The Passage (The Passage #1)
By: Justin Cronin
Format/Source: Mass market paperback; my purchase
An epic and gripping tale of catastrophe and survival, The Passage is the story of Amy—abandoned by her mother at the age of six, pursued and then imprisoned by the shadowy figures behind a government experiment of apocalyptic proportions. But Special Agent Brad Wolgast, the lawman sent to track her down, is disarmed by the curiously quiet girl and risks everything to save her. As the experiment goes nightmarishly wrong, Wolgast secures her escape—but he can’t stop society’s collapse. And as Amy walks alone, across miles and decades, into a future dark with violence and despair, she is filled with the mysterious and terrifying knowledge that only she has the power to save the ruined world.
I’ve seen this book around since it was first released, thought to pick it up at some point but of course other books came first to my hands. Anyway, what finally prompted me to pick up the book was seeing the trailer to the television adaptation and a number of friends all reading it around the same time 😛
Honestly, I was so relieved when I finished this book. The first 250 pages were great: I was invested in the characters–however lengthy their backstories were–and it was pretty intense, Wolgast on the run with Amy and the weird experiment that the government was conducting. I can see how/why that was adapted into the upcoming television show.
And then it puttered out. The remaining 700 pages was such a slog to get through, omg. I mean, the worldbuilding was interesting enough and the dangers that lurk outside the walls of the surviving colony was quite chilling, but the introduction of x number of characters and how almost nothing happened in relation to the overarching plot for pages just complete zapped whatever interest I had left in the novel. By the end of the book I had completely forgotten the general aim of the story and how everything got to that point.
Whilst this book was quite ambitious, covering a large period of time and events, in the end The Passage didn’t really pique my interest beyond the first 250 pages. I won’t be picking up the rest of the series.