The Passage

The Passage

Mass Market Paperback | July 31, 2012

byJustin Cronin

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"Read this book and the ordinary world disappears."—Stephen King  

First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, turned to hell. All that remains is the long fight ahead for the stunned survivors faced with a future ruled by fear--of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse. 

As civilization crumbles, 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, and Brad is determined to protect her. But, for young Amy, escaping is only the beginning of a much longer odyssey--spanning miles and decades--toward the time and place where she must finish what should never have begun in the first place. 

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The Passage

Mass Market Paperback | July 31, 2012
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From the Publisher

"Read this book and the ordinary world disappears."—Stephen King  First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, turned to hell. All that remains is t...

Born and raised in New England, JUSTIN CRONIN is the author of The Summer Guest — a Booksense national bestseller — and Mary and O'Neil, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Stephen Crane Prize, both for best debut fiction of the year. Other honours for his writing include a Whiting Writer's Award, fellowships from the National En...

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Format:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:912 pages, 6.9 × 4.17 × 1.52 inPublished:July 31, 2012Publisher:Doubleday CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1400026253

ISBN - 13:9781400026258

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Customer Reviews of The Passage

Reviews

Rated 1 out of 5 by from Did not like or finish I was unable to finish. So boring
Date published: 2016-11-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Read Back in the day,this book was actually my first huge book that I read. I loved it, it was a very captivating read.
Date published: 2016-11-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved this book From the moment that I read the first few sentences of this book, I was hooked. A real page turner and thrilling tale!
Date published: 2016-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My New Obsession This book was unbelievably good. At first, I was a little intimidated by its heft and I wasn’t quite sure what the book was about. The synopsis does not offer much. All I can infer was it was a book about a contagion that started in a lab gone wrong. Soon it will be revealed that the creatures were vampires in essence. They are strong and fast. They hunger for human blood. But while Vlad the Impaler didn’t make an appearance, another equally sinister and dubious “creator” was present and accounted for. Apocalyptic novels and films usually begin in two ways: one, man can’t leave things well enough alone so they go to remote places of the world to find an artifact of great value – not for wealth, but indulgence. But since they don’t know enough about the artifact’s history, they will inadvertently unearth a curse or in this case, a creature that’s been left sleeping in peace until they wake it from its slumber. Second, mankind’s greed for power and domination over their kind that leads them to trouble time and time again. They create a biological weapon out of conceit. Unleashing an irreversible devastation that none of them would have the chance to defeat because it will overpower any kind of weaponry known to mankind. The Passage started as it should. The end of the world rooted to man’s boundless greed and ambition. The U.S. government employed the help of a Harvard microbiologist to create a breed of super soldiers in an effort to staunch the terrorist attacks that have been happening more on U.S. soil. They infected twelve convicts on death row to become a race of soldiers of great strength, agility and endurance. But the experiment backfires, plunging the world into darkness, chaos, and death; bringing the human population to near extinction. THE THIRTEENTH The thirteenth infected was a child of six. Amy was abandoned by her mother at a convent in the care of Sister Lacey. She was a quiet child who saw things and felt things that any adult person would be scared of. Although Amy didn’t turn into a monster, she’s become something else altogether. She will age slowly; she doesn’t get hurt easily. And she’s somehow able to form a mental connection with The Twelve and the millions of people that are infected. She will play an important role in saving what’s left of humanity. THE FIRST COLONY A hundred years later, only 94 people survived in a Fort Knox-like community (or so they thought). Vampires, as the myth goes, cannot survive in the daylight. So by eliminating nights altogether, this pocket of civilization managed to avoid the millions of vampires roaming the Earth. But it will not last. Their power source is dwindling. In an effort to find another source of power, a group of people was sent out on an expedition that will mark the beginning of the end for the people in the sanctuary. WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT If you’re in the mood for a good SciFi-Paranormal hybrid, this is the perfect book to spend a few of your days reading. I listened to this on audio and read my copy whenever I can. It was the type of book that will consume you until you ache for the next one. In some ways, the world was what you will expect from a post-apocalyptic novel: desolate, scary, sparse, destroyed. But where Cronin spent a lot of time on was in his characters. If you’ve ever read or seen The Stand by Stephen King, it is somewhat similar. There are religious undertones, but not too much. Just enough to know that the good always wins over evil. The US government named their project, Project Noah based on the Biblical story about an ark he built to survive the flood. Though I’m still not sure which of the two was the ark: Peter or Amy. Justin Cronin is a brilliant writer. He took pains in building his characters and story. It’s the type of book where everything matters – every sentence, every phrase, every single punctuation. He didn’t leave a stone unturned, or a plot arch left unexplored. For days, and nights this book consumed me. And I don’t regret a single moment of it.
Date published: 2016-02-19
Rated 1 out of 5 by from The Passage I tried to read this book, but I couldn't even make it half way through it. I found it long, boring & drawn out. I gave up on it at about 1-3 complete.
Date published: 2015-10-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The passage Amazing story tHat was also spectacularly well written. Poetry in rapid motion. I didnt sleep For almost a week and im looking forward to the next part of this tale
Date published: 2015-09-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Exciting and interesting read! Really got into this book and couldn't wait to get back to reading it when interrupted . If you like apocalyptic end of the world kind of stories then I recommend this book. There was always a sense of hope and determination in the characters.
Date published: 2015-03-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Epic!!! That was incredible!!! Can't wait for The Twelve! Thanks Jeremy!!
Date published: 2014-05-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read! I really got into this book, it was very well written. I just couldn't put it down!
Date published: 2014-03-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read! Beautiful and gripping, I couldn't put it down.
Date published: 2014-01-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read! I could not put this book down, very compelling, one of the best (horror) thrillers I have read. Recommended.
Date published: 2014-01-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Passage In a world where the population has been decimated by a vampire-like virus that the government created, the survivors of a stronghold discover a girl who may be able to save the world. Except for the title, which I think is a poor descriptor for the story, this is dystopian fiction at its best. One hundred years after the fall, the survivors have forgotten (or never been taught) the things that came before, or the things they will need to stay alive. Knowledge is everything.
Date published: 2013-09-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Refreshing and twisted This is the first Justin Cronin book I have read. I loved it! Such a detailed story Weaver. I felt as if I was one of the characters in the book, going through the experiences that they did. I'd recommend this to anyone.
