The Passage

The Passage

A Novel

eBook - 2010
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Sep 13, 2019

Beautifully written book with wonderful metaphors peppered throughout. One of the best epic post-apocalyptic books that I've read since "The Stand". First book of a completed trilogy.

Jul 27, 2019

I read Stephen King's review of this book, and since I enjoy his criticism and he raved, I was greatly looking forward to this. I could not have been more disappointed. Cronin isn't near as good a writer as I think he believes he is. He couldn't pull off the oblique, deeper stuff, so he should have just gone for a good sci fi, end-of-the-world adventure yarn, but he didn't. As my friends who know my reading habits know, I'm more fond of a good apocalyptic novel than most, but this didn't deliver on its promise at all. This novel dragged on and on. The characterizations were shallowly and poorly drawn; just personality type cut-outs like you would find in an inferior young adult novel. I thought all along that I was probably going to give this a just OK two stars (after all, it did have enough in it to make me read all 8.2 million pages),but then the last tenth of the book - what should have been the big payoff - was just ridiculous.

So, don't believe the hype and the number on the Bestseller List. Skip this nonsense.

liljables Jul 03, 2019

Longtime fan of this series, just coming to say that The Passage on audiobook is top-notch. My non-reading partner thoroughly enjoyed this story on a recent roadtrip, and when the book was over, he asked "why didn't you borrow the second one?!" I'd call that a glowing review.

Apr 20, 2019

I loved it! Once I got started it was hard to put down. I watched the tv show that's based on the novel and then read the book. The show made some changes from the book but it worked well. Now I will read " The Twelve".

Apr 02, 2019

A moderately interesting take on vampires and post-apocalyptic. The story jumps around in an effort to have cliff hangers as often as possible at the end of a chapter.

Feb 19, 2019

There are so many unanswered questions I have while reading this book (what happened to the bats in the beginning, this could happen repeatedly?) and at the end (which I will not spoil the ending if you have not read this). While it is interesting and feels a little different from other dystopian novels, there are similarities that can be figured out before you finish reading the book. It is well written, I did not want to skip entire paragraphs of fluff that can fill some books, but I would like to have more answers to how certain situations were left. I would recommend reading this if you are looking for something to read if you ran out of book ideas.

Jan 09, 2019

Every time I swear off vampire books, I find a new twist on them that brings me back to the genre. After hearing this trilogy would be getting a television series I rushed to get my hands on the first book. This book did not disappoint, but the beginning and middle were a lot stronger than the end. The story takes place in two time periods, the modern world just before most human life is wiped out, and around a century later among the survivors. The story keeps your eyes peeled to each page until around the last 4th of the book. For some reason, the surviving characters begin making decisions that don't seem rational. The repetitive excuse of "have faith in your destiny" or "you'll know what's right" kept coming up, and it was a little distracting. The book also uses a lot of direct foreshadowing. Not just to things in later books but things in later chapters, or even the next chapter. This kept me reading but felt overplayed towards the end of the book. All in all, this is a remarkably interesting first entry with only a few flaws.

IndyPL_JillL Dec 05, 2018

I love books that pull me into a world. That is exactly what The Passage did. I feel like I know these characters. Well written and well plotted.

Nov 26, 2018

I have read the trilogy.. very happy it will be on TV.

Jun 18, 2018

I didn't love it. I borrowed it because there was a lot of hype and a waiting list, so I figured it was good. Also, a critic had compared it to The Stand which I thought was excellent. I am always reluctant to abandon books so I stuck through it to the end, and now feel like there are hours wasted that I cannot get back, where I could have been reading something more engaging. I found the characters to be somewhat flat. In 784 pages, there should be enough character development to make me care about them. I could not tell the difference between the protagonist and his brother. Amy was an empty shell. The book is filled with descriptions of fighting and slaying, so if you're into that, you might like this. The science wasn't very sciencey, and the plot wasn't very intricate. Remember on the Walking Dead where they just hung out on that farm and blah blahed for a whole season? It's kind of like that.

