First of all I'd like to get this out of the way. The Passage is one of my favourite ever books, it deserved its comparisons to the Stand, and in my opinion was the better novel. I liked the change in pace, the variation of style, I adored it and appreciated being introduced to the word 'subsumed'. I felt I travelled that journey with them, didn't want it to end. And I really looked forward to continuing the saga with The Twelve.
It starts well, you get involved with the characters, from Last Stand in Denver to the school bus, you're quickly drawn into the story, the survivors and look forward to at least finding out their eventual fate...except you don't. Not really. A whole bus load of passengers disappears into obscurity. (or does it? I found myself beyond caring)
The switch to post virus starts with a picnic that turns to disaster, then we have half to three quarters of a book with not a lot happening. I can barely remember the details of what did and frankly want to forget. It does get going somewhat later on, some details had me puzzled, but I put that down to trying to get through the boring parts as fast as possible and not picking up everything. The last few chapters were quite gripping - some bits made me feel quite emotional but they were no means enough payback for the dull rubbish that had preceded.
In short; overlong, could use a touch of editing and apparently owes some inspiration to Harry Potter. And the few good bits are what elevated it to a two star.