While it relies at times on convention, The Passage is astutely plotted and imaginative enough to satisfy the most bloodthirsty reader.... Cronin leaps back and forth in time, sprinkling his narrative with diaries, e-mail messages, maps, newspaper articles and legal documents. Sustaining such a long book is a tough endeavor, and every so often his prose slackens into inert phrases.... For the most part, though, he artfully unspools his plot's complexities, and seemingly superfluous details come to connect in remarkable ways.
Mike Peed - New York Times
A postapocalyptic vampire trilogy, which Stephen King has hailed as a captivating epic.... A potential commercial blockbuster by an award-winning literary novelist.
Wall Street Journal
By the third chapter, trash was piling up in our house because I was too scared to take out the garbage at night. It's a macabre pleasure to see what a really talented novelist can do with these old Transylvanian tropes.... Cronin has stripped away the lurid religious trappings of the vampire myth and gone with a contemporary biomedical framework. Imagine Michael Crichton crossbreeding Stephen King's The Stand and Salem's Lot in that lab at Jurassic Park, with rich infusions of Robert McCammon's Swan Song, "Battlestar Galactica" and even Cormac McCarthy's The Road.
Ron Charles - The Washington Post
A literary richness that rivals Stephen King's The Stand.
Addictive, terrifying, and deeply satisfying. Not only is this one of the year's best thrillers; it's one of the best of the past decade—maybe one of the best ever.
Magnificently unnerving.... A The Stand-meets-The Road journey. A-
Fans of vampire fiction who are bored by the endless hordes of sensitive, misunderstood Byronesque bloodsuckers will revel in Cronin’s engrossingly horrific account of a post-apocalyptic America overrun by the gruesome reality behind the wish-fulfillment fantasies. When a secret project to create a super-soldier backfires, a virus leads to a plague of vampiric revenants that wipes out most of the population. One of the few bands of survivors is the Colony, a FEMA-established island of safety bunkered behind massive banks of lights that repel the “virals,” or “dracs”—but a small group realizes that the aging technological defenses will soon fail. When members of the Colony find a young girl, Amy, living outside their enclave, they realize that Amy shares the virals’ agelessness, but not the virals’ mindless hunger, and they embark on a search to find answers to her condition. PEN/Hemingway Award-winner Cronin (The Summer Guest) uses a number of tropes that may be overly familiar to genre fans, but he manages to engage the reader with a sweeping epic style. The first of a proposed trilogy, it’s already under development by director Ripley Scott and the subject of much publicity buzz .
The first entry in a new trilogy, the book is set in a bleak, postapocalyptic America at a time when the world is overrun by vampire-like humans infected by a virus. Divided into two huge parts—pre- and postoutbreak—the tale is equally gripping and frightening and the characters are very well developed. —Scott R. DiMarco, Mansfield Univ. of Pennsylvania Lib.
[An] apocalyptic epic.... Expect a lot of interest in this title.
Literary author Cronin (Mary and O'Neil, 2001, etc.) turns in an apocalyptic thriller in the spirit of Stephen King or Michael Crichton. You know times are weird when swarms of Bolivian bats swoop from the skies and kill humans-or, as one eyewitness reports of an unfortunate GI, off fighting the good fight against the drug lords, "they actually lifted him off his feet before they bored through him like hot knives through butter.".... The young girl as heroine and role model is a nice touch. Otherwise a pretty ordinary production, with little that hasn't been seen before.
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