Date published: 2013-09-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A book about what? I put off reading this book for a long time. The idea of reading about a government incubated virus that turns people into vampires that destroy North America and can only be stopped by walking from Palm Springs to Telluride? No thanks. But once I started, I literally could not stop. Incredible book!
Date published: 2013-04-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The passage Started out rather slow but worth the continued read became a novel hard to put down.....
Date published: 2013-03-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Passage Great book! Could hardly put it down!
Date published: 2013-02-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Passage Great book! Could hardly put it down!
Date published: 2013-02-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent! Such a wonderful read! Thrills, suspense, and great character development. This is one of those books that I found myself thinking about all day long and talking about it to anyone who would listen!
Date published: 2013-02-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An outstanding read I first saw this book in my local library and was curious enough to take it home, a good move on my part since it turned out to be one of the best books that I have read this year.
Date published: 2012-12-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hard to put down I'm not much into vampires and apocolyptic tales, but this one caught and held me from the first chapter. Justin Cronin is an amazing storyteller with this book (the 2nd in the series isn't as well written). They say that those who can't, teach. Justin Cronin proves that wrong. If you were starting to think there are no good books out there anymore, read this one. You won't be disappointed.
Date published: 2012-12-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from pretty good but can be slow i started this right after the hunger games phenomenon. so i was looking for a book with the same exciting fast paced nature. the reviews on this book are extremely high with exceptions of a few negative. *****what drove me insane is the soft cover version the print is tiny....WHY???***** i have great vision and it took my eyes chapters to adjust to the print. i kept reading the wrong sentence the first quarter of the book was really good (ex: wolgast, amy, lacey, doyle and carter) great set up for the story to follow the half way to point was a drag. for some reason i could not keep straight all the characters. honestly there was so many characters and their povs that i could not keep up. it also dragged quite a bit here. last quarter amazing zipped through like it was nothing. by this time i was use to the characters and who was who. use of nick names mixed with their actual names can be confusing in general good book. i think readers will enjoy it. great post apocalyptic story. i can see why they will make it into a movie. it will be great on screen. i do agree with one past review that 100 pages could have been cut out- totally unnecessary for some details. i didn't find it as creepy as past readers, but it was intense. if you are looking for a series to get into that is post apocalyptic, end of the world, things that go bump in the night this is it. at the time i was definitely sure i would not getting the second one. as i have finished it now i stand to be corrected i will be getting "the twelve" when it hit shelves in the fall.
Date published: 2012-04-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Just Awesome This book felt like looking into a keyhole. At the beginning you think you know exactly where the story is going and you know all the characters, then suddenly the doors are blown off and an entire other world opens up. The writing is fantastic, the story is incredibly engaging, and Cronin manages to take a genre and subject that have been used and reused to death and make it his own and breath a whole new life into it. I actually dropped the book at a certain twist. I can't recommend this story enough.
Date published: 2012-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Passing Grade! This book was a very in depth read. When I picked this book up I was excited as I love the feel of a thick book wondering how far it will draw me in. And this book drew me in. The plot while familiar was enthralling. The characters were inspiring and motivating to see how they dealt with challenges in an apocalyptic future that we could never imagine and yet we wonder whether it's coming. I highly recommend it as it was very entertaining and perfect to sit on the beach or enjoy on a wintery day as you are drawn into the life and experiences of these survivors.
Date published: 2011-11-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Definitely a must-read I've got to say, when I first started reading this my first reaction was, "Wow!" Cronin's novel definitely looks like a challenge of a read, but instead he has created something that could whisk you away into a disturbing, and frighteningly possible (due to all the secret stuff we don't know about the government), apocalyptic future. I think one of the things that I enjoyed most is how at times the action and storyline was so well written and so moving that I actually voiced my astonishment. From scenes that were truly heartbreaking, to scenes full of so much action and suspense that I had to put the book down for a sec just to collect my emotions. Believe me, when I first started reading it I was kind of weary, since it is nearly 800 (thin) pages long. But, what fascinates me is how quickly I went through it, not noticing that I'd gone through a hundred pages before turning in for the night. The reason why I didn't give The Passage a five is because it started out a bit slow. I'd heard good things about this novel and nearly nothing bad, so I gave it the benefit of the doubt and continued along. I was not disappointed, since the events that define the novel shortly after the fifty or so pages. Masterfully written. Relatable and strong characters. Spine tingling moments of awe. If you're looking for that next good apocalyptic/non-sparkly vamp read, then definitely check this one out. You won't regret it. p.s. The ending will leave you guessing enough to excitedly await The Twelve.
Date published: 2011-07-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Passage This book was recommended to me by a friend, and being a fan of vampire novels I was very excited to give it a try. I was not disappointed. I felt this book did a wonderful job of putting the scare back into the vampire genre, while at the same time pulling on the other human emotions. This was a book I could not put down and I can't wait until the next one!!
Date published: 2011-06-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyed the book very much Te story is based on a subject that has been used and reused so many times...but the quality of the writing is simply remarquable. The author was able to immerse me in the vision he had of this world....and of this EPIC adventure. Can't wait to read the other books...characters are well developped, to a point where you care about them. However, there is sometimes a LOT of details..which can be frustrating because you get so anxious to know the development of the story but are slowed down by the details.
Date published: 2011-05-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Addictive Addictive. This book is an apocalyptic vampire thriller, but these aren't your "Twilight" vampires. This epic horror story chronicles the devastating fall and the tentative re-birth of mankind. This is not a quick read, with numerous characters and locales, but it is entirely satisfying and exciting. If you only have a few minutes to read, think before you start this book. Otherwise, all of your other activities will fall by the wayside. I did not want this book to end, and did not know it was a proposed trilogy when I started it. I am VERY excited about the continuation.
Date published: 2011-05-12
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Shut. UP. This novel makes absolutely ZERO sense. It is a rambling excuse for a novel and it makes me sick to think Cronin is profiting from this. He must have anxiety, wondering when someone's gonna break down his door and call him out for the fraud he is. This was a waste of not only my precious reading time, but also my money
