Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Review: The Passage by Justin Cronin

Title: The Passage
Series: The Passage Trilogy #1
Author: Justin Cronin
Publisher:  Orion Publishing
Pages: 1008
Genres: Post-apocalyptic fiction, Science Fiction, Horror

Amy Harper Bellafonte is six years old and her mother thinks she's the most important person in the whole world.
She is.

Anthony Carter doesn't think he could ever be in a worse place than Death Row.
He's wrong.

FBI agent Brad Wolgast thinks something beyond imagination is coming.
It is.

Flyers, what an amazing story. I am going to be honest here and admit that I picked The Passage up solely based upon the cover as the edition in my local library had a creepy black and white picture of a girls face; it was October after all and I was in the mood for some creepy books. I am beyond happy I picked up this behemoth.

Wow, just wow. It's time for me to wax lyrical about how amazing the reading experience was. The Passage is without doubt one of my stand out favourites of the year. It is mainly a post-apocalyptic sci-fi blended with horror, very reminiscent in parts of so many other great things namely: Stranger Things (TV show), The Last of Us (video game), The Village (film) and The Walking Dead (comic/TV show). Chances are if, (like me) you loved any of those then The Passage is for you! Seriously. I urge everyone to read this awesome book.

The basic premise of this story is of a shady government experiment which results in repercussions for the whole world or at least the continent of America. It's very hard for me to comment specifically on certain characters or plot points as I don't want to give any spoilers but I will say I ADORED Michael, Sara and Caleb. The monsters were terrifying and Justin Cronin has this talent of describing things in such disgusting, gory detail that allows me to picture the scene and the accompanying sounds perfectly; which promptly then makes me feel sick and scared. There are many chilling moments in this story.

The world building was fantastic, almost all completely shown and not told, so no hand-holding whatsoever. I just know that I will get so much more out of a second reading that I didn't understand or didn't notice the first time around. There was a superb balance of character focused growth and backstory as well as keeping momentum going with the plot. At first glance, it may seem intimidating as the paperback clocks in at over 1000 pages, but it honestly did not feel long enough. I feel supremely lucky that I discovered this hidden gem when the trilogy had been completed. Marathon time methinks.

One of my new favourites, cannot recommend highly enough.

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