Review: The Passage by Justin Cronin

An epic and gripping tale of catastrophe and survival, The Passage is the story of Amy—abandoned by her mother at the age of six, pursued and then imprisoned by the shadowy figures behind a government experiment of apocalyptic proportions.

But Special Agent Brad Wolgast, the lawman sent to track her down, is disarmed by the curiously quiet girl—and risks everything to save her. As the experiment goes nightmarishly wrong, Wolgast secures her escape—but he can’t stop society’s collapse.

And as Amy walks alone, across miles and decades, into a future dark with violence and despair, she is filled with the mysterious and terrifying knowledge that only she has the power to save the ruined world.


The Passage takes dystopian creepiness to a whole new level while simultaneously placing vampires back into their proper places, as savage killers, not lovestruck teenagers who sparkle in the sun. This sci-fi/horror story starts out with a touching tale about a young mother who gives birth to a beautiful baby girl, but, due to a series of unfortunate events, cannot provide for her and leaves the child in the care of nuns. Amy’s story is sad, complicated, and will touch your heart. It is also the driving force of this book, as vampires begin to decimate the human population. The government, in response, attempts to create a species of super-soldiers to kill these monsters. It fails, of course,  and most of the earth’s population is eradicated.

This tale is epic and transformative. It is the first in a planned trilogy and will have you hooked from the very beginning. I have encountered very few authors with the ability to write such a broad and transformative story—for that is what this is, transformative. In an interview Cronin gave he was asked the simple question, “What is The Passage?” He responded by saying that, “The Passage is, of course, a journey, and the novel is made up of journeys. But the notion of a journey in the novel, and indeed the whole trilogy, is also metaphoric. A passage is a transition from one state or condition to another.” This is particularly true of not just particular events or passages of time, but of the characters. They transform in powerful ways and you, as the reader, will grow and charge right along with them.

Fans of Stephen King and Michael Crichton will love this novel. I cannot recommend it strongly enough.

  • Genre: Horror-Sci-fi
  • Demographic: Adult
  • Rating Out of Five: 5
  • Format: Paperback
  • Find At: The Book Depository
  • Published: 2010

7 thoughts on “Review: The Passage by Justin Cronin

  1. I participated in your 2011 Off the Shelf Challenge and really enjoyed it, and now I’m finally getting around to following your blog. I read a lot of YA these days, and rarely do I find an adult book that I feel like I need to add it to my to-read list. But your review of The Passage has really intrigued me, and I’m going to have to read it!


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