The Passage – Review

img_9987While perusing the shelves of my library, I discovered they had a copy of The Passage, a book that has been sitting on my TBR shelf for over three years. That day, I decided not to check it out because I felt like I already had too much to read. When I returned home, I couldn’t stop thinking about the book and wishing I would have picked it up. Ugh, bookworm problems, am I right? Finally a few days later, I decided to go back and get it. I was in the mood to challenge myself with a longer read, something that’s been outside of my comfort zone, but a book I thought I’d still enjoy. It seemed like the perfect change of pace.



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. Wolgast 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–toward the time an 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, masterly prose, and depth of human insight mark it as a crucial and transcendent work of modern fiction.

This book started out perfectly. It captured my attention and there was plenty of action to keep things exciting. I was anxious to see how the vampire aspect came into play from the reviews I read. When I finally got to that point, it seemed as if this was similar to an episode of The Walking Dead – Vampire Edition. I can dig it, vampires are a little cliche these days, but I like The Walking Dead well enough (pre-Negan).

All of a sudden, however, the story changed dramatically. Gone were the characters I had come to know and even like, and here are countless new characters to get to know. I almost wanted to throw in the towel and be done with the book at that point. It threw a huge wrench in the pacing of the story and discouraged me as a reader. I don’t like books with tons of characters, with the exception of the Harry Potter novels. The characters have to be incredibly well-written with unique, standout qualities to make them memorable and this book just didn’t have that. It made getting to know the new people, based on their name and the few things they had done incredibly challenging. Even by the end of the story, there were characters mentioned making me think, “Who is that?”

My biggest complaint about this book was the constant changing of perspective. I know it’s a great tool for authors to leave mini cliffhangers throughout a story to keep the readers’ interest, but in this case, it had the opposite effect. As soon as things began to pick up, I would have to refocus on new perspectives and characters I could barely remember. It was insanely frustrating.

I know everyone is wondering why I kept reading the book at this point if I basically hated everything so far. The answer is hope – hope things would get better. The premise of the story was interesting enough to make me curious about what would come of the characters. I wanted to know if they would eventually be able to find a cure or how things may be solved. I especially wanted to discover more about Amy and what exactly made her be in the condition she was in. I also liked the suspenseful feel of the story and was determined to finish something longer than 300 pages for a change. I really enjoyed how different this book was from anything I had read in years, as well. Unfortunately, the idea was bigger than the author. I didn’t get all of the answers I hoped to. I still don’t even know what the passage is? This book could have been thinned out drastically, but it was a victim to the idea of a series, which meant dragging it out. Sorry folks, I do not have the patience to continue slogging through the series to answer the questions I’m left with.

Rating: 3 stars.

Purchase on Amazon.


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9 Comments Add yours

  1. kellyluvsreadin says:

    I liked this book, but I hated the second one so much, I never read the last. Good choice not to continue.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Whew, I’m glad to know that. I tend to beat myself up for not finishing a series for years after the fact. I don’t want to waste my time though.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jules_Writes says:

    I’ve been meaning to read this for years, I have read a lot of mixed reviews. It is definitely a book I will try for myself at some point. Great review.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Definitely a slog and definitely not worth the effort. I just couldn’t force myself to continue to the next of the series.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I read this such a long time ago and almost forgot about the many characters. XD I remember liking the book though. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it and hope your next read will be better! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think if I read it a few years ago I would have enjoyed it more. It wasn’t awful, just could have been better. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

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