Title: The Passage
Author: Justin Cronin
Series: Passage Trilogy
Genre: Sci Fi, Apocalyptic, Horror, Paranormal-Vampires (Sort Of)
Publisher: Ballatine Books
Pub Date: June 8, 2010
My Copy: On my TBR PILE VIA KINDLE
IT HAPPENED FAST.
THIRTY-TWO MINUTES FOR ONE WORLD TO DIE, ANOTHER TO BE BORN.
First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear--of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.
As civilization swiftly crumbles into a primal landscape of predators and prey, 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 that has triggered apocalypse. Wolgast is determined to protect her from the horror set loose by her captors, but for Amy, escaping the bloody fallout is only the beginning of a much longer odyssey--spanning miles and decades--toward the time an place where she must finish what should never have begun.
This was a very intense ride from start to finish. What I loved about this book was that it was very character driven for both parts of the books, the present and the future. The book is basically told in two parts and it makes the story that much more powerful.
One of the many things about this book is the way that it is powerful in the way that people react and the back stories that are told. The beginning of this book starts off with Amy’s mother and what an utterly amazing story but terrible in it’s own way of what this women went thru through out her life and the circumstances of things that made this women and to an extent of why Amy was chosen in a way to become a part of something much bigger than anyone ever expected. I found the story of Amy’s mother to be beautifully heartbreaking in a way. The narrative was very strong and leads into why this kid is the one that the government wants to experiment on.
There seems to be a big thing happening with Amy once things start getting weird around the places she is living in. One of the great things about this book is that the relationships are a pivotal part of the book. I really found myself engrossed by the people she meets like Sister Lacey, Agent Wolgast. These two people come to mean a lot to her in different ways as they become protectors to her during what seems a confusing time. The government hires Wolgast to bring her back to a base. The base is where they are conducting an experiment of some kind.
We learn about what happened to someone who went to a foreign country and this person happened to be a doctor. They want to find a cure for whatever bit him, which was a weird bat that really wasn’t a bat, but a creature of some sort because now it seems like they have created a dangerous, but different kind of creature. They call them virals or you could call them vampires.
As we progress in the first part of the book there is a bond forming between Brad and Amy in almost a father daughter way. There closeness comes from at first both having lost someone they loved very dearly and are no longer alive. We find out that Project the government is working on is going to help out a lot of sick people not realizing that they are going to cause something very bad. There are a lot of things that happen. Brad is very protective of Amy and doesn’t want anything bad to happen to her and he goes rogue. He definitely thinks that there is something really odd about this government project.
Things get weirder and weirder once Amy gets injected with the virus. Yet the virus reacts quite differently in her than in other subjects. She finds that she is faster, yet her skin becomes very white. Then the virals have their own agenda and are just waiting for something to happen. We also learn that the people in charge have their own agendas. This causes a lot of bad things to happen. I really found myself interested in things and how they played out. Also the fact that there is a sister Lacey, a nun who Amy bonded with earlier in the book is investigating on her own as well.
When things go to hell, both Amy and Brad manage to escape the facility and find a place to hide, but Amy runs away from him. I was surprised by that and it is where the first part of this book ends which I found surprising.
The second part of this book was really interesting as it takes place 100 years after the First Half. So we have totally new characters and a new situation. We find that people are living in a community that has been dealing with the virals for a time, but people basically have gone back to a time where they are doing the best that they can to do to survive. There is a town government. Everybody knows their station and situation. Basically people go out to hunt and forage and do what they can do to survive.
We meet a few characters who definitely have strong personalities and are doing what they have to do. We find that this community also has some issues. Through one of the characters we lean that there is a problem with the power and that the batteries/generators are starting to die. It’s a problem because without power the community will be vulnerable to attack from the virals. Also something very bad happens and we learn that a few people go out of the community to go look for someone and then one of them has an accident and we meet Amy again. Only thing Amy is not the Amy that we knew before. She looks frightened and helps the man from getting attacked during the scouting mission.
This second half of the book is gripping and telling in about its more about people and what it means to be human. Also it tells about survival and what fighting for the future. For Amy, it’s a bit different. She is stuck for a while in her own mind, but we find that things are not the same. Amy helps rescue one of these people and finds that these people need her as much as she needs them. Not to mention Amy hasn’t aged at all. She is still the same kid physically. So this was a very interesting thing.
There is a lot of things happening. A group of survivors find out several things when they start seeking answers and find answers, but not the ones they thought they would find. In fact they get more questions and find that there was an experiment that doomed the human race in a way. Also not to mention, someone from Amy’s past comes back, Lacey. I didn't expect to see her alive. It was actually good to see her. Lacey tells Amy that she has something to do before her time runs out, Lacey is only here for a little bit longer. Lacey tells her that she will find the passage. The passage will help her defeat the virals.
This was a crazy last act of the book because people realize that things are only going to get worse unless they defeat the virals and Amy is a key part of that. Her powers will only get more stronger once she puts her trust in herself and those around her. Not to mention things will happen that she can’t explain, but she needs to have faith. Everything will work out.
I really enjoyed the way this ended. It ended on a hopeful note. I think that was one of the most great ways to end. Sometimes things don’t end in a way you expect. I like how Amy and the others realize that life is about fighting for the way you want things to be and sometimes things work out and they don’t. Remember there’s always hope and that’s what you have to hold on to that.