JMJacobsen, June 08, 2010
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I picked up a copy of The Passage after several friends highly recommended the novel. It's not a book I would have picked out for myself (based on the description), but I am so glad that I did and didn't miss out on this epic tale.
The other reviews previous to mine did a great job of giving a comprehensive plot synopsis, so I won't rehash that. But I will tell you what I liked about the story.
Cronin's novel took a hold of my attention from the second paragraph and really never let go. I was riveted by the manner in which he tells his story...he uses traditional character narrative and mixes that with the non-traditional, such as emails, government documents, etc. His characters are not defined by the traditional "good guys" versus the "bad guys." Instead, there are characters who make good and bad decisions, which directly effects the fate of millions of people. Each character is defined by their own internal moral compass. Even the really, really big "baddies" (the so-called vampires created by a virus) still have something fundamentally soul-like inside of them.
If I had any complaints at all, it would be that there are A LOT of characters in the book and when that happens, it's hard to keep track of them (and therefore, hard to connect with them or figure out what makes them tick). But the important ones are, of course, well defined and three dimensional. When the character list became too populated, I found myself not caring as much about the story, although the ending makes up for it all. I still wouldn't have missed this book for the world.
This is the first part of a planned trilogy, which I love....I will most certainly be reading the next two as they are issued!