Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

The Passage by Justin Cronin

June 17th, 2010 by Debbie's World of Books

thepassage

Source: Received for review

Availability: In stores June 8, 2010

Publisher: Ballantine Books

I give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars

Description from Goodreads.com: It’s called Project NOAH: a secret government experiment designed to weaponize the human body. But this experiment goes horribly awry when twelve test subjects escape, spreading a virus that turns human beings into something else — something hungrier, deadlier, and seemingly indestructible. The thirteenth test subject, a six year old girl named Amy, is rescued by an FBI agent. Together they flee to the mountains or Oregon, cut off from civilization as the disastrous repercussions of Project NOAH are unleashed upon the world.

I am possibly a victim of over hype for this book.  I heard so many great things about this book from fellow book bloggers, in magazines and my book club but when I finished this book I felt let down.  I loved the concept of the book and the it was well written but I was not blown away like many others were.

It took maybe about 200 pages for my interest to really be caught and even then it was not a book that I could not put down.  The first part of the book covers the discovery of this disease that basically turns people into blood thirsty creatures with super human speed, strength, etc.  We meet Amy, who becomes one of the test subjects as the military attempts to weaponize this disease, and Agent Wolgast who attempts to protect Amy.  From the book blurb I expected this to take a bulk of the book but this actually makes up a small portion of the book.  The story then flashes to about 100 years in the future after the spread of this disease/weapon and follows the lives of a set of people who live in a sanctuary descended from children that were rescued and isolated from victims of the virus.

The main character in this future is Peter who stumbles across Amy in one of his forays in the world outside the sanctuary.  This acts as the catalyst for Peter and a small set of people who set out to for Colorado, where all of this nightmare began.  I did not necessarily like Peter because his obliviousness sometimes really got on my nerves.  He never really seemed to grasp how to read people or catch obvious signs that they gave off.  Still he was a realistic figure that I can imagine existing in this post-apocalyptic type of world.  The supporting cast of characters were an interesting crew and full of surprises.

I think my main problem was the pacing of the book.  I felt like it could have been shorter and at certain points I thought it dragged which is why it didn’t really grip me through out.  Still it leaves you hanging for the next book.

Posted in 3 Star Books, Action, Books, Dystopia, General Fiction, Thriller/Suspense

14 Responses

  1. Allison

    I’m sorry you weren’t blown away, but I’m glad you enjoyed it! I’m reading it right now, haven’t gotten too far into it yet…think I’ve almost hit the 200 page mark. It isn’t fantastic for me so far, but I do like it.

  2. Wrighty

    Your review is exactly what I’ve been seeing everywhere lately. Too much hype and too long but pretty good. My mom is reading my copy now and so far feels the same way. I’ll be reading it after her. Thanks for the info Deb! I enjoyed your review. :)

  3. dsuzuki

    Glad I’m not the only one who feels that way. It’s always tricky to find the right balance in hype so readers still enjoy a book but don’t go in with too high of expectations. Hope you guys enjoy it though!

  4. Angela

    And I was one of those early readers who absolutely loved this book!

  5. Alita

    Thank you for sharing your honest opinion! Super long books make me all antsy, but I felt like I should read this one because I’ve been hearing nothing but great things about it. Gah peer pressure! Now I feel better about skipping it.

  6. Jenn @ That Just Happened

    I just finished a book where I had (perhaps too) high expectations and felt a little let down at the end. Thanks for the review!

  7. Lisa A.

    Thanks so much for this honest review! As you said, this book is currently being hyped everywhere and I always find that those types of books never live up to the glowing reviews. I’ll probably just wait for the audio book version from the library . . .

  8. kay

    Great review! It’s nice to read a little less “hyped” one; there’s been so much raving about this book that I have been trying to get my expectations very low so I won’t be too disappointed… not sure it’s working though! But I have read a couple of reviews saying that it took about 100-200 pages to really get into the story : that’s a long time, even when the book is over 700 pages!

  9. dsuzuki

    I think waiting until you forget some of the hype or reminding yourself to not expect too much helps. I notice from the people I know the ones who hadn’t heard much about it before reading loved it.

    Kay-yes, it’s such a chunkster that the hype was the only thing that kept me reading 200 pages in and not putting it down. I usually won’t give a book that long to grab me. So I guess in that way the hype was useful.

  10. Serena

    I haven’t read this book, but I tend to shy away from books that are hyped…I want some distance between me and the hype…so I usually read these types of books once the hype has waned.

    Thanks for the honest review. I enjoyed your perspective on this one.

  11. Holly

    I’m so mixed about this book. I haven’t read it yet. I’ve seen such good reviews for it and often, when a book is super hyped, I end up not liking it! What to do… What to do…

  12. dsuzuki

    Serena & Holly-I think if you haven’t heard too much about it I would give it a go. So far everyone I know really enjoyed it but they never heard much about it before reading it. If you have been following the hype about it for a few months now though I might give it some time to fade from your memory so you go in with less set expectations.

  13. Michelle

    I keep meaning to start this book and try to do a few chapters a week (since it’s so daunting) but I’m seeing more and more people falling on the side of it not being as fabulous. I’m a bit leary of it now.

  14. dsuzuki

    Michelle-I really think a lot has to do with your expectations going into the book. Hopefully you enjoy it.

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