The Passage, Justin Cronin

The-Passage-UKIt’s not often that when I finish reading a book I pass it on to someone else. That’s because I’m a jealous book owner. I may dearly love you, but I don’t want your sweaty fingers on my uncracked spines, thankyouverymuch. So, this occasion is a special one, because I’ve passed this book on to a friend.

The Passage is the first in a series of books by Justin Cronin. An Amazonian virus is weaponised by the US army, and a viral infection leads to an outbreak of vampirism. A few pocketed human colonies remain, guarded at night by the lights around their towering walls. But what will happen if the batteries fail? What happens when the lights go out?

Well, basically everyone will die. That’s kind of the point, right? Enter unlikely hero and cohorts, plus mysterious human girl who can walk beyond the walls. We know where she comes from, but the characters have to find that out for themselves by taking a trip back to where it all began.

Cronin’s story is told in two time-streams, one is in the form of academic research presented at conference in far future Australia, the other is from the point of view of the characters as the shit hits the fan. There’s a lot of genre blending as well, with the narrative incorporating elements of horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and dystopia. It’s twisty and gripping, and will have you calling in sick on Monday morning just so you can finish it.

The second book The Twelve (the significance of which I’ll leave for you to find out) is out already, and the final installment The City of Mirrors will be out next year.

Another thing that I find incredibly exciting is that Ridley Scott has purchased the film rights. I mean, if that’s not a commendation, then I don’t know what is, friends.

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