16 August 2010

REVIEW: The Passage by J. Cronin

Title:  The Passage
Author:  J. Cronin
Genre / Pages:  Fiction, Science Fiction / 766
Publication: DoubleDay Canada, 2010
Rating:  4th shelf 
Source:  Chapters Indigo
lj's plot in one pot:  A mix of the vampire phenomenon, social commentary with a Jason Bourne-ish / conspiracy theory note; this story tells what happens when the American army, in trying to create a supersoldier, succeeds, only to find that they have become the enemy.
This was one long book.  And unfortunately, its length wasn't entirely necessary.  So we start with some FBI-types trying to get a bunch of death-row inmates to sign over their lives to test some funky Bolivian bat virus to see if it makes people immortal.  BIG SURPRISE - it works and the convicts (being bad people before) turn on the the mad scientists, using some sort of mind control.  And that's one piece of the book that I really didn't like.  There was a lot of voodoo / mind control / semi-spirituality flying about.  Check out my status update when I was on page 210 (a mere third of the way in):
"Starting to see a lot of mystical happenings - Doyle knowing right where Wolgast is, Lacey finding the Chalet, etc. Wasn't prepared for this side of things. I'm worried there is going to be some cheesy ending where the subjects/vampires reacquaint with their humanity...I hope not!"

Ha ha, I wasn't totally off, but I don't want to give away too much.  

Aside from the overly mystical nature of the book at times, I quite enjoyed it.  It was hard to let go of the main characters when the plot skips ahead a century (echos of Tragically Hip???)  Unfortunately, the new primary characters (except for Amy) are kind of generic and didn't really grab me.  The 'ending' left a lot to be desired...I think there was some unnecessary cruelty, but I'm a suck.

I'd recommend this book to some, but not all of my friends; hopefully this mini-review will help you make the right decision.

"Grief was a place, Sara understood, where a person went alone.  It was like a room without doors, and what happened in that room, all the anger and the pain you felt, was meant to stay there, nobody's business but yours" p.326

For info on the book / author, click here
For a funsie companion site to the book, click here (and then find the link for a first time visitor).

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