Mar 26, 2018

I checked this book out based on the many good reviews I read. I have to admit, I didn't really love it. Granted, this is not a genre I read often. That being said, I was really engaged for the first part of the book. I felt like much of the middle really drug. I found myself just pushing to get through it. It did really pick up toward the end and captivate my attention again. I became more invested in the characters but still found them to be somewhat forgettable once i finally finished this book. Given that I had to renew this book twice and still went over my time to slog through it, I don't see myself checking out the next one.

Nov 18, 2017

Well-written, beautifully told saga that had me racing through the pages and wanting more.

Oct 25, 2017

Well written book with good story, but long and since it took over 6 weeks to read with no urgency.... it is only good.

Feb 24, 2017

I really tried to like this book, but it was a trudge through mud. There were moments of interest and I would become hopeful ... and then back down the author took me, into a mire of irrelevant detail. After an interesting start, the story melts into tedium ... day after day, year after year, onward through time without a true a reason to care much about what happened next. I finally gave up three-fourths of the way through -- but still what felt like a long way from the end. I can't remember the last time I've given up on a book. Admittedly, this is not my typical preferred genre; usually I go for historical fiction. Yet, I've enjoyed a good thriller here and there and thought this would be a fun dip into something different. I tried this book based on the recommendation of a friend who loved it. So there you have it - a big hit with some but alas, not with me.

Aug 02, 2016

The story drags on for a long time with lots of less important details (plenty of killing and weapon stuff).

TSCPL_ShariS May 27, 2016

I love/hate this book. The beginning was excellent and then the jump ahead was jarring; but I got into that part as well. Overall I really liked it. It was just too looooooong. I've been staring at book 2 on my shelf for a while now.... Maybe this summer?

May 06, 2016


1/3 - This book is GREAT. It's no longer a dark, stormy night (cold but sunny, for the first day of March that is), but that hasn't stopped me from continuing to devour this all day (thank goodness it's Sunday). There's a creepy little girl (why are little girls creepier than little boys?), some kind of facility where they're 'making' vampires while attempting to perfect a 'fountain of youth' virus, and at least two strangers with what seem to be just the right backgrounds willing to put their lives on the line for this little girl who they've only just met. From a comment on another review I thought this was going to be about vampires, but the 'vampires' really aren't doing anything suspicious yet, they're just 'hanging around' in their cage eating the occasional rabbit. What seems to be the more worrying evil is this shadow, or feeling, that comes over a character that they are being watched and suddenly they are gripped by fear that 'he's coming'. Whoever/whatever he might be. Maybe 'he' is one of the vampire's using some kind of psychic power to terrify the main players in the story? Maybe that's the real reason for Doyle and Wolgast to be picking up Amy, one of the 'vampire's' is controlling Lear's mind and using him to get what he wants...or something. Nothing's really clear yet. Except that I'm enjoying it and should finish it in about a quarter the time of Genocide of One. To be continued...

2/3 - What happened to Wolgast? And Amy?! I accepted it when every character bar two was killed off, but what's he done to those remaining two? I really enjoyed listening to Wolgast's PoV and I was looking forward to seeing how Amy would, evolve I guess is the best word for it over the years. I thought maybe she would be able to go out into the world and calm the 'vampires', or maybe even make them like her. Now we've jumped at least 92 years into the future and everything's different, suddenly I'm reading a dystopian with a language I don't really understand. The people of this awful vampire-filled future have made some really weird changes in their vocabulary for unexplained reasons. Anyone under the age of eight is kept in a 'sanctuary' away from the rest of the population of the small barricaded community that most believe is the only one left. They are kept completely innocent of all knowledge of what's going on outside the wall until they turn eight when they are put into one of seven trades (whichever is needed by the community at the time). These people are called 'littles' rather than children or kids. That seems an incomprehensible word change. It's not like a whole generation of people was lost and therefore all the language from before the vampire apocalypse happened was lost with them. They don't remember the word child, but they do remember 'pickup truck' and 'highway overpass', two pieces of technology that haven't been used since the cars ran out of petrol over 92 years ago. 'Pickup truck' and 'highway overpass' wouldn't be part of the everyday language of a small band of survivors who no longer have a use for cars or roads. It just doesn't make sense to me.
8/3 - I can't believe Cronin has more in him on this subject/these characters. You would think 766 pages would be enough to tell the story in its entirety, but no there's a sequel and then an expected third book after that. Regarding the book (the thought of all those ideas swishing around in his head was on my mind for the final 200 pages or so, so with it grabbing that much of my attention I wanted to add it to my review), pretty good (3.5 stars, although I'll round it up to 4) overall with a few disappointing, overly dragged out sections in the middle. I will definitely be on the lookout for the next book - Peter was talking about going to war and that sounds like it'll be an exciting plotline.

