A Haunting Passage of a Vampire Apocalypse

I didn’t know what to expect from The Passage by Justin Cronin. The blurb told me about a special girl in a dystopian world but…I wasn’t prepared for how scary the story was going to be.

The story goes: a military experiment goes alright and then it goes wrong when its test subjects (twelve criminals transformed into vampire-like creatures because of the experiment) break loose, starting an apocalypse within a few days and marking the start of Year Zero. Another test subject Amy, a six year old, survives and flees. Unlike others, Amy is neither vampire-like or human but has some traits shared with the creatures including immortality, and she has a psychic connection with them and those who become victims of the creatures.

The human population is reduced to only a few, and there are communities here and there. The creatures (called “virals” by humans) outnumber the humans and the former test subjects are called The Twelve. Ninety-three years later, Amy, now a teenager (yeap she does grow but very, very slowly) encounters a Colony of survivors and things start to fall apart for that community, leading Amy and several members of that community to journey to Colorado which is believed to have the answers to the past – the exact location they’re heading to is the re-birthplace of The Twelve and Amy. Meanwhile, they’re tracked by the virals headed by the mysterious leader Babcock (one of The Twelve) who enters your mind through dreams – everyone, except Peter (the lead male character and member of the Colony) and Amy, end up having the same dream, well, nightmare which relates to Babcock’s past [shivers]. These dreams lead people to…fatal circumstances. banned

The Passage is quite a lengthy novel with multiple POVs but it’s worth it. It hooks you in and shocks you by suspense and there’s something haunting about it. I don’t know if it’s the tone or the writing but you feel something is crawling on you or behind you as you read. The only thing that I criticise is the lack of characterisation. There’s more external action than what’s going on inside the characters and some come out as caricatures. I couldn’t feel for them, maybe for Amy to an extent. I don’t know if it’s intentional; to keep them a mystery, to make them distant because they live in a dystopian world. I hope there’s improvement on the characters in the sequel The Twelve but overall, I love the book!

If you’re a fan of sci-fi, horror or vampire fiction (trust me, I thought the story was cliche with the experiments-that-leads-to-global-disaster plot, but by chapter five or so, my mind exploded), you’ll love The Passage and a Dracula movie reference (for a brief comic relief hahaha) in it.

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Rating: 10/10

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