Rating:

Reviewed by Claudia R.

“I know that science is your god, Paul, but would it be too much to ask for you to pray for us? All of us.” Jonas Abbot Lear, PhD (USA Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases)

The Military needs a Super Soldier. A human that is not only invincible but immortal. Intelligent. Strong. Healthy. Capable of anything. Invincible.

The Military needs ‘volunteers’, people willing to be injected with this new, untested ‘super virus’.

One problem.

There are none. And previous ‘testing’ attempts have returned less than desirable results.

Enter the Twelve.

Convicts on death row, only too happy to sign over their death sentence for the promise of a eternal life. Even with limited information, each willingly offer themselves ‘for the greater good’.

Only something goes horribly and inexplicably wrong, and civilization, as we know it, as anyone has ever known it, ceases to exist. Completely.

Fast forward to First year A.V. (after virus). Some semblance of life exists in pockets across the country, and it is there, that The Passage takes it’s readers on a fast paced, exquisitely detailed, heart pounding, palm sweating journey into the lives of the kin of survivors of B.V. (before virus).

It sounds like a tale that’s been spun before. Conspiracy theory makeover ad nauseam.

Except, it’s not. At all.

The Passage isn’t just another ‘good read’, it’s a commitment and a subsequent addiction. For a week there was never a moment when I was home that I didn’t have the book with me. Justin Cronin writes brilliantly and his words bring this futuristic doomsday story to life with painstaking detail and unrivaled passion. Every character jumps off the page, vivid and real. Cronin culls emotions from his readers like a snake charmer seduces his serpents. I was laughing, crying and screaming along with Michael, Sarah, Amy, Lish, Maus, Lacey, Auntie, Hollis, Theo & Peter as they battled the ‘jumpers’ in a fight for survival.

Every time I thought I knew where Justin was about to take the story I realized didn’t. Expertly, Justin pens an other-world tale of doom and gloom that is anything but at the same time as being completely, just that. Frightening. Realistic. Edge of your seat titillation. Perfection. One word of caution, clear all and any plans for at least 4 days if you intend to read The Passage, it’s like literary heroin. No exaggerating.

If you love Stephen King, Michael Crichton, Dean Koontz or Peter Straub you will absolutely adore, adore, adore Justin Cronin. It is with baited breath that I anticipate his next literary performance. The Passage is PURE genius and one of the FEW books I hope they DO make in to a movie. Maybe Tarantino needs a new project?

Visit the official website to learn more about Justin Cronin and The Passage.

Claudia lives on Cape Cod with her husband and two children. She entertains her passion for reading in between providing services to help empower and improve the lives of low-income residents.

This book was provided free of any obligation by  Ballantine Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.