Date published: 2011-02-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow, what a story! This was a very quick read for me - just over a week, even though the book is almost 800 pages long. It is simply fantastic. It has an interesting structure with large sections of the book separating by periods of time but this is no real problem to negotiate. If you like post-apocalyptic novels, you simply must read this book. In the beginning, it reads a little like "The Stand" or "Swan Song" but halfway through, it really takes off. Cronin has a real knack for keeping our interest throughout this large novel with intriguing characters and boatloads of suspense. Cronin doesn't mind killing off his characters and this adds to the uneasiness that you feel while reading - nothing is sacred and you will fear for everyone. There is definitely a feeling of dread underlying this novel. I was sad when I finally finished the book since the thrill ride was over but then I learned that it was to become a trilogy... Put me down for the next one the moment it comes out.
Date published: 2011-01-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Kingish Very much in the vein of Stephen King's The Stand and others. Just never quite works. Starts with a bang, but the jump in time slows everything down while he rebuilds the world. I liked it, just not sure I can recommend to others and the epilogue is an annoying downer!
Date published: 2010-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow that was amazing! This is a must read. And for those like me who lovvvvve very long books, this will be a feast. I think there will be another book because the end is kind of weird and you're left hanging asking yourself a lot of quesitons. But don't be bothered by that, the story is amazing. For fantasy fans especially!
Date published: 2010-09-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A truely amazing book! I loved it !!!! There were many nights I went to bed at like 4 am. I couldn't put this book down. It was fun and very entertaining. Some parts were very heart touching that I actually teared up a little. Simply one of the best books I've ever read.
Date published: 2010-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A FANTASTIC BOOK, BETTER YET, ITS A SERIES! I read this book as soon as it came out and haven't stopped talking and recommend it to everyone I see since. Wow, I couldn't put the book down and it took me only two days to read it as it was that gripping. I have also read the "Stand" by Steven King and can see the comparisons, but I think this book is better! I would also recommend the "Strain" as a very similar book. I dont want to spoil the book for anyone by giving any of the story away, all I can say is it left me wanting more!!!!
Date published: 2010-09-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A book for the Ages! For such a thick book 700 pages and counting - this was a fast and entertaining read. Great characters amid post-apocalpytic settings fighting really nasty virals. Cannot wait for the second book of the trilogy. As well, a movie adaptation is in the works. The Passage is a tale of vampirific proportions the likes we have never seen before. Strongly recommended.
Date published: 2010-09-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from a great read upon reading reviews about this book, i decided to give it a try. i am not into vampire stories, don't watch vampire shows etc..... this book is very engrossing, the only complaint would be around the middle of the book, it gets to be kind of tedious reading, making me want to skip pages to get over the boring parts. if i did'nt know that this book was the first of a trilogy, i would think the ending was a total loss. why would'nt the author say anywhere in the title jacket that this was part of a trilogy???? anyhow, enough said, happy reading
Date published: 2010-08-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hated for it to end While browsing in Chapters on Father's Day weekend, I noticed this book at 50% off....an employee saw me looking at it and told me that it was a fantastic book, and that if I didn't like it I could return it and SHE would buy it back from me :) I wasn't able to start it until a few weeks later, but once I did, I couldn't put it down! I love the writer's style and the story kept me captivated right to the end. The ONLY complaint was the author's use of the word "flyers".....can you say cheesy??!! Can't wait for the second book to come out!
Date published: 2010-08-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Passage “The Passage” by Justin Cronin starts in 2016 and spans one hundred years in a post-apocalyptic world that is dominated by “The Twelve” and their victims. The twelve are zombie-vampire like creatures that use to be human, but became infected with a virus designed by the United States Army and the virus changed them into powerful zombie-vampire beings. The twelve were death row criminals and the government offered them immortality if they choose to become infected with the virus. The results are disastrous and the world is destroyed by the creatures the twelve become. There is one girl named Amy who also received a perfected form of the virus and she becomes a totally different type of viral and plays a pivotal role in the story of seeking out the twelve. The story begins with Amy and the twelve being infected with the virus and then the twelve escape and havoc wrecks the world. The story then goes forward 92 years to a colony of human survivors who live their lives in fear of the virals that rule the world. The colony’s daily life is spent defending themselves from attacks from the virals. Eventually Amy shows up at the colony and one of the twelve has an influence on the colony’s weak minded and havoc rules the colony. A group of people leave the colony with Amy to seek out Colorado where Amy originated from and in the process they discover other groups of people still alive and fighting or in some cases conforming to the virals. In the end they are able to destroy one of the twelve and his followers and they form a band to seek out the other eleven to destroy them and free the world. I found the last one hundred to two hundred pages of the book to be riveting and the first one hundred pages to be interesting, but the other four hundred pages not as exciting. I would of liked to have had more information about the virus being developed and how certain things happened…like how did Amy all of a sudden show up at the colony…how did she get there and why…we are expected to just accept the fact that she magically shows up? The book needs more detail of how things happened and the motivation behind people’s actions. The dialogue seems a bit stiff and needs to flow more and have more emotion and reality added. I did not seem to attach to any characters in an emotional way; they just do not seem real. It reminds me a lot of “I am Legend” with just a tinge of “Twilight” thrown in. The last part of the book I enjoyed the most, I found learning about the twelve and Amy to be fascinating and the development of Peter and Lish as characters was welcomed. A bit more detail and better dialogue and it would have been a great read.
Date published: 2010-08-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow. Wow. Wow! I stumbled upon this book while browsing around for a good summer read. I hadn't heard any of the hype about it...just thought it sounded good - something to capture my interest for a couple of weeks. Well, I read the entire 766 pages in 3 days. Totally unexpectedly engrossing. Don't let the mention of vampire throw you off, this is not at all a vampire story but instead an amazingly intricate and expertly thought out epic that I am sure will become one of the most talked about books of 2010. And do yourself the favour, read it now so you can tell people you read it LONG before the movie was ever in the works.
Date published: 2010-08-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from 400 pages would have been enough... How is it even possible that ANOTHER post-apocalyptic story about infected humans in a vampire/zombie-like state should interest the masses, let alone captivate them? Well, this book manages to do this. I am not quite sure how. Sure, the book is good - but man, the detail the author goes into explaining mundane details was exhausting. I read other reviews that it would be easy to publish an abridged version of this book, and it's true. That also means that it would be easy to make this movie into an hour and a half movie. Do I really need to hear ALL of the details about how and why Carter ended-up on death row? Who cares? We hear nothing about him again for 700 pages? Having said that, the characters are varied and quite interesting...and honestly, that's what makes a good book in my mind. I do agree with other reviewers that there are a lot of unanswered questions, but there are two more books in the works, apparently. The author's style takes some getting used to (jumping from scene to scene, using documents that are apparently journals that are recovered from abandoned sites centuries in the future. It's somewhat frustrating at times. It's not the best book I've read, but I'd like to see it come to life on screen (and I've read that Ridley Scott has already bought the rights). I think dedicated readers - and lovers of this genre - will gobble it up.
