Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Passage by Justin Cronin

The Passage (edition 2010)

by Justin Cronin

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,531448782 (3.91)1 / 430
Title:The Passage
Authors:Justin Cronin
Info:Ballantine Books (2010), Edition: First Edition, First Printing, Hardcover, 784 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned

Work details

The Passage by Justin Cronin

  1. 754
    The Stand: The Complete and Uncut Edition by Stephen King (Jacey25, drweb, smiteme)
  2. 243
    The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro (kraaivrouw, smiteme, questionablepotato)
    kraaivrouw: Similar intentions and a lot more fun.
  3. 191
    Swan Song by Robert McCammon (Scottneumann)
  4. 143
    World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks (divinenanny)
  5. 122
    The Road by Cormac McCarthy (Anonymous user)
  6. 122
    Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (divinenanny)
    divinenanny: Post apocalyptic dystopia
  7. 82
    Under the Dome by Stephen King (jlparent)
    jlparent: The Passage reminded me greatly of "Under the Dome", with its intense look at how people cope in a 'new' world. Obviously it's also is hugely reminiscent of "The Stand" as already recommended.
  8. 61
    The Green Mile by Stephen King (Thomas.Taylor)
  9. 40
    Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons (Scottneumann)
  10. 52
    The Walking Dead: Compendium One by Robert Kirkman (Jacey25)
  11. 20
    Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: Both books are inventive dystopian novels of a future after a pandemic collapses civilization.
  12. 20
    Pure by Julianna Baggott (Suhani)
  13. 64
    A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr. (readaholic12)
    readaholic12: post-apocalyptic multi-generational science fiction, cyclic history, human caused crisis
  14. 20
    Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry (Scottneumann)
  15. 20
    The Reapers Are the Angels by Alden Bell (BeckyJG)
  16. 10
    Earth Abides by George R. Stewart (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: This classic dystopian novel explores the world after an unspecified apocalypse. Like The Passage, Earth Abides involves both the scavenging of the remains of civilization rather than production and a journey to see how others have coped. No vampires, though.… (more)
  17. 10
    The Chrysalids by John Wyndham (kw50197)
  18. 21
    The Keeper by Sarah Langan (bnbookgirl)
  19. 54
    The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan (ahstrick)
  20. 10
    The Twelve by Justin Cronin (sturlington)
    sturlington: Well, you have to read the sequel!

(see all 30 recommendations)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (435)  Dutch (7)  German (3)  Swedish (3)  Danish (1)  French (1)  All languages (450)
Showing 1-5 of 435 (next | show all)
This book is epic in its conception, but marginally fails in terms of delivery. Yes, it is a vampire novel, but not like any that you have ever read before. The additional reading list at the end gives away some of the sources; The Road, The Stand, Lord Of The Rings; there are echoes of each of them but the writer maintains originality and weaves a complex web of ideas and characters into a very readable whole (all 900 pages of it). I will find and read the sequel before I forget the details of this one. ( )
  johnwbeha | Nov 18, 2015 |

[Cross-posted to Knite Writes]


In an alternate, dystopian 2014 marred by terrorist attacks and quickly falling into martial law, FBI Agent Brad Wolgast and his partner are tasked with collecting inmates on death row for a top secret military science experiment. Using a bat virus from Bolivia that turns people into hideous, vampire-like creatures, the military hopes to create super-soldiers — but first, they need to refine the virus through a series of tests, each performed on another inmate, who become known as “The Twelve.”

Wolgast’s last pickup, the thirteenth, turns out not to be an inmate, but a six-year-old girl named Amy, who Wolgast attempts to get to safety instead…but fails. He and his partner, along with Amy, are taken to the military facility in Colorado, where Amy is given the final revision of the virus. It almost kills her, and she falls into a coma, but Wolgast is able to coax her back from the brink.

