My wife purchased this book through a book club a few months back and I finally got around to reading it. The Passage also happens to be on the top 100 books to read by Amazon found here. She thought it would be right up my alley, but since I started The Stand and this was said to be similar to that book I thought I'd give it a little time before attempting it. But here I am, finished with a new book and still working on buttoning up the other huge novel. It was probably worth jumping ship though.
The Passage is part story and part fictitious history lesson. You follow a few groups of people throughout the novel that's locale varies from Colorado to California. In fact, some of the story happens right around where we're presently residing. It was nice to hear about Thousand Palms, Banning, and the wind farms. Back to it, the story is about a potential cure-all turned weapon by the American government. That weapon is released, accidentally, and ends up bringing the eventual end of the human civilization. It really is a cross of I Am Legend and The Stand. It's still it's own story even with the similarities. The 700-page book spans about 100 years and rarely feels like it. ;-)
It's a well written book. Cronin does a good job describing the scene and the emotions of the players. You don't need a huge imagination for his writing. I did have a little problem seeing the characters as little more than teenagers even though I believe they were mostly in their mid to late twenties. Maybe I just glossed that over. LOL, that just made me think that this is almost a vampire Red Dawn! Doesn't that make you want to leave the book alone... and that's not my intent. If anything the book is worth the read, but I wasn't happy with the ending. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but it was left a little more open ended than I would have preferred. Perhaps Cronin is looking at doing a sequel, but I would like to know how it all went on. *sigh*
Rating: 7 CB's - good book; couldn't put it down; want real ending.