Date published: 2010-08-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Page Turning Good Time This book almost got 1 star instead of the 4 I’m giving it. Why you ask? Because nowhere on the dust jacket, in the book, in the bookstore, or easily found on the indigo website or the publishers does it tell you that this book is the first part of a trilogy. To the crew that did the marketing for this release all I’ve got to say is WTF???? When I got to the end of this book I was furious, I’d plowed through almost 800 pages in less than 2 weeks, waking bleary eyed in the mornings to go to work horribly over-tired because I couldn’t put it down. And then, bam, it just ended with a tonne of loose ends needing tying up and no sign of a sequel. So mad… but… I read a review on here that complained about the same thing, and then a comment leading me to believe it was a trilogy, and then, oh glorious day, I googled it and found out it was indeed true. Yippy Skippy! The first 200 pages of this book are fantastic, and I wish there was more. I would have really liked more description of what the viral plague was like and how it spread and finally played out. But overall it was a really good read, I had a hard time putting it down, which hasn’t happened to me enough this year. Characters are engaging, there are some good twists that keep it all interesting, and the writing is suspenseful. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who’s into apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction. I would not, however recommend it for anyone who’s into good editing. This book had enough typo’s in it for me to recognize on multiple occasions (usually I pick up 1 every couple of books I read, so this stood out). I know for a fact that I didn’t get an early release copy, so someone did a poor job in the editing room which I hate because it trips me up when I’m reading and pulls me out of the story, lame.
Date published: 2010-08-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Ooooh I loved it A lot of imagination and detailed writing. Just like the Stephan King and Dean Koontz of 25 yrs. ago. Justin Cronin is good.
Date published: 2010-07-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I fell Into Cronin's World and Became Hypnotized! Reason for Reading: As soon as I heard of this book, which was before any of the buzz or hype had started, I knew I had to read it as I love apocalyptic novels and this had all the ingredients that made it sound like a book I had to read. First, all the buzz, the hype, the comparisons to classics in this genre and the talk about this book is true. I fell into this door stopper tome and became hypnotized by the world I had entered. I can't remember the last time I carted an almost 800 page book to the beach with me! But once I had started reading, I was trapped and could only stop reading for the very essentials of life. I have not read Justin Cronin before but this is an author who can write and I will be checking out his two previous works. Essentially, this is the story of a girl who saves the world. The plot is so complex it is almost impossible to give a summary without writing pages but I'll try. A hideous scientific experiment goes terribly wrong and a virus is exposed in the United States. It eventually destroys modern civilization on the North American continent (the fate of the world is unknown), leaving behind scattered groups of survivors and horrible infected persons who have been turned into something no longer human. Because of their lust for blood and some of their habits such as death by exposure to light the media, in the early days referred to them as vampires and occasionally to the virus as the "vamp virus". However, throughout the book various groups have different names for the infected ones, most commonly called virals, and while some names such as "dracs" refer to vampires, everyone knows these are people who have been infected with a virus. In my humble opinion, this is not a vampire book. One of the survivors is a little girl who was also experimented on, the last one. She turned out different though, she appears perfectly normal and a CIA agent rescues her where they then flee to the mountains and live a reclusive life. A hundred years go by and now commences the majority of the book. How life is being lead now with the remains of civilization around the new societies, living in a world where nighttime is to be avoided, using sources such as batteries but having no replacements once they are gone. This life can only last so long and one day into it walks a girl. A strange girl, who may hold the fate of humankind in her hands. I just love this book so much!! There are so many characters and all are so deftly created to be complete, complex human beings. The world Cronin has created is amazingly real and is one that is completely believable of a post-apocalyptic society. His characters deal with real issues such as brotherly tensions, falling in love when it is not reciprocated and when it is, overcoming personal fears, and personal growth. The Passage is a journey in many ways. A physical one across land, one of growth personally for each character and a spiritual one as deep questions are raised and realized. My only problem with the book is that nowhere in the book's description does it tell me that this is the first in a proposed trilogy. It took a little googling to find that out. So the ending is an ending but it is also a beginning and while I look forward to continuing with the story in the future I was a little miffed at first that the seven hundred odd pages wasn't going to give me a finite ending. My final word, though, is if you like post-apocalyptic books this is a Must Read as it will no doubt go on to become a classic.
Date published: 2010-06-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good story...worth the hype, not so much I will start by saying that I enjoyed this enormous book despite the fact that I usually avoid apocalyptic fiction but my curiousity fell victim to the hype surrounding it. Cronin's North American apocalypse filled with virus-infected vampires certainly doesn't feel like a new premise (and despite my avoidance of said genre I am aware of the striking similarities between his work and others) but the first 200 pages were mesmerizing and disturbing and made for a great read. It is when Cronin jumps forward a century that his writing takes a hit. His use of parentheses could rival C.S. Lewis which to me, strike a more conversational tone to a narrative that doesn't really suit his previous tone. It is here that he spreads the focus from a core group of characters to many and his characters and plot suffer from the swell of people. When he narrows his focus in the last third of the book to a small group, the tight, action filled suspense returns. The beginning will draw you in and if you can make it through the long winded middle section the ending will offer redemption for the story's flaws. Knowing this is a the first in a trilogy I was completely satisfied with the ending and despite my annoyance with its flaws and my impatience at its size I was left wanting to read the next one Also, Cronin's copyeditor should consider if they have found their true calling in life, there were far too many mistakes to be ignored. And despite the review on the back that says Cronin never wastes a word, his story could have been narrowed down into a tighter focused story quite easily. A good summer read but with too many flaws to live up to its hype as the greatest piece of fiction to come out this summer
Date published: 2010-06-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic I alternated between not being able to put the book down to not wanting it to end! A great story with a frustrating ending! Cannot wait for the next books.
