Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Passage by Justin Cronin

The Passage by Justin Cronin, Hachette $39.99 published July 2010

Publisher, Hachette, has for many years enjoyed huge sales from Stephanie Meyer's Twilight books.  These are slowing down, so they have been looking for their next biggie.  Justin Cronin's new book The Passage may be the one.  However a blockbuster cannot be created solely out of marketing hype.  The book has to be damned good and consumers need to choose to read it based on more than advertising.  A month or so since release it is starting to sell itself.

The Passage is the story of Amy.  Justin Cronin develops a back story of a scientist's quest for the truth behind the disappearance of a tour group who had ventured into the jungles of Colombia and then has this research hijacked by an American military offshoot, whose guinea pig recruitment policy leads us to 9 year old Amy, through whom we learn of the consequences of this military experiment gone awry.  The experiences of America's few survivors and of Amy make for a marvelous story.

In many ways this is an Armageddon story.  Think Cormac McCarthy's The Road mixed with a great thriller and perhaps a vampiric Jurassic Park.  Cronin has not written a book for a specific genre such as thriller or fantasy.  The Passage draws on many styles but it is truly a damned good yarn.  These people are confronted with a reality different to ours.  Their world may still consist of big malls and freeway flyovers.  However in this future, decades on in time, no one is shopping and no vehicles travel on the roads.  The most useful thing a freeway bridge does now is shelter a vampire-virus inflicted being from the deadly gaze of the sun.

This is a great story.  Step outside your comfort zone and enjoy this read.

Part 2 publishes later in 2012.

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