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The Passage

The Passage
Original title The Passage
Release date 2008
Author Justin Cronin
Genre Post Apocalypse, Apocalypse
Pages 766
Buy the Epub, Kindle or PDF version on Smashwords -
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About the Book

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The Passage is a novel by Justin Cronin, published in 2010 by Ballantine Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York. The Passage debuted at #3 on the New York Times hardcover fiction best seller list, and remained on the list 7 additional weeks. It is the first novel of a planned trilogy; the second book The Twelve was released in 2012, with the third book The City of Mirrors due to be released in 2014.

Plot

The Passage begins in the near future and details an apocalyptic and, later, post-apocalyptic world that is overrun by vampire-like beings who are infected by a highly contagious virus. What begins as a project to develop a new immunity-boosting drug based on a virus carried by an unnamed species of bat in South America eventually becomes the virus that transforms the world. The novel is broken into 11 parts of varying lengths. The story itself is broken into two sections: The first and shorter section covers the origins of the virus and its outbreak, while the second is set 93 years after the infections, primarily following a colony of survivors living in California.

he U.S. government is conducting a top secret experiment referred to as “Project Noah,” which involves acquiring and transporting death row inmates to a secret military compound in Colorado for the purposes of modifying them into super-soldiers for the U.S. Army. These genetic experiments originate from patient zero Fanning – one of two surviving members of an expedition investigating a Bolivian bat-carried virus. The virus, while eventually causing hemorrhagic fever and death in initial subjects, is being refined to accentuate its other properties – boosting of the immune system, enhanced strength and agility.

The FBI agents responsible for recruiting the prisoners are ordered to collect 6 year old Amy Bellafonte from a convent, and, although conflicted, deliver her to Dr. Lear, the head of the project. At Noah she is exposed to a refined version of the serum administered to “The Twelve”—the original inmates. Lear theorizes that as Amy’s immune system has not had chance to mature it will form a symbiosis with the virus and live with her sympathetically, instead of the violent forms it has taken with the other twelve.
Of the inmates, the first and last recruited are depicted as being different from the others: Babcock, the original test subject, is stronger and appears to have developed psychic abilities, occasionally influencing his guards and cleaners; and Carter is in fact innocent, but was convicted of first-degree murder nonetheless.


Zero (AKA Fanning) and the other twelve inmates mentally take control of their guards and escape their quarantine cells, rapidly killing all who stand in their way. Amy is rescued by Brad Wolgast (the FBI agent who brought her to Noah) and Sister Lacey (a nun who was looking after Amy when she was recruited). Lacey is taken by Carter, as Wolgast and Amy escape to a mountain retreat where they live for several months, occasionally picking up news of the contagion spread throughout America. The rest of the world’s fate is not stated, but it is mentioned that most of Europe has imposed quarantine over travel.

Despite living reasonably comfortably in the mountain site, Wolgast eventually succumbs to radiation sickness when a nuclear device is detonated relatively nearby – he assumes that the government is attempting to sterilize infected areas of the country – and Amy is left to fend for herself.

The novel shifts forward in time approximately 93 years (with occasional reference retrospectively 1,000 years in the future), and the narrative is taken up around a self-sufficient and isolationist colony established by the military (specifically FEMA) not long after the initial outbreak. The colony is in slow decline, although only one character (a technician called Michael) seems to recognize this; he is trying to establish clandestine contact with the outside world to obtain spares for their failing equipment – specifically their batteries which power the high-wattage lights which protect the colony from the virals, who in traditional vampiric style are highly light-sensitive.

Film adaptation

Fox 2000 and Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Productions purchased the movie rights to this novel for $1.75 million USD in 2007, long before the book was completed. John Logan, writer of Scott’s Gladiator, will be writing this movie’s screenplay. According to Justin Cronin they are first focusing on one movie, but sinch he already mapped out the other two books, they know what is coming next and they are planning on three movies.. If it ever comes to three movies we will have to see, but you can guess Ridley Scott didn’t pay 1,75 million USD for nothing..

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Details

Original titleThe Passage
Release date2008
AuthorJustin Cronin
GenrePost Apocalypse, Apocalypse
Pages766
PublisherBallantine Books
ISBN978-0-345-50496-8
Buy the Epub, Kindle or PDF version on Smashwords-

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