Review: The Passage by Justin Cronin

December 7, 2012 4 stars, Book Review 15 ★★★★

Pabkin’s One Liner: Rich in detail but long in wind.

The Passage

“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.

With The Passage, award-winning author Justin Cronin has written both a relentlessly suspenseful adventure and an epic chronicle of human endurance in the face of unprecedented catastrophe and unimaginable danger. Its inventive storytelling, masterful prose, and depth of human insight mark it as a crucial and transcendent work of modern fiction.

Justin Cronin’ s The Passage was the start to an epic apocalyptic / post-apocalyptic trilogy. It had such in depth character development that I became very attached to several of the characters. Which made things weird for me halfway through the book. I do wish there were more development of the little girl Amy. For being the person who is much of what the story is centered around she really doesn’t get much time as the POV. Her personality didn’t stand out very strongly in my mind as compared to several of the other characters.

At almost 800 pages, The Passage told two stories, first how the whole outbreak comes about with one set of characters and the second story takes place almost 100 years later with an entirely different set of characters, and their survivor colony. (Heck it could have even been split into two books.) There were quite a few times when I almost cried because there was such sadness all throughout the book. I loved Wolgast.

In my opinion the pace through most of The Passage is extremely slow and long winded, probably all the way up to the last 40%. With the way it read I guess I would compare it to someone telling you about how the chicken crossed the road, but instead of it taking one sentence to tell me this it takes two pages. So that was my biggest gripe. I think about 300 pages could have been shaved off this book and I would have enjoyed it more. Regardless, of that I still really enjoyed it and plan to read the next one.

Tabitha the Pabkins

Find The Passage: Amazon | BD |Goodreads
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• This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. Please note that this post also contains affiliate links. To view our full Blog Policy, click here.

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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15 Responses to “Review: The Passage by Justin Cronin”

    • Pabkins

      Good I’m glad to hear it moves faster. I also noticed its shorter. April said that also that she didn’t want it to end. I’m on the library wait list now for The Twelve.

    • Pabkins

      Weird that Amy really doesn’t seem to get much play time. It disappointed me that we didn’t get to know her more. I can’t wait to see what you think of the whole thing!

  1. Ning @ DABR

    I only learned of this book when the Twelve was published earlier this year, but I really want to read the. The length is kind of daunting though, because I rarely have time now to sit down and read for an hour or so, but I asked my bf for this and the next book for Christmas, so hopefully he’ll get it for me!

    Btw, I really like the new layout. I haven’t been here for a while lol
    Ning @ DABR recently posted…Sexy & Damned Winner’s Choice Giveaway w/ Diane ThorneMy Profile

  2. Jess

    I’ve heard good things about this book, I have a copy and can’t wait to read it. I didn’t realize how long it was.

    • Pabkins

      I know – I didn’t realize how long it was either until the thick freaking doorstop of a book arrived in the mail. Hurts your wrists just to hold it for any length of time lol.

  3. Uomo di Speranza

    I always wonder whether readers value essential elements like plot and character development more in a book where so much can be shaved off; the needle-in-a-haystack effect, I guess it can be called? What say you?
    Uomo di Speranza recently posted…The American Dream (Sucks)My Profile

    • Pabkins

      I always value the plot and character development. It is so key…sometimes I wonder if character development is the leader in import though because for me it wouldn’t matter how great the plot was if I hated or didn’t care a whit about any of the characters. Ya know? I definitely do not like like unnecessary fluff though…and there were a few scenes in here that I personally could have done without – but it was still a great read. Most people I know couldn’t get enough and loved the length.

  4. Melissa

    Glad you enjoyed it even though you found it to be long winded. Guess I like long winded if it’s done the “right” way….which I think the Passage is. All the added detail and character development just made it come alive for me. I second Kim…did not want this one to end!
    Melissa recently posted…Added to the Bookshelf – 12/9/12My Profile

    • Pabkins

      April is right there with the both of you – she loved how long it was haha. Don’t get me wrong I love myself some long books. Heck Robert Jordan books are all about 800 pages long or more and I LOVE those. Gobble up every word. =P