The Passage by Justin Cronin
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.
Vampire apocalypse. I sort of imagine this book was a hard sell. Yes it’s about vampires and vampires are a hot-ticket item right now (also, a subject that makes publishers want to scratch their eyes out), but if it’s not vampire sex, it’s a no-go. Luckily for us, someone decided to stick their neck out on this non-sexy vampire book that is -wait for it- a whooping 800 pages long. And every page is delicious.
I read this book last December while camping in the desert of Joshua Tree. A few days later, I went home to Colorado. The funny thing is, the two main settings of this book are Colorado and the stretch of land by Joshua Tree. Alright, personal amusement over.
This is a really excellent book. It’s poetic, sad, scary, hopeful, funny, and above all, just a damn good read. Cronin expertly navigates multiple story lines, points of view, and a cadre of characters to rival War and Peace. Every page, every word is gripping. I wouldn’t recommend reading this book while camping in a desert in winter with just you and the boyfriend the only people around for miles. It definitely scared the bejeezus out of me. I do recommend staying up late under a nice thick layer of blankets to read it though. I couldn’t leave this book alone and I swear my eyes were going to fall out of my head. And really, how could you not love a book that opens with:
Before she became the Girl from Nowhere — the One Who Walked In, the First and Last and Only, who lived a thousand years— she was just a little girl in Iowa, named Amy. Amy Harper Bellafonte.
That’s the kind of opening you kick yourself for not coming up with first. The kind of opening that sticks word for word in your mind over a year later.
I was excited for this book ever since I saw a pre-review for it in People Magazine. And I wasn’t disappointed. The Twelve comes out later this year and I couldn’t be more excited. You bet I’m starting it the day it comes out.
One more thing: the film version is being directed by Ridley Scott. We all remember Blade Runner. Get ready.