The Passage by Justin Cronin

Rate: 5/5

Medium: Audiobook

Overview (No Spoilers):

A few times a year I find myself without an audiobook in the queue, whereupon I find myself scouring the available books at my local library for a rather ridiculous amount of time searching for a hidden gem.  Typically, I set the search parameters to show me the books in order of highest requested and peruse from there through my favorite genres.  While looking through the science fiction section, I stumbled across The Passage, and was skeptical as I’d never even heard of this book, let alone series. However, reluctantly intrigued at the high request rate by my fellow readers, I downloaded this novel by Cronin and started reading it, blind as to the synopsis. Almost immediately my curiosity was piqued, and I grew ever enthralled as each chapter continued developing the fast paced story, while simultaneously weaving significant layers of detail.  While trying to describe the antagonists in this story to a cowork, I grew defensive as I started to describe them as vampire in nature. Upon reflection, I would have to attribute my apologetic attitude toward literary creatures of this nature to the Twilight effect, and the significant quantity of YA books that followed with vampires and such at their core. Regardless, the evil beings at the root of The Passage are fascinating and innovative, as their source and subsequent effect are explored, giving these creatures a ‘real life’ element.  Additionally, the connection to Noah’s flood and religious undertones present throughout The Passage were paired with a scientific backdrop, which served as an intriguing combination. Overall, The Passage was a delightful read in which Cronin eloquently creates a tale that will captivate any science fiction lover, due to the level of depth he pours into both the world and characters.


Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):

  • What happened to the rest of California during the time jump? How did the kids from the train end up in their own protected villiage?
  • If somehow Zero is killed, would that result in the other creatures being killed because he was Patient Zero?
  • What happened to Amy’s Mom?
  • The poor nuns! I can’t believe Waldorf’s boss went back and killed them all! And the sheriff, deputy and their family in the small rural town! Who else did he kill while cleaning up loose ends? He really was an evil bad guy!
  •  It seemed out of character for such secretive program that they would have kept pursuing Amy even after all the mess she created while they were trying to capture her.
  • If Babcock manipulated people using dreams, how will the other originals manipulate people?
  • How will Carter be different? He doesn’t seem evil at his core, will he turn out to be good?
  • I feel like Michael wasn’t devastated enough for Elton and Peter didn’t seem worried for Auntie as they abandoned the colony. I understand they were caught up with running away to survive but it seemed like a character flaw that no thought was given to other important people.
  • Two strange events that didn’t have an explanation happened in the hospital before they fled the colony and the barn at the end of the book with Theo.  First of all, who killed the men in the hospital that were after Amy and Sarah? Secondly, who killed Galin before he could kill Theo, Maus and the baby? My heart hurt for the poor dog!
  • What happened to Theo and Peter’s dad?
  • What happened at the end of the book? Did Sarah, Hollis, Theo, and Maus all die?  We know that a future civilization survives eventually because they refer to sarah’s journal as an academic (maybe religious) source.  Will the future books explain what happened?
  • How was Galin not one of Babock’s creatures? Shouldn’t he have died with the rest of them?
  • How is Lish different than Amy? Why did Amy destroy all the other vials with the disease in them?



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