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The Passage

4.2 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 36 hours and 52 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Orion Publishing Group Limited
  • Audible.com.au Release Date: 24 June 2010
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00NX57ANY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,415 in (See Top 100 in )

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I doubt I'll ever say this again about a vampire or a post-apocalyptic novel, but you must read this book!

I've been reading a lot recently, mostly works from some of the big names in speculative fiction. So it surprised me when I saw The Passage by Justin Cronin on my Goodreads list. I don't recall where the recommendation came from, and the synopsis read as a post-apocalyptic novel with vampires. That did not instill confidence in the book: two of the most overdone sub-genres. Combining them seemed like a recipe for disaster. Throw in its almost 800 page girth and I was worried. But for some reason I gave it a go. And it was worth it.

The Passage is the first in a trilogy, and begins in modern times. It's a fairly standard plot, with the military trying to create super soldiers and I doubt I'm spoiling much when I say it goes awry. The story then jumps forward a hundred years and we see how the world has devolved with a small cluster of survivors eking out an existence amongst the hordes of roaming vampires. So far, nothing inspiring. However, what sets this story apart is the characters. From the very first chapter, I was invested. Each character is so well developed and rounded that you can help but become attached. You know their desires and their weaknesses. They become real. This is the mark of a masterful writer and was exceptionally surprising to find in this genre.

As you would expect, life in a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by vampires isn't particularly pretty. The world is well developed, and everything feels like it belongs. Given that it's set only one hundred years after the event, there are no crazy technology leaps to worry about, it's an easily accessible world. It's gritty without being overbearingly dark. It's violent without being gory.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the third time I have read this book, the first in the trilogy .
Where do do start?
Beautifully written, a true Epic.
Do make the time to read the following books, The Twelve and the City of Mirrors.
You truly have to read and take note of who is who.
I first saw this book in a little bookstore with a note from the owner, saying "when I picked this book up I was a journey"
I hope I will be rereading this when I am 1003
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This story has too many miracles.
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Format: Kindle Edition
It is 2019 and an expedition travels to the heart of the Bolivian jungle in search of the secret of eternal life. Well, the expedition has been organised by the Special Weapons division of the US Army, so you can probably start filling in the blanks from here. The secret of eternal life turns out to be a zombie vampire virus, the test subjects back in the US are condemned criminals, the biohazard containment facility has a fatal flaw (You'd think by now they'd have been able to design a containment facility that works, wouldn't you? Have these people never seen Jurassic Park?), yada yada yada. Ninety years on, the last survivors on planet earth are struggling to keep going in the face of zombie attacks, decaying resources and internal conflicts. Their only hope is Amy, an apparently immortal teenager, remnant of the original experiments and key to the survival of the embattled human race.

The Passage has been likened to Stephen King's The Stand and indeed a less than charitable analysis might suggest that it is a straight rip-off. In fact, there is much more here that will be familiar to a well read King fan and there are also strong resemblances to Firestarter as well as Salem's Lot, Cell and so-on. However, this is ground that has been well trodden by many a story teller and there's a goodly helping of Resident Evil,
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Format: Kindle Edition
"Epic horror" isn't something you hear of very often, unlike "epic fantasy" or "historical epic." Horror tends to be small and intimate.

But Justin Cronin seems to have created a very epic horror story in "The Passage," the first book of a trilogy that seems to be equal parts Stephen King and "The Road" -- a gloriously bleak, imaginative book. Its only problem is that at times, Cronin's story drags a bit.

It's honestly hard to summarize a book like this, since Cronin hops around between different people, different time periods, and different places. A little girl named Amy is left by her mother at a convent, only for her to be snatched away by a tormented FBI agent. At the same time, the government is attempting a new experiment that might wipe out disease completely and prolong life.

But of course, no such experiment can take place without horrifying results -- in this case, eleven insectile "vampires." Of course, something goes horribly wrong.

And over the century following that experiment, American civilization is ravaged by packs of vampires ("dracs" or "virals"), leaving the few remaining humans struggling to survive. The one hope for humanity against the vampires is none other than Amy, who is still a young child after all this time, and who shares a unique tie to the blood-drinking monsters...

"The Passage" is one of the most unique vampire books in years -- it's part military conspiracy, part post-apocalyptic tale, and part vampire horror. And best of all, it reads like a Guillermo del Toro story filtered through the genius of Stephen King -- no drippy "Twilight" romanticism or glamour.
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