Unfortunately, it turns out that the inmates, now transformed into horrible creatures of great power, use psychic influence to break out of the facility in an organized assault. With the help of his partner and a nun, Lacey, who was taking care of Amy before Wolgast took her, the agent manages to get the girl to safety. But The Twelve, and the original infection victim, Fanning, escape into the world, causing a vampire epidemic that overcomes the United States.

Wolgast hides Amy in the mountains for several months, but then somebody drops a nuclear bomb too close, and Wolgast suffers from radiation poison. Amy, who appears to have stopped aging and heals extraordinarily fast, is told to run toward California. Amy is forced to leave Wolgast behind as he’s dying, and she ventures off into the wilderness alone.

About a century after the outbreak, we meet Peter Jaxon, a young man living in a small, protected community in California. The old world has completely fallen into ruins, and as far as the community knows, there is no one left in the world beyond their little settlement. Most of human history and development is now lost to them, and they’ve built their own little culture and lived in relative peace for decades.

Unfortunately, viral activity appears to be escalating, and a series of terrifying events causes massive upheaval in Peter’s life. First, his brother, Theo, is snatched by virals on a return-trip from the outpost where the community manages their wind turbines. Then, out of nowhere, a wandering Amy, who now appears to be about fourteen years old, shows up during a viral attack and is shot by an arrow.

While she recovers, Peter is forced to watch his community disintegrate before his eyes. His friend Caleb is blamed for letting a viral into the community during the attack, and Alicia, a long-time love interest, is booted out of the Watch (their “militia”) for jumping over the fence to save Amy. Worst of all, people in the town start acting very odd, and before someone kicks Alicia or Caleb out of the community entirely, Peter decides to form a small group and leave in order to hunt down Amy’s origins.

Michael, a fairly skilled engineer, found a signal in an implant in Amy’s neck that tracks back to Colorado, and pointed out that the viral outbreak started there a century go. So Peter, Amy, Alicia, Caleb, Michael, Sarah (Michael’s sister), Mausami (who’s pregnant), and Arlo, whose brother was recently infected, set off an apparent suicide mission to reach Colorado and find out the truth.

Along the way, they encounter the Haven, a place where humans appears to live in peace, free form the virals. But the group quickly realizes that something is seriously amiss. It turns out that Haven has survived by paying tribute to Babcock, one of the Twelve, who will send his “Many” to kill them all if they try to defy him. At the next tribute ceremony, where the sacrifice turns out to be none other than Theo Jaxon, Peter’s brother thought lost, the group tries to kill Babcock but fails, and they flee via a train out of the Haven as the many descend to destroy it.

Unfortunately, Caleb is killed during their escape, and the group is forced to continue on with basically no supplies. They find a homestead intact and full of supplies and rest there a while, and Mausami, too pregnant to travel, and Theo, who’s the father of her baby, decide to stay behind there while the rest of the group keeps going. They trek into the Colorado mountains and near the source of the beacon, but they run into the Army by accident.

The Army of Texas, now it’s own country. Of course.

Alicia ends up joining the Army, as it turns out her adoptive father, who wandered into the community years ago, was a famous commander who went missing after his men were killed by the virals. Sarah and Michael and Arlo are lured by the promise of a large human population still surviving down in Texas, but Peter still wants to take Amy to the Colorado facility to find out the truth about the outbreak.

He ends up going alone with Amy while his friends travel south with the Army, and after a few more days, he and Amy arrive at the facility where the story began. Waiting there for them is one Lacey, who was saved by Lear, the project’s head scientist, the day the outbreak began. Lear gave Lacey the final serum derived from Amy’s blood, which has kept her youthful and healthy all these years — Lacey has been tasked to keep watch over the facility, hoping for Amy’s return.

Lacey shares the history of the outbreak with Peter and Amy, and also gives them the rest of the serum vials, so they have a weapon to fight the virals with. Unfortunately, it turns out that Babcock, angry at what happened at the Haven, followed Amy with his Army of Many to Colorado.

