out what’s going on and attempt to survive it. Half way through the book, there’s a time change, and you’re confronted with a new set of characters, who are now living in an intensely interesting future society, where every move is dictated by the dangers facing them. Don’t worry about the time leap‐ these characters also rock. I actually liked the second half better than the first.

I couldn’t put this book down. It has a nice amount of edge and a lot of style. The author gets pretty in depth with what each character is feeling and going through, and also does a lot of work on the relationships between characters. The nice thing about this introspection is that you’re never bored. There’s a lot more show than tell, which was great. Justin Cronin writes in a way that keeps things fresh. It doesn’t drag on at all‐ each new plot turn is as exciting as the first.

So, yeah. I thought ‘The Passage,’ was one of the best things since sliced bread.   -SEL


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