The Passage by Justin Cronin

The Passage by Justin CroninI love reading dystopian novels and even did a dystopian challenge earlier this year. I read both YA books as well as adult books. The Passage was also on my list, but was not available at the library at the time. I reserved it and ended up being the first one to read it.

A 1,000 pages of action! The book is very seldom boring but there were a few moments when I wanted the story to hurry up. It usually did.

The story is about a virus that is being tested. It would extend people’s lives if it worked. But instead, it turns the test patients into vampires. That is, they turn into human-like beings that are very strong and agile and that feed on normal humans.

The test patients all escape at some point and a disaster is looming. Amy is a little girl who was also one of the patients, but she has not turned into a vampire. She escapes with help of an FBI agent and lives remotely for a long time in an abandoned summer camp.

Ninety years later a group of people is living in relative safety in an area surrounded by walls and with flood lights that go on every night to deter the vampires.

Then Amy shows up, unafraid of the vampires and still at a young age. For the residents, it’s time to explore the world and bring Amy back where she came from.

The book takes place mainly in the “current” time which is a few years from now, and then in a time about ninety years later. The story is told as a text, a diary entry, some government reports, etc. The reader has to glue it all together himself, but this is not very difficult.

I very much enjoyed reading this book. There were not too many characters (which I had feared) and the number of pages was fine. I read it in about 4 or 5 days as the writing was not too difficult and the story compelling.

I’m not one for vampires, but in this book they made sense. It was clear how they may have been created and they were really just depicted as a group of beasts that attacked other people, although there was also an element of the supernatural which several people dreaming the same dream, for instance.

Rating: 5/5

I got this book: from the library. As I’m a big dystopia fan, I really wanted to read it.

I read this in: Dutch. The original language is English.

About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

18 Responses to The Passage by Justin Cronin

  1. Rachel says:

    Great review! I really loved this book too! I am glad to see you loved it as much as I did, I also read it quite quickly. Easy read, right? But a fun read.

    Did you hear this is the first in a trilogy? I am very much looking forward to the next book.

    • leeswammes says:

      Rachel, no, I didn’t know The Passage is part of a trilogy. I wonder what the next book will be like. Sounds like it could be quite good.

      And yes, an easy read.

      • Rachel says:

        When I first read this was the first book in a trilogy I was quite daunted by that fact.. it’s SO BIG as it is… imagine what three of them will be like together!

      • leeswammes says:

        I only found out it was a trilogy after I read the first book, Rachel. But yes, I cannot imagine the second and third part to be just 400 pages each, so it’s going to be some hefty trilogy!

  2. I really want to read this boo, Judith, I’ve been eyeing it up for a while now. Sounds great.

  3. It’s good to hear that you enjoyed it as I’ve read some reviews with a so-so take on it. I may just give this a try when it’s out in paperback.

    • leeswammes says:

      The hardback of The Passage is enormous, Teacher/Learner. Not for in the bath. 🙂

      A good idea to wait for the paperback, especially if you’re not quite sure you will enjoy it.

  4. I’m so glad you liked this one – I have a copy sitting on my bookshelf. I actually bought it for my son… and it moved here by mistake. I will give it a try someday (hopefully this winter).

  5. I love vampires- halloween is the time for the things that go bump in the night, and I LOVE it! Better TV too.

    (I have a vampire makeup tutorial for anyone who wants to take it that far…)

  6. Cass says:

    Glad to see you enjoyed this one! I tried to listen to the audio book version but it’s about 48 hours long and I just couldn’t handle it. I’ll have to try again in print.

    • leeswammes says:

      The Passage is quite a quick read, Cass, at least, relatively. So I think it would be better to read than listen to. Audiobooks are always slower and in this case that would just take way too long.

  7. Carin B. says:

    Oh you read it in Dutch! How cool! Is that the Dutch cover of the book?

    Just a little FYI for you since I gave Amy the play-by-play of Adichie’s talk, I did get to see Justin Cronin last weekend at the TX Book Festival. He did a reading out of the book at the part where Anderson meets the lady under Loop 610 (which is a real intersection in Houston). It ended at the part where she said she would buy him food. He also talked about Stephen King and what a good writer he thought King was. I thought that was pretty nice.

    I still haven’t read the book, but I hope to get to it early next year. Justin Cronin seemed like a pretty cool guy overall and I was sad that I left his talk. I just really wanted to go to another one that I knew would not be as well attended. Anyway, I’m so glad you liked the book. I can’t wait to read it!

    • leeswammes says:

      Thanks for the extra information, Carin. I guess if you’d read the book you’d have been more likely to stay with his talk. I don’t even remember the part where Anderson meets a lady in Houston! Well, it’s a big book and a lot of things happen, not all of them too memorable.

      • Carin B. says:

        It was the part where he was panhandling and she pulls over and is looking for money to give him but doesn’t have any. There’s a guy behind her that starts honking his horn and then Anderson gets into her Denali with her. He thinks she’s going to call the police on him or something. Does that ring a bell at all? It is a big book so if you don’t remember I totally understand!

        **having not read the book, I absolutely have no problem telling you this stuff because I can definitively say that it hasn’t ruined the book for me. LOL!

      • leeswammes says:

        THAT rings a bell! It’s the woman that takes him in to take care of the garden. Now I remember! Thanks. I totally forgot about that bit.

  8. heather says:

    I liked that book also. I can’t wait for the next one.

  9. Pingback: Morning Meanderings… Judith from Leswammes’ Blog – The Books Worth Looking At Again | Book Journey

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