Zoombies are a complete no-no for me on TV. They look really disgusting with all the special effects. But in books, I love them, May be I tend to imagine them with not-so-bad looks and piercing eyes(Blame the twilight series). The passage confirms my imagination of their eyes, they do have penetrating eyes with the ever eternal question “what am i”.
Its a gripping novel with a different play of timelines. Its not a linear narration. Forms of narration wary and it’s kinds of ups the suspense factor. you miss a date and you are off the route for a while. Main protagonist Amy and her Peter pair is lovable. There is an array of cliched characters as well, just like any other world-saving teams and all of them are likable. Its been a while since I read a gripping series like this so would go with a four.

JCLJulieT Oct 13, 2015

I thought this book was perfect. Long, but I wouldn't have minded longer - and it's part of a trilogy, so, yeah! A gift, disguised as a book.

Aug 27, 2015

I am a big fan of dystopian/apocalypse stories. This was a slow start, but further in the action really got going and I began to genuinely enjoy it. Yes, it is about an illness that creates vampire-like creatures, but don't assume it is anything like Twilight - it is far from it in its depth and maturity. I was especially hooked when the narrative moved from the present tense to reflections from the far future. Again, I'm not sure if all the set-up was necessary, but will continue the series in the hopes that it continues at a fast pace.

Aug 26, 2015

I took a deep breath before I opened this 700+ page book. I was immediately gripped and taken in by the whirlwind of catastrophic events. Many of the comments here refer to the slowing of the story once it sprang forward into the future. I thought the naive references to their long lost society, a.k.a our current society, were endearing and often hilarious. That kept it moving toward the climactic build until the end. If I had one complaint it would be the sad attempt at a cliffhanger, but fortunately I read this ending after the follow-up book was already published. I haven't been this into a book in a while and zipped right through it.

dawnaleger Jul 30, 2015

To me it was horribly long. Way too much details that goes on and on and doesn't really matter.

Jul 26, 2015

Gripping story with excellent character building and can't-put-it-down plot development. Highly recommended!

Jul 16, 2015

Wow, this is a true epic novel. If you liked King's The Stand you will love this book. Strong characterization, thoughtful description makes this book a stand out.

Jun 29, 2015

A few years back my wife received this book as a gift and just recently I picked it up because I was in the mood for something epic.

"I think you'll like it," she said to me.
"Well, did you like it?" I asked suspecting she had breezed through it in a week.
"I dunno. It started out great, but then the story jumped ahead into the future and got boring quickly."

The evidence, in the form of her old bookmark, was still there, tucked away on page 400-something.

I see what she means now. Cronin sets up a story so full of promise, and then about a third of the way in, poof, everything was swept away, literally and figuratively. Events fast-forwarded almost one hundred years while bringing on a whole new cast of characters. That's fine except I didn't care about this new group the way I did about the old group. And by the time a familiar face showed up again, it was too little too late.

My impression of those who enjoyed The Passage versus those who didn't is whether you like your stories character-driven or setting-driven. Think of it this way, which of these statements is truer? Characters add realism to a complex world or world-building adds verisimilitude to a cast of complex characters? Cronin spent so much writing capital building a post-apocalyptic Earth that I think he zoomed out too far from its characters, and subsequently lost a bunch of his readers along the way.

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