I couldn't stop listening to this book. I don't understand anyone who didn't find this book engrossing, thrilling, suspenseful, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking. Now I have to wait two more years for the sequel. Yes, there were some rough spots, but I think this book was all of five stars and if there were six, I'd give it another. Read it, you won't regret it.
Enthralling from beginning to end. Although I confess I'm a few hours away from the end right now. One of the most captivating books I've read in quite a while.
This is one of the best books I've read in years. I hate to say it, but if you liked "The Stand" from Stephen King, you'll love this one. Very good character developement, lots of mystery, some horror, some sci-fi, drama, you name it. Very long story - very good!
Love a great book that stays with you long after you've finished it.
Do not be put off reviews stating the book changed in the middle. This book is over 40 hours in length, many authors would have us wait months or years for the continuing novel or novels and another $30-$40 dollars to conclude. Yes, most of the characters changed, but the direction of the novel did not, the story had to continue to move forward. Had the novel stayed in the time period where it was, it would have had to end. The conclusion of this novel was very well done, won't say anymore. On the narration, it seems as though Mr. Brick is trying too hard often over exagerating the words, even at times sounding as if he is singing some of the words. Read naturally Mr. Brick. To authors, because someone is popular does not mean they are a good choice for the narration of your fantastic novel.
"The Passage" begins at some unspecified point in the near future -- around 2020, judging from hints in the story -- then proceeds to another unspecified point further into the future -- maybe around one hundred years later. It proposes an intriguing scenario: What would happen if the Army, attempting to bio-engineer a super-soldier, accidentally released an unperfected virus into the human population? This virus turns the people it infects into monsters -- well, it turns them into vampires, to put it tritely. The concept has potential; and, occasionally, "The Passage" fulfills this potential. But, in general, the story drags and strains credibility. The reader, Scott Brick, despite his respected reputation, and despite his adequate acting chops, has an irritating voice; so his reading in no way compensates for the novel's shortcomings, as sometimes happens with mediocre audiobooks read by excellent actors. If you are looking for a fun thriller, I would recommend against "The Passage," as it does not deliver good escape fiction.
What the world does not need is yet another vampire story, and while these vampires have a unique origin, they are less interesting than most. This is a long and dreary story with one-dimensional characters and few surprises. I was glad when it was over, and particularly relieved that I had only wasted one credit on it. No way is this story worth two credits. I gave it three stars for Scott Brick's superb conversion of this into something almost worth listening to.
So, while I was waiting on my shiny new credit to show up, I found this awesome free podcast called "This Is Audible." I know what you're thinking. "What an Audible noob. I've been listening to TIA since 2007." Well, fine. So I'm a little bit behind the times. Instead of freaking out and having Audible withdrawal for two weeks while waiting on my next credit, I decided to listen to the last, oh, seven and a half years. Yes, yes, yes. I clearly have a problem. But there's no support groups for recorded book addiction. I checked. Anywho, that's where I heard about Justin Cronin's series about vampire-ish like people. Let me give you a list of all the reasons I really, really wanted to listen to this book.
1. An author who wrote a book about vampires, without using the word vampire. (OK. He uses that word 2 or 3 times, but only to tell the reader he's not going to use it.)
2. I'm a sucker for a good end-of-the-world book.
3. A 37 hour book?!?!?! That'll keep me busy for a few days.
4. From some of the reviews I read about this book, it sounded like it veered far, far away from the brain-sucking blah blah blah of Stephanie Meyer and the like.
5. Scott Brick.
When my Happy Credit day rolled around, I did my WOOHOO dance and immediately logged onto Audible to purchase this book. I was very entertained until he switched from Amy and the non-vampires, and started telling us all about the people living in the future California. For some reason my eyes started to glaze over and I had a hard time caring whether he was talking about Peter, Michael or....wait...sorry. I zoned out there for a second. Who were we talking about again?
While I liked that he put some thought into how our language would change in his fictionalized future (everyone calling bluejeans Gaps, for instance), I started to get really annoyed at the euphemistic word, flyers. We don't have just one word we all shout out when surprised/startled/scared/happy/angry, so why would they? I even started to get a little irritated at Scott Brick. I pictured him pausing before reading, "Flyers!" for the 86th time, looking up, taking a deep breath and exclaiming, "Flyers! I'm done with this $#&+@% no-plot-deadpan-dialog-havin book." Flyers! That would have been awesome!
These 2 negative things would be enough to make me dislike this book, but there's more.
I'm not a Stephen King fan. Since the age of 12, when I had an unfortunate encounter with the movie 'It,' I have avoided all things Stephen King. Until, that is, a couple of years ago when I was pressured into watching 'The Stand.' (Watch out! I'm about to spoil the end of 'The Stand. If you've never seen it, please avert your eyes.) I found the God/Satan struggle in that series to be a little hokey. But then, at the end, when the actual hand of God descends from the sky, it went from cheesy allegory to repulsive stupidity.
Through most of this book, I kept thinking of 'The Stand' and how angry I was after watching it. Many of the themes are similar between this book and that miniseries. I kept expecting some crazy religious aspect to reach down and save humanity. I've read that it goes that direction in the other two books in this series, so I will definitely not be listening any further.
I think I'm more disappointed in the squandered potential of this book than I am in it's actual flaws. It could have been the best vampire book of all time. But instead, it's a revised take on a book that's already been written and made into an HBO miniseries.
I found the first twenty five to thirty percent of this book extremely compelling. It slowly brings together a series of characters and events, beginning with vignettes, that expand as time goes on, offering more background, yet more mystery, intrigue and conspiracy. Very interesting stuff.
Then, like being mugged in a meadow, the major action jerks to a halt and the story skips ahead 100 years into the future. Here we're presented with an entirely new set of protagonists who are not nearly as interesting as the ones we've left behind. Further, all the mystery, intrigue and conspiracy essentially gets left behind as well. I hate to use the term "derivative", because when others apply it in a review I often think "pretentious wanker", but I can't help but say that the story's conflict from this point on is derivative of every dystopian post zombie cataclysm tale you've ever heard of.
That said, I think the reviews are highly overrated.
I am married ( 26 years and counting!), I have two children a boy 16 and a girl 21. I love reading, gardening, knitting, art! People who say they would be bored when they retire just don't know themselves very well! I, on the other hand can't wait to have the time to do more of the things I truly love! Maybe write a book, a dream I have always had of doing!
Starts out good, so you will keep listening! This book is so disjointed and long! If you want to spend 22 hours hoping it will make sense and get better it won't ! The only reason I gave it 4 stars was because I could not unclick 2 of them it was an accident, just like the purchase of this book!
The book has been compared to The Stand. It's not in the same league. It is about a viral apocalypse that kills most people and leaves a few survivors holding out against rabid vampires. This scenario is set up plausibly but it is shockingly boring boring boring.
The first part is slightly compelling as the background is set up, although the author is too long-winded with descriptions and inner monologues that never pay off. He's simply not good at creating differentiated characters.
Then there's the second big setting where a large community hides in a fortress against "the virals." It's hour after hour of nothing but not very intriguing descriptions of political alliances and love triangles among the residents.
There are a few skirmishes with the virals but they're not tension-filled. And the computer hacking 90 years after the end of civilization is preposterous.
The last thing I would say is that I might've given the book two stars because I could see how maybe fantasy fans might like some of it, but the book costs two credits! There are longer (and better!) books available for a single credit, such as The Pillars of the Earth. I can't imagine anyone finding this book worth two credits, all of the positive reviews notwithstanding...
P.S. The narrator is fine, perhaps a bit slow or maybe that was my desire for action to happen.