This is why we love book bloggers....
If it weren't for book bloggers writing incredibly positive, glowing (no pun intended for those of you who have read the novel) reviews about Justin Cronin's newly released novel, The Passage, A Reader's Respite might have missed out on this dystopic masterpiece.
If you haven't heard of this novel, oh, what a ride you're missing. Rarely does a book reach out and seize your attention in the first paragraph and manage to keep the reader riveted to the page for 784 pages.
On the surface, this book wasn't a good match for us: Vampires? Ugh, unless it involves Sookie Stackhouse, not for us. Apocalyptic dystopia? McCormick's The Road soured us on that topic. Government conspiracy? Yeah, as if there hasn't been enough that written. But somehow, someway it works here. It really, really works here.
The plot runs roughly like so: in the not-so-very-distant future, scientists exploring the uninhabited wilds of South America inadvertently stumble upon an unknown virus. A few twists and turns lead them to believe that this virus might have the ability to cure all known diseases. Needless to say, the U.S. government becomes interested. Very interested. Interested enough to secretly begin testing this virus on humans right here in our own country.
Nothing is ever that easy, though, is it? Something goes horribly awry and the human lab rats the government had been using escape captivity, spreading their virus around the world. This wouldn't be so bad except for the fact that after exposure to the virus, they aren't quite human anymore. And they aren't all that friendly, either.
Fast forward a hundred years or so and you get to the apocalyptic dystopia part of the story. The few humans left in the world are living day-to-day, fixated on survival.
So there you have the basic plot structure. But what we haven't told you yet is that it isn't the plot that makes this book so riveting. It's the characters. This isn't a shoot 'em up, horror novel. Characters are really neither good nor bad. Instead, it is the decisions each character makes that leads to good and bad consequences. They are guided by their own internal moral compass and this is what drives the plot.
What A Reader's Respite is saying is.....READ THIS BOOK. Even if this isn't normally your genre of choice. We don't think you'll regret it and here's a bonus: The Passage is the first of a trilogy to come. You won't want to miss out!
Where did our advance copy come from? The Amazon Vine Program, of course.