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on 20 February 2015
Wow thoroughly enjoyed reading this book was suck right into that world and engaged with the characters.

The opening chapter about Amy and her mother was so we'll written, so sad so heartfelt as I finished I had to go to my 2 year old daughters room to give her a kiss and tell myself that I'd never allow her to have the experience of Amy.

So many questions raised throughout the book some are answered some are sort some are very much left open to interpretation or indeed to come back to be answered by the students of New South Wales university.

Characters are fantastic even minor one such as Doyle, Arlo wilson, the colonel act are fantastic that you feel and get attached to in both positive and negative ways.

Three are times that cause tension stress of situation which I think if your feelings are intensified by reading a book then that's a sign of a really good read.

It really has it all and I can't wait to start the next part of the story.
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on 31 August 2017
I really enjoy this book. I had a paperback copy but lost it, so I was very happy to get a kindle version. The characters are brilliant, very engaging and well written. I read an awful lot of books but this one really emerses you in the world that mr Cronin has created. I havent read the third installment yet but this one and the second are brilliant. I hope he keeps it up!
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on 31 March 2015
My impression of The Passage will be slightly skewed because I read it after The Twelve not realising that was part of a trilogy. In some ways then The Passage provided background I'd already in some way created in my imagination. This didn't stop it being an intriguing read but did make it slightly less suspenseful and revelatory.

This novel doesn't just start an epic trilogy about the aftermath of an apocalyptic event but borrows heavily from the horror fantasy canon from which it emerges, made explicit at one point by a screening of the film Dracula that is part entertainment and part information for the protagonists. Different people will have read and viewed different stories and so will spot different tropes and influences. There is pleasure to be had in spotting and interpreting these, yet Cronin manages to mix them up to remake them anew in an original telling of these classic narratives. As well as plundering the vampiric mythos notable influences are Stephen King's The Stand, Tolkein's Lord of the Rings trilogy and indeed one of the oldest stories of all that of Noah and the Ark.

The story begins with the attempt to weaponize and ancient virus using death row criminals as test subjects. Despite the most sophisticated technology, and some vicious enforcement, the virus and those infected with it cannot be contained and they escape to wreak havoc on an unsuspecting world. One FBI agent and one test subject survive the destruction of the test laboratory and for a time we follow their story as they attempt to leave it and the ensuing destruction behind.

Time then shifts forward to a small colony of survivors in California who lives are organised like a medieval guild community and whose survival depends on scavanging and utilising workable technology from the Time Before. Their knowledge of what happened and the world that previous existing is part oral history, handed down through generations and organised through the schooling of the Littles, and part fractured knowledge gleaned from the landscapes and objects they encounter: a kind of feral archaeology of our current world. This gives time a curious quality as present, past and future collapse into each other.

In time this colony is jeopardised by their antiquated and failing technology and by a tactical shift in attack from the virals, the infected population. The virals are getting hungrier and more sophisticated. When Amy The Girl from Nowhere, a thread from the original viral experiments, walks into their world any stability they had is cast out and a small fellowship embark on the questful journey for answers and survival described in the rest of novel.

It's a well told and exciting story with moments of reflection interspersed with tense and suspenseful action sections. What I also like about the story is the mix of extrinsic and intrinsic horror: in some ways the physical attacks from virals is a more clear and present danger than the more insidious demons that can worm themselves into the minds of men and erupt from them. A thick layer of psychological terror is laid onto the physical challenge of staying alive amidst scarce resource and apex predators with a far superior physical capability than humans. This is most evident when the fellowship arrive at The Haven and learn the price that community is paying for their survival.

My only criticism is it felt slightly too long in places: a few too many segments of journey, a few too many fights and encounters that began to resemble each other and a few too many sections where the narrative existed simply to explain. Despite this I thought it a fantastic story, just the kind of epic scale novel I was hoping to dive into. Despite not being a fan of horror generally I found this an OK read: your imagination can pick the level of violence and gore detail you are willing to visualise. I imagine the virals as some kind of indistinct demon less interested in what they actually are and do and more interested in the story of the humans they once were and the human societies they encounter.
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VINE VOICEon 27 July 2012
This is a fantastic book. I won't bother recounting what this is about, as there have been already 300 reviews on this website. What I wanted to say is that I don't understand some of the other reviewer's comments as to the divide in the book before and after the viral outbreak. The story has a theme running through both parts which is Amy. Obviously the characters will not be the same as there is a a gap of 100 years between the two situations. This is a tried a tested technique, specifically in post apocalyptic novels. See for instance A Canticle for Leibowitz (Bantam Spectra Book). I loved the book and I am looking forward to the next installment in the trilogy. Also, I was surprised by the author's comment on how he came up with the idea. I am hopefull that my daughters will provide me with a genius idea on my next book.
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on 22 September 2011
I've read a few of the more lengthy reviews of this doorstep of a book and having finished it this morning i felt that i would feed in my thoughts.
In my view this book is a really good rollicking adventure read. It fails to be excellent because of the stodgy middle segment. The concepts are cleanly imagined, the main characters are well drawn-and you do care about them. Amy is suitably ambiguous in terms of her 'powers' and motivations, but this fits so well with the themes of the book.
Whilst the book closes with cliffhangers there is much resolution of themes and ideas that were launched in the first part of the book. A lot of threads dangled at the start were pulled together very effectively, not least the real meaning of the title.
A thoroughly good read that missed out on being excellent by not being about 200 pages shorter.
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on 15 September 2017
I'm halfway through and have had to have a break! I am dreading what happens next, but need to know. There is a feeling of foreboding from the very first page. This book is extremely well written and I would highly recommend it to horror fantasy fans.
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on 17 August 2017
I I don't know what to say. There were parts that I skipped, because they were too tedious for me, and other parts whic seemed to jump, but the characterisation was good, except so many of them died! I'm plodding on, because I want to find out more.
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on 27 August 2015
Could have been improved by some serious editing; absorbing in large part but far too much superfluous filling. I was able to flick through a lot of chapters without losing any continuity or the sense of events. I am undecided whether to buy the next book in the series. It will depend on how cheap it is!
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on 9 May 2016
Vampire book with a twist. Also no glitter anywhere. I found myself constantly going "things can't get worse.." and then being proven wrong. Well written and emotionally draining. Excited to read the rest of the series.
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on 11 May 2012
Having been a long term post apocalyptic/ good story afficionado, I followed the good reviews and purchased this tome. What followed is a real humdinger of a tale. The book grasps you by the tentacles and drags you through a dark tale full of extremely interesting characterisations. I loved this book from start to finish and in true clique style could not put it down. So very much looking forward to the follow up. A masterpiece which I would recommend to anyone not necessarily just fellow undeadites but those who love good writing and a superbly thrilling book.
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