Date published: 2010-06-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from On Cover Quotes and Stepping Into The Passage by Justin Cronin What do you get if you mix the mysticism of The Glass Book of Dream Eaters with Stephen King’s Salems’ Lot, Neuromancer by William Gibson and a touch of Clive Barker? With just a dash of Night of the Living Dead, Stephen King’s The Stand and Swansong by Robert R. McCammon? You get something that barely comes close to describing The Passage by Justin Cronin. In short you get a genre slashing book that succeeds on every level. You want a thrilling plot? Amazing characters? An intriquing, different and slightly frightening world? You got it; The Passage has it all. I’ll admit, I was a little hesitant about this book at first. And this is in no fault to Justin Cronin. It actually had a lot to do with the quote from Stephen King on the back of the book. You see, I’ve been led astray by him before. Though he is my favourite author (Hello Stephen!) I’ve come to learn that blurbs on books are something to be wary of. He is my inspiration for writing, but I think he and I have different reading tastes. I had picked up The Selected Works of TS Spivet by Reif Larsen. Now, let me tell you, his drawings were neat, the book was beautifully designed, the layout was flawless; but the store stunk. I don’t know what it was about that book in particular, but I didn’t connect with the story or with the characters. So, in approaching The Passage by Justin Cronin, I was actually quite dubious about it. I tend to avoid big hype’s of books; I didn’t get into the Harry Potter Series until the release of The Goblet of Fire. I only really caught on when The Order of the Phoenix came out. And those were awesome. Ditto with Angels and Demons, The DiVinchi Code and The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. I was very unwilling to believe that the books were THAT good. I waited to read The Da’Vinci Code until it came out in paperback. And you know what? It was a darn good book. But I find that with the more I read, the harder I become to satisfy as a reader. I think, too, that because I’m a writer, I’m always analysing the story when I’m reading, so I can see if I can learn and shape my technique. I read because I enjoy, but I also read because it’s a good way to learn my craft. It takes a very good book to really take me out of that and get me immersed in the story completely; where I just want to gobble it all up in one sitting, if I could. Stephen King’s book are like this for me, but I just don’t trust his cover blurbs. However, I was overcome by the sound of the story that Justin Cronin has wrote. I’ve actually been thirsty for a big book to satisfy some sort of craving. I think I’m missing my Harry Potter fix; and The Colorado Kid (though incredibly satisfying, more on that later) was far too short. And, most thankfully, Stephen King’s praise stands up. Everything he says is true. He gave The Passage a glowing review on the back cover and every word is bang on the money. Thank goodness. I am so enthralled with The Passage that I have to put my Sony eReader away at work and REALLY concentrate on work. I can’t wait for break time when I can dive in. I just want to read more. The Passage is like come incredible (and fat free, I might add) literary drug; I just want to keep reading. I’m almost 600 pages in and I am loving everything: the story, the shifting narrative, the epic scale of events, the characters that you care for, the fight against a new enemy. I got the eBook to see if I would like it; I picked up a hardcover copy because I love it. At just under 800 pages, there is a lot more to happen and a lot more to come in The Passage by Justin Cronin. I will happily ignore the rest of the world around me so that I can continue reading.
Date published: 2010-06-15
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Disappointed It's a shame that the author ran out of ideas before he finished the story. This is one of THOSE books where the reader has to fill in the blanks at the end because the author can't or won't. Too bad as the book showed a lot of promise.
Date published: 2010-06-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Thrilling and captivating The Passage is a post-apocalyptic story, set a century into the future. Cronin painstakingly weaves the threads of a narrative so involving and immediate that when he jumps ahead almost a century, it’s hard at first to release those characters and invest in the dozens of new ones that emerge in The Stand–meets–The Road journey that follows. But as the story develops, you realize that nothing Cronin tells you is superfluous. Everything comes full circle and Cronin will bring up tiny details that you thought were inconsequential. It is impossible not to be immersed in the story, fully living with the characters and their experiences. The virals are everywhere. You can feel them in the dark. You fear for the lights to go out. Cronin has created an alternate universe where his imagination knows no bounds, but is creatively reined in by the plot. Truly remarkable, this is a phenomenal book, thrilling and captivating, and the future movie had better do it justice.
Date published: 2010-06-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Be afraid of the dark... again The Passage is a post-apocalyptic story set a century into the future. Justin Cronin painstakingly weaves the threads of a narrative so involving and immediate that when he jumps ahead almost a century, it's hard at first to release those characters and invest in the dozens of new ones that emerge in the Stand–meets–The Road journey that follows. But as the story develops, you realize that nothing Cronin tells you is redundant. Everything comes full circle, and Cronin will bring up tiny details that you thought were inconsequential. It is impossible not to be immersed in the story, fully living with the characters and the things that happen to them. The virals are everywhere. You can feel them in the dark. You fear for the lights to go out. Cronin has created an alter-universe where his imagination knows no bounds, but is creatively reined in by the plot. Truly remarkable, this is a phenomenal book, thrilling and captivating, and the future movie had better do it justice. With a cliff-hanging tease of an ending — The Passage is only the first in a proposed trilogy — he has also primed them for several thousand more. Read it and then wait, like the rest of us for 2012 (The Twelve) and 2014 (The City of Mirrors).
Date published: 2010-06-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from After the Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest I didn't think anything would grab me the way the Steig Larsson trilogy did, but once I picked up The Passage I knew I had found my next great read. It is immediately arresting and doesn't stop thrilling and scaring you the entire time you are reading.
Date published: 2010-06-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I was sucked in from the first page. I was really lucky to have been given the chance to preview this book early and I have to say it is one of the best books I have read in awhile. That is saying a lot because being a Chapters employee gives me a lot of material to compare to. The Passage so easily straddles the genres of horror, thriller, suspense and action that it will work for so many people. It is weighty but not daunting because it reads so fluidly that you hardly notice the passage of the pages. I finished in a few days and was dieing for more.
Date published: 2010-05-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pacing is everything (and everything is paced.) I feel a little odd giving what I'd have to call a thriller-horror 5 stars. It's not my genre (at all!) and it's not something I generally look at. One of the few stories in the "end of the world" milieu I've read and enjoyed, however, Stephen King's THE STAND, was mentioned as comparable to this book, and I was lucky enough to get a chance to read an advance reading copy. I'm hoping the nightmares stop after a few weeks. Cronin is incredibly adept at mixing gruesome detail with the scarier version of horror, which is just telling enough to let your imagination deal with the rest. Creepy and psychological, the "virals" (a sort of immortal vampiric predator) are absolutely disturbing, and the time periods Cronin visits (before, during, years after) the outbreak are gut-wrenching. The pace alternates between breakneck and slow-build, and the combination is enthralling. The story itself - the collapse of civlization and the pocket of life that attempts to survive - is captivating, and the characters are solid. And the potential for hope - and a solution - dangles in front of you throughout, just enough motivation to keep you walking this horror-filled world. But do yourself a favor. Keep a light on.
Date published: 2010-04-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Rocket Ride. Amazingly written story of a band of survivors trying to save humanity from a vampire virus. Believe me, you won't be able to put it down. And there are more of them to come...
Date published: 2010-03-16

