Monday, February 6, 2017

Series Review: The Passage by Justin Cronin

I surrendered a large chunk of my life to this series based on the recommendation of a twitter friend. I told him that whether or not I liked this book was going to determine if he was trustworthy forever. That’s kind of how book recommendations go, right? Super important, people! Don't be that person who recommends crappy books. 

Anyway, the series in question is The Passage by Justin Cronin. The final book dropped in May 2016, illustrating how important it is to read series after they are finished if you don’t want to wait the lifetime of a child to finish a story! I mean, really! I don’t have that kind of long- term attention span.
Let me start by saying that my audio-book from the library expired before I finished the epilogue, so there may be some resolutions that piss me off or change my whole view of this series! I’m currently #7 in line for the renewal. So that’s how my life is going.

Book One: The Passage 
The Passage starts with Amy, a six year old girl who is abandoned in a convent by her mother of low standing. Amy has a strange way with animals, it seems, though we never really get to hear much about that. The story settles into Amy’s beginning somewhere in present day right before and immediately following an outbreak of epic proportions. The book also takes us about 100 years into the future where descendants of the outbreak have created a small town where the lights stay on all night for safety, the children are recruited to The Watch, and the generators are failing. 766 pages

Book Two: The Twelve
Present day: The infection is spreading and people are trying to survive and protect the ones they love. The strain is too much for some and as minds start to snap in the middle of chaos, there are far reaching consequences with our friends who are living 100 years in the future where the enemy isn’t exactly what it seems. Of course, not all of the surviving humans made it by being nice and collaborative. This book won the Good Reads Choice Award in 2012, if that tells you anything. 568 pages

Book Three: The City of Mirrors
In the future: There’s been a respite from constant threat but it may be that the greatest darkness of all is complacency. (Oooo, I’m deep, huh!?) Some of our favorite characters are missing or in hiding. Some of our favorite characters have flourished and some are dead dead dead. The survivors are feeling safe, but that just makes them ripe for the picking. And we find out how this shit started in the first place. “One last time light and dark will clash, and at last Amy and her friends will know their fate." 602 pages

At a combined page count of 1936, it’s a commitment if you like quick reads. Here are the top two things that make it worth it:

The characters: There may be a few of them that we don’t get much back story on, but only a few. The relationships don’t feel forced and the characters are consistent and well thought out. Amy is a bit of a mystery to me but she remains a bit of a mystery to everyone I think. I wonder if we find out more about her weirdness in the epilogue. Characters are described rather than "named" as being from diverse backgrounds which I think really works pretty well.

The World Building: You are THERE. In all the spaces and times, Justin Cronin sits you down in the moment and gives you the 360 view. This fan art is basically what the words create in your mind!

Anyway, this is my public declaration that Terry Maggart's book recommendation didn't suck. 

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