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  1. #31
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    I'll be elaborating in my review , but here are some reasons:

    The books shouldn't work as well as it does. Croning changes stiles and narrative approaches throughout, but what he maintains is that most important or elements - I didn't want to close the book during my lunch breaks, or at night.

    The characters plight was believable, the sense of tension and terror were maintained equally throughout the majority of the novel. He made you want to root for the protagonists. Cronin also managed to hold some of his cards to his vest, he didn't reveal everything and in a less skilled writer, this would have been annoying rather than given me the drive to keep reading.

  2. #32
    Registered User beniowa's Avatar
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    I went to a reading/signing of The Passage at my local independent last night. Cronin is a graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop and always makes a point to do a reading at Prairie Lights for all of his books. He was pretty nice, personable guy and decent reader too.

    The book itself though sounded a bit overly descriptive. Plus, I couldn't help but feel he was making it grimmer than it needed to be. I'm going to wait for the paperback on this one.

  3. #33
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    Just finished this book about a half hour ago. Book of the year for me so far. I loved it. I'm a huge fan of The Stand and i thought this was just as good. More original ideas about an end of the world scenario and you come to know the characters a lot more.

    Spoiler:
    The whole idea of The Colony was great. I loved the imagery of the buses and trains taking the children to safety after the first outbreaks. The idea of the wall, the Watch and the lights was really cool. I also loved how the virals felt compelled to come home so their loved ones stood the mercy for seven nights. Very cool imagery and cool new ideas in this book. I also loved the idea of the twelve and how the virals they made were mentally attached to them. The reveal about Alicia and what she becomes is also really cool.


    I'm really looking forward to the next book in this series. Highly recommended!
    Last edited by Arith; June 19th, 2010 at 04:58 PM.

  4. #34
    Analyze That
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    I wasn't around here back when Rothfuss' book came out, but in the 3 years I've either been lurking or been a member, this is by far the best reviewed book for a debut I've seen. This thread consists of two parts, the spectacular reviews of the book from everyone who's read it, and a lot of people thinking they are going to wait to read it.

    I for one, am not going to wait long. I do a lot of long road trips and I've long needed an audiobook to get me through them, and I think this is going to be the one. I also had my doubts when I first heard of it, it seemed a bit too much I-Am-Legendy (yes I just used that as an adjective) for my tastes, and I've never been big on post-apocalyptic stuff, but a good book is a good book.

    Before I jump 100% on the bandwagon before I've even read it, I would like to hear both sides. Any detractors?

  5. #35
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    It does slow down in the middle quite a bit: a few of the reviewers (including me, I think!) have said that, and for some it will be too slow. The second half does read like a different book.

    For those waiting for the paperback: last time I looked (in the UK here at least) Waterstones and Amazon were offering it for half price at 10.

    Don't think the paperback will be that different in price.

    Mark
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  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by molybdenum View Post
    it seemed a bit too much I-Am-Legendy (yes I just used that as an adjective) for my tastes,
    The only way this book compares to I Am Legend is how the virus turns people in vampire like creatures, the comparisons end there. This should be compared more to The Stand and The Road. Very good book. I highly recommend it. I agree with you, its funny how this thread is full of great reviews and then posts from people saying they'll wait to read it. The reviews of this book are dead on, its a great read.

    I don't really agree that the middle was "slow", there was not a ton of action but it contained some great world building and it fleshed out the characters. I'm glad he set up what happened with the virus and i loved the time spent at the Colony, it really helped you to realize how dead the world was.
    Spoiler:
    The way the brought up the kids in the sanctuary there was very unique, Ithought it showed the lengths people would go to to survive, Babcock's dreams were also cool.
    Last edited by Arith; June 19th, 2010 at 06:12 PM.

  7. #37
    Registered User MattNY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beniowa View Post
    I went to a reading/signing of The Passage at my local independent last night. Cronin is a graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop and always makes a point to do a reading at Prairie Lights for all of his books. He was pretty nice, personable guy and decent reader too.

    The book itself though sounded a bit overly descriptive. Plus, I couldn't help but feel he was making it grimmer than it needed to be. I'm going to wait for the paperback on this one.
    Damn, I am only about 2 hours away from Iowa City. I probably would have made the drive for that.

  8. #38
    Cranky old broad AuntiePam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by molybdenum View Post
    I for one, am not going to wait long. I do a lot of long road trips and I've long needed an audiobook to get me through them, and I think this is going to be the one.
    I've seen just one comment about the audio version of this book, and it was quite negative. The narrator's voice was described as droning and monotonous. Maybe there's a way to sample the audio before buying it?

  9. #39
    Nobody in Particular kcf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by molybdenum View Post
    I wasn't around here back when Rothfuss' book came out, but in the 3 years I've either been lurking or been a member, this is by far the best reviewed book for a debut I've seen. This thread consists of two parts, the spectacular reviews of the book from everyone who's read it, and a lot of people thinking they are going to wait to read it.
    One thing - The Passage is not a debut book. Cronin has written 2 or 3 (maybe more) books previously. I'm pretty sure they fall pretty squarely into the literary fiction category, but I haven't read any of them.