Extra Content

Read from the Book

Wolgast had been to the Compound only once, the previous summer, to meet with Colonel Sykes. Not a job interview, exactly; it had been made clear to Wolgast that the assignment was his if he wanted it. A pair of soldiers drove him in a van with blacked out windows, but Wolgast could tell they were taking him west from Denver, into the mountains. The drive took six hours, and by the time they pulled into the Compound, he'd actually managed to fall asleep. He stepped from the van into the bright sunshine of a summer afternoon. He stretched and looked around. From the topography, he'd have guessed he was somewhere around Telluride. It could have been further north. The air felt thin and clean in his lungs; he felt the dull throb of a high-altitude headache at the top of his skull.He was met in the parking lot by a civilian, a compact man dressed in jeans and a khaki shirt rolled at the sleeves, a pair of old-fashioned aviators perched on his wide, faintly bulbous nose. This was Richards. "Hope the ride wasn't too bad," Richards said as they shook hands. Up close Wolgast saw that Richards' cheeks were pockmarked with old acne scars. "We're pretty high up here. If you're not used to it, you'll want to take it easy."Richards escorted Wolgast across the parking area to a building he called the Chalet, which was exactly what it sounded like: a large Tudor structure, three stories tall, with the exposed timbers of an old-fashioned sportsman's lodge. The mountains had once been full of these places, Wolgast knew, hulking relics from an era before time-share condos and modern resorts. The building faced an open lawn, and beyond, at a hundred yards or so, a cluster of more workaday structures: cinderblock barracks, a half-dozen military inflatables, a low-slung building that resembled a roadside motel. Military vehicles, Humvees and smaller jeeps and five ton trucks, were moving up and down the drive; in the center of the lawn, a group of men with broad chests and trim haircuts, naked to the waist, were sunning themselves on lawn chairs.Stepping into the Chalet, Wolgast had the disorienting sensation of peeking behind a movie set; the place had been gutted to the studs, its original architecture replaced by the neutral textures of a modern office building: gray carpeting, institutional lighting, acoustic tile drop ceilings. He might have been in a dentist's office, or the high-rise off the freeway where he met his accountant once a year to do his taxes. They stopped at the front desk, where Richards asked him to turn over his handheld and his weapon, which he passed to the guard, a kid in cammos, who tagged them. There was an elevator, but Richards walked past it and led Wolgast down a narrow hallway to a heavy metal door that opened on a flight of stairs. They ascended to the second floor, and made their way down another non-descript hallway to Sykes' office.Sykes rose from behind his desk as they entered: a tall, well-built man in uniform, his chest spangled with the various bars and little bits of color that Wolgast had never understood. His office was neat as a pin, its arrangement of objects, right down to the framed photos on his desk, giving the impression of having been placed for maximum efficiency. Resting in the center of the desk was a single manila folder, fat with folded paper. Wolgast knew it was almost certainly his personnel file, or some version of it.They shook hands and Sykes offered him coffee, which Wolgast accepted. He wasn't drowsy but the caffeine, he knew, would help the headache."Sorry about the bullshit with the van," Sykes said, and waved him to a chair. "That's just how we do things."A soldier brought in the coffee, a plastic carafe and two china cups on a tray. Richards remained standing behind Sykes' desk, his back to the broad windows that looked out on the woodlands that ringed the Compound. Sykes explained what he wanted Wolgast to do. It was all quite straight forward, he said, and by now Wolgast knew the basics. The Army needed between ten and twenty death-row inmates to serve in the third-stage trials of an experimental drug therapy, codenamed Project Noah. In exchange for their consent, these men would have their sentences commuted to life without parole. It would be Wolgast's job to obtain the signatures of these men, nothing more. Everything had been legally vetted, but because the project was a matter of national security, all of these men would be declared legally dead. Thereafter, they would spend the rest of their lives in the care of the federal penal system, a white-collar prison camp, under assumed identities. The men would be chosen based upon a number of factors, but all would be men between the ages of twenty and thirty-five with no living first-degree relatives. Wolgast would report directly to Sykes; he'd have no other contact, though he'd remain, technically, in the employment of the Bureau."Do I have to pick them?" Wolgast asked.Sykes shook his head. "That's our job. You'll get your orders from me. All you have to do is get their consent. Once they're signed on, the Army will take it from there. They'll be moved to the nearest federal lock-up, then we'll transport them here."Wolgast thought a moment. "Colonel, I have to ask - ""What we're doing?" He seemed, at that moment, to permit himself an almost human-looking smile.Wolgast nodded. "I understand I can't be very specific. But I'm going to be asking them to sign over their whole lives. I have to tell them something."Sykes exchanged a look with Richards, who shrugged. "I'll leave you now," Richards said, and nodded at Wolgast. "Agent."When Richards had left, Sykes leaned back in his chair. "I'm not a biochemist, agent. You'll have to be satisfied with the layman's version. Here's the background, at least the part I can tell you. About ten years ago, the CDC got a call from a doctor in La Paz. He had four patients, all Americans, who had come down with what looked like Hantavirus - high fever, vomiting, muscle pain, headache, hypoxemia. The four of them had been part of an eco-tour, deep in the jungle. They claimed that they were part of a group of fourteen but had gotten separated from the others and had been wandering in the jungle for weeks. It was sheer luck that they'd stumbled onto a remote trading post run by a bunch of Franciscan friars, who arranged their transport to La Paz. Now, Hanta isn't the common cold, but it's not exactly rare, either, so none of this would have been more than a blip on the CDC's radar if not for one thing. All of them were terminal cancer patients. The tour was organized by an organization called 'Last Wish.' You've heard of them?"Wolgast nodded. "I thought they just took people skydiving, things like that.""That's what I thought, too. But apparently not. Of the four, one had an inoperable brain tumor, two had acute lymphocytic leukemia, and the fourth had ovarian cancer. And every single one of them became well. Not just the Hanta, or whatever it was. No cancer. Not a trace."Wolgast felt lost. "I don't get it."Sykes sipped his coffee. "Well, neither did anyone at the CDC. But something had happened, some interaction between their immune systems and something, most likely viral, that they'd been exposed to in the jungle. Something they ate? The water they drank? No one could figure it out. They couldn't even say exactly where they'd been." He leaned forward over his desk. "Do you know what the thymus gland is?"Wolgast shook his head.Sykes pointed at his chest, just above the breastbone. "Little thing in here, between the sternum and the trachea, about the size of an acorn. In most people, it's atrophied completely by puberty, and you could go your whole life not knowing you had one, unless it was diseased. Nobody really knows what it does, or at least they didn't, until they ran scans on these four patients. The thymus had somehow turned itself back on. More than back on: it had enlarged to three times its usual size. It looked like a malignancy but it wasn't. And their immune systems had