Monday, May 15, 2017
A new virus has been discovered in a South American jungle. The bad news: it kills most. The good news: those who survive are changed into super-beings. The further bad news: they become remorseless, bloodthirsty killers. In other words, they become vampires.
So the government, with dreams of deathless superhuman soldiers decides to take this virus and engineer the vampire-ness out of it and retain the superhuman-ness. To do so, they require human subjects: men on death row whom no one will miss.
But all they get are more vampires. Finally, they think they have refined the virus to what they want. They think the reason they keep getting vampires is that the test subjects are too old, too flawed, too evil. They decide they need an innocent child, a homeless child with no family, who, like the condemned men, will not be missed. That is how they acquire Amy, who they heartlessly inject with their vampire virus. But they are wrong that no one will miss Amy. Two people who have encountered her have an instant bond with the little girl: a nun and the FBI agent who brought Amy to the secret government facility in Colorado.
So Amy gets injected with the vampire virus and becomes ill and slowly begins her transformation into superhuman. Meanwhile the 12 convicts/vampires are exerting their superhuman powers on the people of the facility resulting in a disaster: The vampires get loose and bring down Armageddon on the world. Most people die but lots of people become vampires too. The surviving people live in hiding and in isolated locations as they fight to survive the vampire onslaught.
And then there is Amy. What can she bring to the struggle of humanity vs vampire? For in her case, the scientists were right. She has the strengths and vitality of the vampires but without their craziness and thirst for blood. She may be humanity's best hope, if she is up to the job.
This was a really long book: 891 pages. Parts of it were really interesting and parts just seemed like they could have been condensed quite a bit. I know I skipped through some of the later part of the story. This is a bloody story. People are slaughtered, torn to shreds. Animals are slaughtered, torn to shreds. Characters that you start to care about are killed. A pet dog is killed, pointlessly, I thought. Just to be cruel, it seemed to me.
This book is the first in a trilogy. It is an interesting story but just too bloody for me. Once the author killed off that poor dog, I knew I wouldn't be reading the next book in the trilogy. Plus it is just too damn long.
For another review, see http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2010/06/24/justin-cronins-the-passage-reviewed-by-lizzie-skurnick.