I actually really enjoyed this, as sort of the beginning of a poor man's The Stand. Cronin doesn't have Stephen King's talent for character, but his story and setting is gripping, and I look forward to the other books in the trilogy.
Some good story-telling/characters, but the writing is nothing special, and the scope is too wide, leading to some disjointed themes, glossed-over elements
Cronin is clearly an exceptional writer - when he focuses on a particular plot line, it's fascinating to follow the journeys of each character. The only problem with The Passage is that he skips around a bit and the sequence or connection between events isn't always clear. That said, the series of disconnected vignettes in the first half of the book give way in the 2nd half to a great storyline. The book missed out on the 5th star for me only because of the meandering first half. Be aware that this is supposed to be the first book of a trilogy, otherwise the brilliant ending could be upsetting, as it was to me.
Born and raised in New England, Justin Cronin is a graduate of Harvard University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Awards for his fiction include the Stephen Crane Prize, a Whiting Writers’ Award, and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. He is a professor of English at Rice University and lives with his wife and children in Houston, Texas.<br><br><br><i>From the Hardcover edition.</i>