Over the past week I have been absorbed by the absolutely amazing trilogy by Justin Cronin – The Passage trilogy. This trilogy offers a view into an alternative apocalyptic future where the human race has been wiped out by a man made virus that has turned millions of people in vampire like monsters. The novels are extremely well written and highly detailed that make this world entirely believable. Over the course of all three books we follow a set a characters from adolescence to middle age in this world through their trials and tribulations. The breadth and scope of this trilogy is simply astounding. Every aspect is highly detailed and developed and delivers a fascinating and intricate world that you are drawn into from the first page.
Justin Cronin weaves a spell over you as you turn each page and are drawn deeper into his world. The level of detail, the imagination of every aspect of the world before and after is what makes this saga extraordinary. Truly a literary genius.
**Beware – spoilers ahead!**
Book One: The Passage
In the first installment in this trilogy we are introduced to the world Justin Cronin has created. We are told the source of the virus that plagues the earth, introduced to the main characters and learn how the catastrophe that destroyed the known world happened. The virus is discovered deep in the South American jungle and during the trip one the party members is infected and survives. However, the virus changes him into a vampire like monster who comes to be called patient Zero. The United State Military decides that it would be a good idea to use the virus to create super soldiers that can be dropped into enemy territory, decimate the populate and be extracted. In its unerring wisdom it decides to use death row inmates to complete the experiments. Twelve inmates are selected and each infected with a slightly different strain. The final variation of the virus is injected into a different subject, Amy a 6 year old girl from nowhere.
But the military underestimate the power and cunning of their subjects and ultimately they escape from the secret lab they are located in. The result is the total and utter destruction of the known world. America is completely decimated. Those who are killed are changed into vampyric monsters that ravage the earth.
Fast forward for approximately 100 years after the end of world and we meet a group of survivors living in a compound known as First Colony. Here we meet the rest of character we will follow throughout the novels. A group of young adults who realise that life in the colony cannot last forever. The lights that are switched on every night to keep the “virals” back are running out. They need new batteries in the power plant. But the outside world is hostile and they don’t know what lies out there. Then a stranger comes to their gates. A young girl called Amy whose mysterious past causes conflict within First Colony and what follows is an epic journey across the country to discover the truth of the origins of the virals and of Amy. And to discover what state the world has been left in.
Book Two: The Twelve
The second in the trilogy picks up a few years after the last book. Members of the original party have been lost and the group has related to Kerrville, Texas where they have discovered the last remnants of the United States living in a closed compound. They have also discovered the truth of the twelve inmates who were experimented on and of Amy, whose strain of virus is different and unique.
This book focuses on the mission to destroy the Twelve and in turn destroy their viral armies. A settlement known as the Homeland is discovered, a desolate dictatorship run by a survivor of the virus kept alive by drinking the blood of an infected. It is a battle to reclaim their land and their lives.
We also learn more of the final days of humanity, the spread of the virus and those who were left behind. We are given an insight in to the heritage of some of the main characters and further information on the formation of the Homeland.
Book Three: City of Mirrors
The final chapter in the epic saga is set many years after the previous book. No virals have been seen since the Twelve were defeated and the fortress of Kerrville has relaxed it’s protective laws. Life is returning to the land. But Zero still lives and he is plotting his revenge on the world and on god. We are given a view into his life before he became infected and what he plans for the world now. Humanity is once again on the brink of extinction and it is up to Amy and her friends to stop him.
Within the city of New York he waits. It is there the final battle for the world will take place. It is there humanity’s fate will be decided.
Let me know what you think below!
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