  10. #40
    Registered User beniowa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arith View Post
    its funny how this thread is full of great reviews and then posts from people saying they'll wait to read it.
    I can't speak for everyone else, but for me personally it depends on how I feel about a book. While I rely a great deal on reviews, word of mouth, and the opinions of trusted friends, ultimately it all comes down to my gut. I've found my gut instinct is a very reliable way for me to know if I will like a book or not.

  11. #41
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    I agree with you, its funny how this thread is full of great reviews and then posts from people saying they'll wait to read it.
    Well, my criteria is usually a little different from others, so I'm not a good gauge. I read all kinds of fiction so the fact that Cronin is an award winning novelist is neither turn off nor attraction. I don't care if people say the writing is good in reviews unless they can give me a detailed analysis of why they think it's good, and that very seldom occurs (but I can of course take a peek look to see for myself.) Like I said, it's hard when a book is first out to get detailed plot information -- which is why SFFWorld is often very useful -- but what I have learned so far is not making a big push for reading the book over other things I want to read.

    That it has the teenage chosen one girl center -- neither incentive nor disadvantage.
    That it has vampires -- neither incentive nor disadvantage.
    That it may have sections from the virals' pov -- incentive.
    That it uses western elements and has a train chase to Las Vegas -- not exactly a disadvantage, but not a big incentive either.
    That it has a Terminator plot teamed with The Stand -- neither incentive nor disadvantage

    And so on. Basically, when a person dislikes a book, they are quite gabby about it, but when they like a book, they tend to not be very detailed about why and you are left with basic information about the story itself. The information so far is fine, but has nothing to make me perk up my ears with great interest. (What perks up my ears is not the same as will attract many other readers, of course, as we are all subjectively different.)

    So I'll wait. I'll learn more about the plot, maybe sample the writing, read some other things first. I'm just getting around to reading Acacia, for much the same reasons. It's not like the book is going anywhere.
    Last edited by KatG; June 21st, 2010 at 08:27 PM.

  12. #42
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    Hi Kat. I guess i am always careful about posting story elements because i don't want to ruin the book for others. As for your points.
    Spoiler:
    The girl really isn't a "chosen one" like you'd think and definitely does not act cliche at all. Shes a very defined character and why she is where shes at and why she is what she is is fully explained and makes sense. She just happens to be the culmination of the experiment with the virus and is actually a secondary character in the book. The vampires are harder to describe. The run in pods of threes, usually either three or six to a pod but sometimes more if one of the original virals are around, you do see some of the book from the main virals perspective and it is really effective. The only way this has western elements is because they have horses and its set out west but it doesn't not have a "cowboy feel" is that is what you were worried about. The train part is also a small part of the book but it is a pretty cool scene. I think the cooler scene is when they are sending the children away from the cities on trains in the beginning. The car hitches are rigged with explosives so that is a car is invaded by virals they can blow the hitch and detatch the car. Problem is, all the cars behind it detach too. Really cool imagery. Its kind of like the movie "The Vikings" when the horns are blowing and they are sending the women and children away. He paints a great picture.

  13. #43
    Analyze That
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    I guess I'm just wired differently Kat. If I see a good review from a reviewer who has similar tastes to me, (like a Werthead for example), and then see 4 to 5 other good reviews without really seeing any bad ones, I'm going to jump on that book, even if it's about two little puppies trying to find their way back to Candyland. I may make an exception if I think the book is going to be too dark, or contains things I really don't want to read about (The Steel Remains is a good example of this), but for the most part, a good book is a good book.

    So tastes differ? Of course. I'm going to have a different Top 10 books then most people. But for the most part I rely on the fact that people who like SFF will enjoy pretty well the same basic things in their books. So if 15 people tell me it's a great book to only 1 or 2 that says it isn't, I'm going to trust it.

    On the other hand, when I'm reviewing a book I try my best to say what was good and bad about it. Mostly because I have this pressing need to tell people what was good and bad about a book, but it can be useful to people reading those reviews.

  14. #44
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    Just finished it a little while ago. I read the last 300 pages in one single afternoon session. The Passage is the best book of its kind I've read since The Stand awed me so many years ago.

    As a post-apocalypse aficionado, my favourite portion of the book was the first third, with a very effective depiction of the phased breakdown of civilisation and the survivors' way of life afterwards. I think a lot of post-apoc fans know and love this civilisation is collapsing... collapsing... collapsing.. is collapsed! stage best of all, and I'm no exception. The book had me there.

    And it is not a vampire book. I'm now cringing every time I see the lazy blurb 'the vampire novel of the year!' etc.

    I'm looking forward to Vol 2 (in 1 year? 2 years?), particularly given the way it ends. The book's main threads are tied up in a way I found satisfying (if a little rushed), and there's a good hand-off to the next instalment right at the end. I can't wait, but at the same time I know I can wait. I'm a Song of Ice and Fire fan. I know how to wait...
    Last edited by John Quixote; July 12th, 2010 at 04:08 PM.

  15. #45
    The ending made me want to kill people. That was the most build up ever for such little pay off.

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