Niamhy is a great reader – Niamhy cannot get enough books. That’s why we bought her a kindle. So when her new middle school informed her she had to read 25 books during the academic year, it seemed like a no brainer. Except that she also has to write a synopsis of each book and she hates doing that…so now she is refusing to read – great, well done middle school. Goodness knows what effect this system has on reluctant readers.
That led me to thinking that I should write a review of the last book I read. It was The Passage by Justin Cronin. I picked up a leaflet with a few sample chapters of this book in the UK this summer and was blown away by the start. It launched straight in to a series of mysterious events, a young woman whose life starts spiraling downhill rapidly, a trip into the jungle of South America which goes horribly wrong, men on death row becoming medical guinea pigs for the army, these events merge together into a cohesive and fast paced story of a medical experiment that results in a ‘virus’ (I use that term loosely) wiping out most of civilization, the lifestyle of the survivors and how they start to fight back against the ‘virus’. Through it all is the child Amy, the illegitimate child of the young woman mentioned at the beginning of the story…and some how the antidote.
Over all I thought it was a fantastic, fast-paced novel, the characters were believable and likeable, the catastrophe was feasible enough to give me chills and the writing style made it an easy read for summer. However, there were holes…if this virus started in South America why wasn’t that continent affected in the same way as North America? The ending was a little weak too, in fact the ending made me feel like I had been cheated…Clearly Mr. Cronin has left room for book 2, but that doesn’t mean that he should leave us on without a strong finish. I also did not understand the references to Noah’s Ark – I get that the virus wiped out the majority of humans like the flood in the bible, but I did not see the characters themselves as Noah, the dove or even the ark itself. Maybe that is just me…over all I would recommend this book and will definitely read book 2 when it comes out.
Right now, I am off to plead with Niamhy to pick up a book…