Saturday, August 11, 2012

Enjoying Reading The Passage by Justin Cronin.

The Passage by Justin Cronin has been a bloody good read so far. It’s apocalyptic horror/science fiction that takes vampires back to being monsters and not the insipid morally confused fashion plates they have become. The vampires in The Passage are genetically engineered mutants that have reverted to a primeval state whose only goal is survival. They are the result of an experiment by the US military to create super soldiers, but instead of defending the US they destroy it. 

These vampires are not demons either, so anyone brandishing a crucifix or holy water will quickly have their arm ripped off. A shot to the brain or heart will kill them, but it has to be the first shot as there is no time for a second. 

I am really enjoying this reinvention of the vampire. It was about time that the sophisticated womanising vampire was torn to pieces and splattered with gore.  

Flashbacks Within Flashbacks.

Justin Cronin’s writing style surprises too. I can’t remember reading a novel that has had flashbacks within flashbacks. In The Passage a character will have a flashback showing how he or she came to be in their current situation and during that flashback they will reminisce about events in their life that affected how they acted in that flashback. It’s a bit like Inception sometimes and I have to remind myself what flashback level the character is reliving.

Killer Plot Too.

Cronin also did something that really jolted me as a reader. Spoiler Alert After 350 pages or so he had killed off all but one of the characters and story lines. The novel then jumps 100 years into the future. As a reader I was turfed out of the novel and it was like starting to read a completely new novel. But a new bunch of characters and story lines quickly sucked me back into the apocalyptic world.  

Cronin reminds me a lot of Stephen King in style and tone. King is quoted on the cover as saying the book is “enthralling…read this book and the ordinary world disappears”. As a reader who is totally engrossed in the story, I am rapt to know that the book has two sequels so I still have much more of the war against the monstrous vampires to read.   

1 comment:

Karen Tyrrell said...

Thanks Graham for your book review... Sounds great ...I'll look out for it.
Karen :)