Passage, The

Rating: 
5

 

The most hotly anticipated novel of summer 2010 is a gory creepfest of blood drinkers guaranteed to change your vampire fantasies into nightmares.  To Cronin's creatures -- dubbed "dracs" and "virals" -- humans are bloody slabs of meat. They won't nibble your neck, they'll tear you to pieces -- unless you're "taken up" and become one of them.

Already being compared to Stephen King's The Stand and Cormac McCarthy's The Road for its portrait of a post-apocalyptic world, Passage spans a century in the aftermath of a military experiment gone awry. Subjects injected with a virus that gives them superhuman properties -- but also an unquenchable thirst for blood -- escape from a lab and infect more than 43 million Americans.

What's happening in other countries isn't known. Communications are cut off. Commerce, manufacturing and government are wiped out.

What does exist are a smattering of isolated outposts where self-sustaining humans live in barricaded fortresses and bright lights run by dying generators keep the virals away at night. This throwback to a pre-technological world makes for a credible and hypnotic narrative.

From one such outpost, a band of explorers sets out on a treacherous journey to discover the truth about a young girl named Amy who mysteriously arrives at their colony. She appears to share the dracs' ability to live forever but not their need for blood.

Always simmering in the background of this frightening thriller -- first in a trilogy -- is a heartfelt portrayal of the human capability to fight, endure and hope for a better world.

Cronin has given us what could be the best book of the summer. Don't wait to dive into The Passage.

Next two books in trilogy: The Twelve (2012) and The City of Mirrors (2014).

 

Review by Carol Memmott

 

Fanged Films

From the Library

As the 20th century evolved, rational man turned to science to explain mythology that had pervaded for thousands of years. How could a man be mistaken for a vampire? How could someone appear to have been the victim of a vampire attack? Science, in time, came back with answers that may surprise you.Anemia
A million fancies strike you when you hear the name: Nosferatu!N O S F E R A T Udoes not die!What do you expect of the first showing of this great work?Aren't you afraid? - Men must die. But legend has it that a vampire, Nosferatu, 'der Untote' (the Undead), lives on men's blood! You want to see a symphony of horror? You may expect more. Be careful. Nosferatu is not just fun, not something to be taken lightly. Once more: beware.- Publicity for Nosferatu in the German magazine Buhne und Film, 1922  

Drawn to Vamps?

Vol. 1 No. 58
Undead By Daylight!
Vol. 1 No. 1