Cronin created an absolute epic story in “The Passage.” The story was broken into two parts that described how the world turned upside down and how the survivors press on. For the first part of the story, we follow two Special Agents as they collect twelve men sentenced to death for horrendous crimes. They offer the men freedom in exchange for participation in a top secret government chemical experiment. But when the agents are instructed to pick up a six year old girl for testing, agent Wolgast decides he cannot comply with the orders and attempts to flee with the girl, Amy. Ultimately, caught and taken to the testing facility, Amy is infected with some sort of bacteria and nearly dies. When the twelve former inmates escape from the testing facility the entire world becomes the target of the infected men, and civilization as we know it is overrun by vampires. Wolgast saves her and protects her for several months, but cannot undo the destruction to the world.
The book then fasts forward one hundred years, to a time where most of the earth’s population has died and only a small community of people exist. Living under the constant threat that the vampires lurking in the darkness will attack them during the night, they have huge floodlights and guards to protect them at night. When Michael discovers that the lights will soon go out, the community is forced to search for a solution to the epic nightmare. When Amy wanders into their community, she revives in them the need to fight the vampires and return to a life of normalcy. A small group embarks on a harrowing journey to return Amy to the testing facility to learn the answers to the what caused the destruction and how to change it.
The book was intentionally vague, as the author purposely hides the cause of the epidemic from the reader. But even without an obvious plot, the chain of events is interesting and very intricately written. Cronin has an undeniable ability to create realistic characters who seemed to walk right off the page. It was the detailed descriptions of these people that really brought the book to life and made it seem real.
This book was recommended to me and I, in turn, would also highly recommend it! I’ve got to figure out a way to get my hands on the second installment and learn more about the 12 men controlling the vampires.