Alicia and Peter’s other friends turn back toward the mountains when they realize the Many are coming after Peter and Amy, and at the facility where it all started, they have a final showdown with Babcock. Lacey sacrifices herself and blows Babcock up with a small nuclear bomb, after which Amy is then able to use her own psychic link to the virals to convince Babcock’s Many to let themselves die, eliminating a massive number of them in a very short time.

It turns out that the virals operate like a bee hive, with each of the Twelve like a queen, the master of a different strain of the disease. If the humans can kill the remaining eleven of the Twelve, they can effectively end the plague of virals altogether.

Armed with that knowledge and the serum, the group heads back to the homestead where they left Theo and Mausami, to find the couple living in relative peace with their newborn son, Caleb. The group then splits up again, half of them heading toward Roswell to meet up with the Texas Army, the other half heading back to the community in California to tell them about the surviving human populations.

Along the way, Amy decides to destroy the serum, seeing what it did to Alicia, to whom it was administered after a viral bit her — that is, it basically made her superhuman. Amy doesn’t want anyone else to be changed in this way.

The group arrives at the community, only to find it empty, the people apparently abducted by the virals. Meanwhile, the other half of the group arrives in Roswell, and Sarah, who’s been writing in a writing in a journal throughout much of the book, describes the place.

The journal ends with Sarah going to investigate some gunshots, and the book ends with a note that the date the journal ended was the date of the “Roswell Massacre.”

The end.

Cue Sequel.


My Take

So, this 900 page monster took me about three weeks to read, and for the first time in a long time, I didn’t actually mind the length. This book was epic on so many dimensions there’s no way I can describe them in a single review, so I’m just going to summarize some key points as best I can.

The world-building — By far the strongest element of the book. 900 pages doesn’t seem that long when every page describes a rich, vibrant world. Beginning with a spot-on depiction of an alternate 2014 where things have slipped slightly farther toward a true dystopia and moving into a post-apocalyptic community with an expertly constructed culture based on the remnants of the world that came before, Cronin nails the world-building in this book.

The characters — Going hand in hand with the world-building, the characters in this book were excellent. From the minor characters to the main protagonists, every personality was well thought out, every backstory was interesting; there wasn’t a single character I thought could have been cut or reworked in any way.

The plot — Yet another strong aspect of the story. The plot isn’t totally original in terms of its premise or execution, but Cronin pulls it off far better than most. There are no noticeable holes, no leaps of logic, and nothing appears to be missing. It’s a well-written, deep, and introspective story that offers a fairly fresh take on the vampire apocalypse genre.

The only sore point in this book for me was a event that took place near the end that irritated me quite a bit. The book spent a great deal of time leading into a certain conclusion, and then that conclusion, which I expected to open up A LOT of new doors, ended up being literally thrown away a few pages later. I was let down by that, because I really wanted to see what it would lead to.

Other than that, though, this book made for a pretty epic read, and at some point in the future, I will read the sequel.


Is It Worth Reading?

If you have the time for this monster of a book, and it’s your genre, then you should definitely read it.



3.5/5 ( )
  ClaraCoulson | Nov 16, 2015 |
Abbandonato a pag.300
  Angela.Me | Nov 9, 2015 |
The Passage is very much the book of the moment, promising to be as successful as The DaVinci Code or Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy. It’s a big, thick blockbuster that harks back directly to Stephen King’s The Stand, and it’s every bit as fun and scary, while also being exceptionally well-written. Vampires stalk the earth! But these aren’t your teenage sparkly Twilight vampires, these are savage, hungry beasties who... but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Amy Bellafonte, in a wrenching opening section, is abandoned by her mother in the care of some nuns. Unfortunately, Amy has come to the attention of some government scientists experimenting on condemned prisoners, and a pair of FBI agents are sent to retrieve her. Despite himself, one of the agents bonds with her and decides scientific and experiments and Amy are two things he doesn’t want to go together, so he takes matters into his own hand. Unfortunately for him, the organisation he works for has a long reach.

