14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
It was written for a 6 year old and it shows!,
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This review is from: The Passage (Hardcover)
Think of any token character in any book or film and they're here. In droves. What do a trashy mom/prostitute, a black novice nun and a tough nut FBI agent all have in common? Hearts of gold, that's what... chuck in six or seven others, harsh but fair Mother Superior, cold eyed Army type who will kill at the drop of a hat, innocent black guy on Death Row and that's just the first 200 pages. A grizzled old auntie who has all the answers but who persists in speaking in ridiculous riddles. A fat, smelly, obnoxious blind guy who is more than just a technical expert... he is also a zen master who can feel radio waves. A handy trick which gets around the multitude of problems in a post-apocalyptic society. This is a society which has forgotten the name for children but who talk of clicks for distances, who don't swear but who say "flyer" when they cuss (at least your 6 year old won't have to read any nasty words), who has spent the last century fighting with knives and bows and arrows but who can strip down most automatic weapons blindfolded. RPG's? No problem.
Most of the main heroic characters (all teenagers by the way) have a handy skill which, wouldn't you know it, they are just brilliant at. A fabulous nurse, a guy who can mend/make anything (and I mean anything... he even makes a perfect army humvee from two 100 year old wrecks), a kick-ass spunky gal who can beat anyone in a fight and on and on and on.
This is a made for the movies book. Unfortunately, if the film sticks to the story/plot line of the book, I can see it going straight to DVD. There is surprisingly very little action in this book but lots of build up to action which we never see. At one point, the "army" get ready to clean out an underground nest of zombies up in the mountains... then the story cuts to them straggling back after getting a good kicking! Even the book ending suggests a massacre of sorts but we never get to read it. This'll get booed of the screen.
Will there be a follow-up? No chance. How on Earth do you kill these viral zombies who can rip people apart in a twinkling? Creatures who can leap building and move at the speed of thought. Monsters who are mindless killing machines made from muscle and teeth..... easy peasy.
"Hang on chum. Aren't you Billy Smith?" Believe it or not, give it a name (any name cos these brain-deads don't know any better) and it'll lie down and die... simple really!
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Initial post: 23 Aug 2010 13:34:01 BDT
J. Potter says:
I thought your review was a little harsh but agreed mostly. The first part was heavily cliched but he managed to wrap it in great characters. The second two thirds of the post apocolyptic world seemed to turn it from tense and promising thriller to young adult hocum, as you pointed out. I wonder whether Justin Cronin will rue selling the trilogy of books having only written one third of the first.
In reply to an earlier post on 1 Sep 2010 21:14:40 BDT
I agree whole-heartedly with J.Potters comment. The review was a bit vicious, but in essence, it's spot-on. And yeah, 1/3 of the way through, Cronin really loses the plot. I was really looking forward to hearing the 'first' vampire's story (whose name has just escaped me! - the death row inmate), but it ends up as some young adult The Stand/The Road even Lord of the Rings type guff. No more for me, thanks.
Posted on 29 Aug 2011 09:31:52 BDT
D'you know, I never even got that they were all teenagers. Is that correct? I really hated this book too much to go back and check.
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