Pretty much everything from the return of the nun, to her blowing up babcock with a bomb left around for 50 years. all of the characters you invested 400 pages into just got "to be continued" in about 50 pages. I alos didnt realize it would be part of a series, so that anticipation of a real ending and subsequent dissapointment was also bad for me.
Last edited by Andols; October 22nd, 2010 at 08:03 AM.
I came out of The Passage with it having an open ending. As the spoiler above seems to wrap it all up in a nice little bow. The book was in no way worth the $5 mil he was paid. I also have no desire to read anything else from Cronin as I thought it was tripe.
It was definately not worth 5 million dollars, but it seems multiple publishers must have gotten into a bidding war over it and I really don't understand why. I'm not all that familiar with the vampire genre, but are there no other books out there that are similiar to this?
I mean if Dan Brown is worth millions, or the memoirs of the latest hot politician/celebrity...
As for the book itself, I am definitely interested in more but it's not that big asap, whenever I get my hand of a copy is fine - this one I intended to check on publication but i got an unasked arc and I opened it and got hooked
2) Film deal and one where the movie stood a good chance of being made. The deal hadn't been made when the book rights were sold, but they knew the agent was shopping it and that there was interest. Even if the movie comes out and doesn't do that well, it will shoot up sales onto the bestseller list.
3) Book auction. When you are competing with several publishers for the rights of what is getting a lot of buzz, that drives up the risk-taking on the advance.
4) They liked it and thought readers would like it too.
It's a gamble, and they've lost big on such gambles before. But it seems to have done okay on the lists, people liked it and reviewed it well and did word of mouth, and if they get the film, they'll make it back.
I have just finished the book, and thought it was great. Extremely well written, characters I genuinely cared for, and a very good mix of action and storytelling. I can see why this was once touted for a movie, some of the action set pieces just appeared in my mind like a movie.
5 out of 5 from me, definitely.
As for some of the problems that other readers have mentioned:
I had a little problem at first with the whole psychic child coincidence, but then just let it go. I mean, if I am buying into a world where vampires were living in South America I can see that psychics can exist. Yes, it is certainly a coincidence that she was the one chosen to be the child injected with the virus, but then I think that a lot of the book had a "higher power looking over us" type feel (the nun, the mysterious ghost that saved Theo) and I was able to live with this.
I really enjoyed the ending. I felt it left me wanting more, and I found the epilogue section very moving, particularly the final few words. However, I may be lucky in that the sequel is coming out soon, so I do not have to wait very long for the next installment. I also did not realise that this was not a stand alone book when I first started to read it, and had I had read it in 2010 to then find out that I had to wait a few years to find out what happens next I may have been a little more annoyed.
I found the split a third of the way through a little unusual, but again nothing I could not live with. I think I enjoyed the characters in the later two thirds of the book more anyway, and once I got over the initial "jar" of the change of scenery I think this was ok.
The Twelve comes out on the 16th. Can't wait to get started on it.
I must admit I enjoyed The Passage, but I did have to work for it. I get the feeling that it really is a Marmite book, you will love it or hate it.
I really got into the first part (the book is split into two very distinct halves, almost two separate books) and expected a disintegration of society much like Stephen King's 'Stand'. When I didn't get it, I did feel a bit cheated. The book suddenly fast forwarding so many years caught me out, and having to put aside the characters from the first half and start again with a new bunch was jarring. I also struggled to get my head around who was who in the second half, which led to my not being very attached to them.
I persisted and did enjoy it, in fact it is a book I think would benefit from another read-through (I think it would be better second time around), if only the second half.
I have the sequel pre-ordered, it will drop onto my Kindle in a couple of weeks when it is released over here.
The early years of the 22nd Century. North America is crawling with 'virals', creatures of superior strength and stamina who feed on human blood and flesh. Most are unintelligent, but they are controlled by 'the Twelve', the original death-row inmates who were experimented upon to create the virals. Standing against them is Amy, the Girl From Nowhere, and her allies, a military force based in Texas.
The death of one of the Twelve has also resulted in the destruction of the virals he created. This reveals the path to victory and survival: kill the Twelve and end the viral threat forever. But this is easier said than done. After five years of failed assassinations the military are ready to abandon the mission, and only one last attempt can be made.
With millions of copies sold, translations in forty languages published and the film rights bought for a very high amount, The Passage was one of the biggest success stories of 2010. The Twelve is the direct sequel and the middle volume of a proposed trilogy (the final volume, City of Mirrors, is due in 2014). However, Cronin has gone to some lengths to try to avoid 'middle volume syndrome' by giving the book a number of self-contained narratives and character arcs whilst also continuing the story of Peter, Alicia, Amy and the other survivors of the First Colony and their war against the Twelve.
The Twelve contains much of the same that made The Passage a good book: good characterisation, evocative descriptions and a rich atmosphere. It improves on it in several areas as well. It's a notably shorter (by some 200 pages), more concise and more focused book with every chapter building up to the conclusion. The Twelve does repeat The Passage's structure of having an opening section (in this case the first third of the novel) depicting the fall of civilisation before moving to the post-apocalyptic 'present day'. There are numerous self-contained stories in this section which are compelling reads, but initially appear a little disconnected from the post-apocalyptic storyline. However, Cronin eventually loops most of these storylines back to the main story and explains their relevance.
The biggest problem The Twelve faces, which is much more present than The Passage, is that of adhering to the traditional post-apocalyptic, 'big showdown' type of storyline whilst trying to surprise a reader familiar with the rules and tropes of such storylines. Now the rules of this particular type of vampire/zombie story have been set, Cronin shows a surprising inability to surprise or startle the reader any more. Things proceed pretty much as you might expect them to: some reversals, a few capture-and-escape sequences and then a big explosive finale (literally, with some huge explosions and shoot-outs) and something of a happy ending, until the inevitable final chapter which ends on a cliffhanger note leading into the final volume.
This predictability extends to the villains, with the rulers of the human/viral colony being rather rape-happy towards their prisoners. Whilst the issue isn't simply tossed in for the sake of it (as it would have been in, say, a Stephen King book) and is treated seriously, it's still a disappointing cliche to indulge in, especially as otherwise the treatment of the female characters is highly positive (three of the primary POVs - Alicia, Amy and Sara - are all female and are the most well-developed characters in the book).
The Twelve (****) is a very solid read, with Cronin's skills with character and prose being undiminished and even a tad improved from the first volume. However, the storyline is a lot more straightfoward, and the book shows a general decline towards predictability and cliche - though well-written - which is disappointing. The novel is available now in the UK and USA.
Vampire lineages as the back-door against overwhelming odds loophole? That's making me less interested. Actually, just the fact of having a back-door against overwhelming odds loophole makes me less interested. But the flashback parts sound interesting.
Just past the 50 percent mark and I must say I am enjoying this a lot more than the first instalment. This may be due to the premise having already been established - with the first book the story effectively stopped half way in and then restarted following 'the event', whereas this time the event is pre-existing so Cronin has more time to characterise and tell a coherent story. I was particularly pleased to see the inclusion of vignettes of experience at, during and after the event - some of the individuals I am sure will feature further as the story develops, but it was something I looked forward to in the first book and did not feature.
Anyhow, time to read on. More thoughts once I finish it.