The Passage has it all! Drama! Pathos! Science gone mad! Underground lairs! A doomed world! Flawed heroes battling against hopeless odds! It’d all be hopelessly derivative and a bit boring if it weren’t for the fact that Cronin writes like an angel and knows his pulp fiction inside out. so despite the 700 plus page count, he keeps you hanging on every word, right to the bitter-sweet end.

This is epic, world-shaking adventure, and the first in a trilogy that promises to set the trend for blockbusting literary entertainment in the future. No doubt there will be a film version along shortly, but trust me, it won’t be as good as the book. Try it for yourself and see. You won’t be able to put it down. ( )
  Nigel_Quinlan | Oct 21, 2015 |
Second time round and it was still mind-blowingly amazing.

Now onto The Twelve. ( )
  ebethiepaige | Oct 20, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 435 (next | show all)
I turned The Passage's pages feverishly to find out what happened next.
added by simon_carr | editThe Observer, Alice Fisher (Jul 18, 2010)
Cronin leaps back and forth in time, sprinkling his narrative with diaries, ­e-mail messages, maps, newspaper articles and legal documents. Sustaining such a long book is a tough endeavor, and every so often his prose slackens into inert phrases (“his mind would be tumbling like a dryer”). For the most part, though, he artfully unspools his plot’s complexities, and seemingly superfluous details come to connect in remarkable ways.

added by mks27 | editThe New York Times, Mike Peed (Jun 25, 2010)
When all's said and done, The Passage is a wonderful idea for a book that – like too many American TV series – knows how good it is and therefore outstays its welcome. There are enough human themes (hope, love, survival, friendship, the power of dreams) to raise it well above the average horror, but its internal battle between the literary and the schlock will, I
T MAY already have the Stephen King stamp of approval and the Ridley Scott movie-script treatment but American author Justin Cronin's 800-page blockbuster The Passage comes from humble beginnings.

"Every book starts somewhere and this came from a dare of a nine-year-old child," he says of his daughter Iris, who wanted a story where a young girl saves the world.

» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Justin Croninprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schroderus, ArtoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
When I have seen by Time's fell hand defac'd
the rich proud cost of outworn buried age;
When sometimes lofty towers I see down-raz'd,
And brass eternal slave to mortal rage;
When I have seen the hungry ocean gain
Advantage on the kingdom of the shore,
And the firm soil win of the watery main,
Increasing store with loss, and loss with store;
When I have seen such interchange of state,
Or state itself confounded to decay;
Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate
That Time will come and take my love away.

-William Shakespeare, Sonnet 64
For my children, No bad dreams.
First words
Before she became the Girl from Nowhere- the One Who Walked In, the First and Last and Only, who lived a thousand years- she was just a little girl in Iowa, named Amy.
He stepped into the stars.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
It's called Project NOAH: a secret government experiment designed to weaponize the human body. But this experiment goes horribly awry when twelve test subjects escape, spreading a virus that turns human beings into something else-something hungrier, deadlier, and seemingly undestructible. The thirteenth test subject, a six-year-old girl named Amy, is rescued by an FBI agent. Together they flee to the mountains of Oregon, cut off from civilization as the disastrous repercussions of Project NOAH are unleashed upon the world. The Passage creates an all-too-believable world dominated by fear and the need to survive, and introduces the strange and silent girl who may hold in her hands the fate of the human race.
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

A security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment that only six-year-old orphan Amy Harper Bellafonte can stop.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
21 avail.
873 wanted
6 pay21 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.91)
0.5 3
1 47
1.5 9
2 91
2.5 34
3 307
3.5 121
4 708
4.5 154
5 516


4 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Cemetery Dance

An edition of this book was published by Cemetery Dance.

» Publisher information page

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alumn

The Passage by Justin Cronin was made available through LibraryThing Early Reviewers. Sign up to possibly get pre-publication copies of books.

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 100,874,975 books! | Top bar: Always visible