Amazon Best Books of the Month, June 2010: You don’t have to be a fan of vampire fiction to be enthralled by The Passage, Justin Cronin‘s blazing new novel. Cronin is a remarkable storyteller (just ask adoring fans of his award-winning Mary and O’Neil), whose gorgeous writing brings depth and vitality to this ambitious epic about a virus that nearly destroys the world, and a six-year-old girl who holds the key to bringing it back. The Passage takes readers on a journey from the early days of the virus to the aftermath of the destruction, where packs of hungry infected scour the razed, charred cities looking for food, and the survivors eke out a bleak, brutal existence shadowed by fear. Cronin doesn’t shy away from identifying his “virals” as vampires. But, these are not sexy, angsty vampires (you won’t be seeing “Team Babcock” t-shirts any time soon), and they are not old-school, evil Nosferatus, either. These are a creation all Cronin’s own–hairless, insectile, glow-in-the-dark mutations who are inextricably linked to their makers and the one girl who could destroy them all. A huge departure from Cronin’s first two novels, The Passage is a grand mashup of literary and supernatural, a stunning beginning to a trilogy that is sure to dazzle readers of both genres. —Daphne Durham
A few hours ago I finished The Passage by Justin Cronin and I’m still a little numb. I can see why it’s been called the “buzz book of the Summer” or the “must read book of the Summer” because it has it all, events happening in the present, past and future, character descriptions so vivid you feel you “know” them, familiar locations and structures known to all and used in an unfamiliar way. It has love, heart-break,sadness, joy, panic, devastation, murder, gore,elation, the loss of all hope, deserts, plains, snow covered mountians and the ruins of Las Vegas. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough( or push the next page button since I was reading this on my Kindle) and the more I read the fastest I wanted to go until I was about 80% through the book and then I wanted to slow down and not get to the end too soon- I wanted to make it last. When I did get to the very end I literally “gasped”(like Bella does at the end of New Moon, the movie), I couldn’t believe it and I still don’t and that’s why I’m a bit numb. I’m going to go back and re-read the last few pages and see if I get a different reaction, but I don’t think I will and that’s okay because it means Justin Cronin has done his job in making The Passage a book I will never forget.