gone into overdrive. A hugely accelerated rate of cellular regeneration. And there were other benefits. Remember these were cancer patients, all over fifty. It was like they were teenagers again. Smell, hearing, vision, skin tone, lung volume, physical strength and endurance, even sexual function. One of the men actually grew back a full head of hair.""A virus did this?"Sykes nodded. "Like I said, this is the layman's version. But I've got people downstairs who think that's exactly what happened. Some of them have degrees in subjects I can't even spell. They talk to me like I'm a child, and they're not wrong.""What happened to them? The four patients."Sykes leaned back in his chair, his face darkening a little. "Well, this isn't the happiest part of the story, I'm afraid. They're all dead. The longest any of them survived was eighty-six days. Cerebral aneurism, heart attack, stroke. Their bodies just kind of blew a fuse.""What about the others?""No one knows. Disappeared without a trace, including the tour operator, who turned out to be a pretty shady character. It's likely he was actually working as a drug mule, using these tours as a cover." Sykes gave a shrug. "I've probably said too much. But I think this will help you put things in perspective. We're not talking about curing one disease, agent. We're talking about curing everything. How long would a human being live if there were no cancer, no heart disease, no diabetes, no Alzheimer's? And we've reached the point where we need, absolutely require, human test subjects. Not a nice term, but there really is no other. And that's where you come in. I need you to get me these men.""Why not the Marshalls? Isn't this more up their alley?"Sykes shook his head dismissively. "Glorified corrections officers, if you'll excuse my saying so. Believe me, we started there. If I had a sofa I needed carried up the stairs, they'd be the first guys I'd call. But for this, no."Sykes picked up the file off his desk and began to read. "Bradford Joseph Wolgast, born Ashland, Oregon, September 29, 1974. B.S. in Criminal Justice 1996, SUNY Buffalo, high honors, recruited by the Bureau but declines, accepts a graduate fellowship at Stony Brook for a PhD in Political Science but leaves after two years to join the Bureau. After training at Langley sent to - " He raised his eyebrows at Wolgast. "- Dayton?"Wolgast shrugged. "It wasn't very exciting.""Well, we all do our time. Two years in the sticks, a little of this, a little of that, mostly piddly shit but good ratings all around. After 9/11 asks to transfer to counterterrorism, back to Langley for eighteen months, assigned to the Denver field office September '04 as liaison to the Treasury, tracking funds moved through U.S. banks by Russian nationals, i.e. the Russian Mafia, though we don't call them that. On the personal side: No political affiliations, no memberships, doesn't even subscribe to the newspaper. Parents deceased. Dates a little but no steady girlfriends. Marries Lila Kyle, an orthopedic surgeon. Divorced four years later." He closed the file and lifted his eyes to Wolgast. "What we need, agent, is somebody who, to be perfectly candid, has a certain polish. Good negotiation skills, not just with the prisoners but with the prison authorities. Somebody who knows how to tread lightly, won't leave a large impression. What we're doing here is perfectly legal - hell, it may be the most important piece of medical research in the history of mankind. But it could be easily misunderstood. I'm telling you as much as I am because I think it will help if you understand the stakes, how high they are."Wolgast guessed Sykes was telling him maybe ten percent of the story - a persuasive ten percent, but even so. "Is it safe?"Sykes shrugged. "There's safe and then there's safe. I won't lie to you. There are risks. But we'll do everything we can to minimize them. A bad outcome isn't in anybody's interest here. And I remind you that these are death-row inmates. Not the nicest men you'd ever care to meet, and they don't exactly have a lot of options. We're giving them a chance to live out their lives, and maybe make a significant contribution to medical science at the same time. It's not a bad deal, not by a longshot. Everybody's on the side of the angels here."Wolgast took a last moment to think. It was all a little hard to take in. "I guess I don't see why the military is involved."At this, Sykes stiffened; he seemed almost offended. "Don't you? Think about it, agent. Let's say a soldier on the ground in Khorramabad or Groznyy takes a piece of shrapnel. A roadside bomb, say, a bunch of C4 in a lead pipe full of deck screws. Maybe it's a piece of blackmarket Russian ordinance. Believe me, I've seen firsthand what these things can do. We have to dust him out of there, maybe en route he bleeds to death, but if he's lucky he gets to the field hospital where a trauma surgeon, two medics and three nurses patch him up as best they can before evacuating him to Germany or Saud. It's painful, it's awful, it's his rotten luck, and he's probably out of the war. He's a broken asset. All the money we've spent on his training is a total loss. And it gets worse. He comes home depressed, angry, maybe missing a limb or something worse, with nothing good to say about anyone or anything. Down at the corner tavern he tells his buddies, I lost my leg, I'm pissing into a bag for the rest of my life, and for what?" Sykes leaned back in his chair, letting the story sink in. "We've been at war for fifteen years, agent. By the looks of things, we'll be in it for fifteen more if we're lucky. I won't kid you. The single biggest challenge the military faces, has always faced, is keeping soldiers on the field. So, let's say the same GI takes the same piece of shrapnel, but within half-a-day his body's healed itself and he's back in his unit, fighting for god and country. You think the military wouldn't be interested in something like that?"Wolgast felt chastened. "I see your point.""Good, because you should." Sykes' expression softened; the lecture was over. "So maybe it's the military who's picking up the check. I say let them, because frankly, what we've spent so far would make your eyes pop out. I don't know about you, but I'd like to live to see my great-great-great-grandchildren. Hell, I'd like to hit a golf ball three-hundred yards on my hundredth birthday and then go home to make love to my wife until she walks funny for a week. Who wouldn't?" He paused, looking at Wolgast searchingly. "The side of the angels, agent. Nothing more or less. Do we have a deal?"They shook, and Sykes walked him to the door. Richards was waiting to take him back to the van. "One last question," Wolgast asked. "Why Noah? What's it stand for?"Standing at the door, Sykes glanced quickly at Richards. In that moment, Wolgast felt the balance of power shifting in the room; Sykes might have been technically in charge, but in some way, Wolgast felt certain, he also reported to Richards, who was probably the link between the military and whoever was really running the show: USAMRID, Homeland, maybe NSA.Sykes turned back to Wolgast. "It doesn't stand for anything. Let's put it this way. You ever read the Bible?""Some." Wolgast looked at the both of them. "When I was a kid. My mother was a Methodist."Sykes allowed himself a second, final smile. "Go look it up. The story of Noah and the ark. See how long he lived. That's all I'll say."That night, back in his Denver apartment, Wolgast did as Sykes had said. He didn't own a Bible, probably hadn't laid eyes on one since his wedding day. But he found a concordance on line.And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years; and he died.It was then that he realized what the missing piece was, the thing Sykes hadn't said. It would be in his file, of course. It was the reason, of all the federal agents they might have chosen, that they'd picked him.They'd chosen him because of Eva, because he'd had to watch his daughter die.From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

