Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Passage

by Justin Cronin

Please Mr. Cronin, tell me there was a mistake at the publishers and they accidentally merged two entirely different books together, thus leaving The Passage Part One unfinished. Please tell me you didn't write The Passage Part Two, or if you did that it wasn't really the ending to the story with that mysterious little girl, Amy who everyone was trying to steal and save and figure out just what her special abilities could do and how to use them. Really there had to be a mistake!

The Passage Part One is an interesting and fast-paced drama set mainly in current midwest America. Six year old Amy is a child with unique abilities. She can speak to animals with her mind and make strange things happen, which is why the US government wants her. Her mother, in a desperate attempt to save her, drops her off with some nuns, where she finds a kindred spirit in Sister Lacey.  But even Lacey's special abilities can't protect Amy from the Feds. Once Amy is captured though, Detective Wolgast takes a liking to her and risks his life and career to help her escape. The characters in Part One are engaging and draw you quickly into their turmoil. But just when you're sucked in, POOF! they're gone.

The Passage Part Two is a slow-paced, apocalyptic, vampire-creature novel set a hundred years in the future west America. In this future most of humanity has been eaten by the Virals and the survivors have built protective communities to hide from them. The main focus is on a domed community in California whose leaders guard their children by locking them up in collective housing and patrol outside until they themselves are eaten by the Virals. This is their existence about a hundred years, but now their power source is running out, so a group of teens is going to venture out into the world for help. And here all kinds of unbelievable things happen. They connect up with a young girl who has been surviving on her own in the world. This girl speaks to them through her mind and seems to be able to communicate with the Virals. The brave teens take her along with them on their mission to somewhere in Colorado where there is supposedly help for all of them. Part Two is full of dull characters with rambling backstories that don't connect and drawn out occurrences that don't ring true to the circumstances. And even though you could care less about this story it goes on and on and on and never stops.

If you decide to read this 800-page nationally acclaimed novel, I'd recommend either stopping after about page 250 where begins an entirely different book written by an entirely different person or else skipping over those pages entirely. Maybe if you never knew about Part One you could enjoy Part Two and the sequels. Perhaps somewhere in books two or three Cronin returns to complete The Passage Part One, but I just don't have enough interest to invest another fifty hours to read the additional 1200 pages and find out.

No comments:

Post a Comment