Thursday, June 3, 2010

Hot New Title: The Passage by Justin Cronin

“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. He 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—towards the time and place where she must finish what should never have begun.

With The Passage, award-winning author Justin Cronin has written both a relentlessly suspenseful adventure and an epic chronicle of human endurance in the face of unprecedented catastrophe and unimaginable danger. Its inventive storytelling, masterful prose, and depth of human insight mark it as a crucial and transcendent work of modern fiction.

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Staff Reviews:

"Justin Cronin's "The Passage" is going to be the book of the summer. A story about the end of the world as we know it and the dawn of a world born on our refuse. Cronin does amazing things in this book...he juggles dozens of characters, and although you don't get close to all of them, I cared deeply for many of them. (Especially Alicia, who reminded me a lot of Starbuck (Cara Thrace) in the new Battlestar Gallactica...) Across this sprawling story, he manages to tie things up well in what was, for me, a very satisfying ending. (Although there will be a sequel, I did think it stood on its own.)

This is going to be a great book for the long days of summer. And don't let its size daunt you: the first 150 pages raced by and I read the last 500 pages in two days... I didn't want it to end, but couldn't slow myself down at all."


"This book is a modern day Frankenstein tale--literary science fiction on an epic scale. You may have heard that it is a vampire book, which is only vaguely true. This is more of an outbreak book, that involves a virus that can mutate people into a sort of vampire like creature, most often called "Virals" or "Smokes". It began as a very convert government project using death row prisoners, high up in the Colorado mountains. Except the monsters they created were far, far smarter than their inventors could ever have dreamed of. While the Virals are the constant threat, the real story lies in how the humans try to adapt to a rapidly changing world where they are an isolated minority and prey to the creations of "science". This book is reminiscent of Stephen King's "The Stand" in it's scope, diversity of slowly intertwining story lines, and bold look at humans in crisis, as well as an overlying mystical quality to it that waxes and wanes throughout the hundreds of pages of the book. This tale grips you hard and won't let you go. I was literally exhausted when I finished reading it because I lived every moment with those people--Cronin's story telling ability is mesmerizing.


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