"Every so often a novel-reader's novel comes along: an enthralling, entertaining story wedded to simple, supple prose, both informed by tremendous imagination. Summer is the perfect time for such books, and this year readers can enjoy the gift of Justin Cronin's The Passage. Read fifteen pages and you will find yourself captivated; read thirty and you will find yourself taken prisoner and reading late into the night. It has the vividness that only epic works of fantasy and imagination can achieve. What else can I say? This: read this book and the ordinary world disappears."—Stephen King"The monsters in this compulsive nail biter are the scariest in fiction since Stephen King's vampires in Salem's Lot… This exceptional thriller should be one of the most popular novels this year and will draw in readers everywhere."—Library Journal, starred review"Fans of vampire fiction who are bored by the endless hordes of sensitive, misunderstood Byronesque bloodsuckers will revel in Cronin's engrossingly horrific account of a post-apocalyptic America… [Cronin] manages to engage the reader with a sweeping epic style."—Publishers Weekly, starred review“[A] breathtaking, late-night-with-all-the-lights-on page-turner.”  —Cleveland.com  “Cronin’s vivid descriptions light the reader’s imagination, the scenes coming alive through his smooth writing. “The Passage” is an absolute page-turner, one that will have readers captivated for hours on end.” —Linsdsay Losnedahl, Las Vegas Review-Journal  “A powerful page-turner. . . . an action-packed philosophically powerful novel that, despite its heft, you won’t want to put down.” —Star Tribune (Minnesota)  “[An] extraordinary level of verbal craft and psychological insight . . . Like some power-mad scientist, Cronin has taken his literary gifts, and he has weaponized them.”  —Lev Grossman, Time magazine  “It’s a massive tale, in a sense derivative, yet freshly rendered and for the most part perfectly paced.” —Boulder Daily Camera “Nightmare-inducing. . . . The plot-drive narrative benefits from strong character development and combination of genres, but the novel’s greatest distinction is the creation of a truly terrifying take on vampires, known as the virals.” —Boulder Weekly “With all the elements of a blockbuster hit, The Passage is an imaginative piece of literature that will surely satisfy any voracious reader.” —Deseret News “The Passage is for readers who judge books by the intensity of their own blurry, sleep-deprived eyes and the number of paper cuts left on their fingers.” —The Salt Lake TribuneFrom the Hardcover edition.