Tag Archives: Justin Cronin

Who won The Passage exclusive edition giveaway?

Thank you to everyone who got involved and followed The Passage Blog Tour. If you are a fan of Justin Cronin’s book and want to follow retrospectively pop here to see the first video of the author talking about how he was inspired to write The Passage, and to follow the trail.

The competition to win a special exclusive copy is now closed. The answer to the question; “Who inspired Justin Cronin to write ‘The Passage’?” is his daughter. 

I’m delighted to announce the winner of the fabulous edition shown below.

Drum roll please…

The Passage - exclusive editionThe winner is: Nicole.

I don’t have a last name but only one Nicole entered so you know who you are! I will be in contact to arrange to have it sent out to you.

Thank you to everyone who entered. Thanks also to Savidge Reads who kindly hosted the question and of course the publishers Orion for arranging the blog tour and the giveaway prize.

Something is (nearly) here…

Last summer I was completely engrossed by Justin Cronin’s The Passage. The paperback edition is being released on Thursday 12th of May and I’ve been kindly asked to take part in a special celebratory blog tour. This means that I have got my mitts on a special edition to give away!

Look out for an exclusive video of the author talking about the book, and details of the competition on Monday! You can read my thoughts on the book here.

The Passage Blog Tour

The Passage by Justin Cronin

The Passage, Justin CroninWoman with Sainsbury’s carrier bag on the tube: “I’m baking lemon drizzle cake tonight… it’s the first time I’ve done it.”

Friend: “What you’ve never made lemon drizzle before?!”

Me (silently seething): “SHUT UP!!”

There are few things worse than getting to a gripping point in a book and then somebody else’s conversation invades your thoughts, totally breaking the spell. I suppose that’s what I should expect reading on public transport. I devoured the final few chapters of The Passage at home on the sofa, giving it the attention it deserved – and this book deserves, no demands attention. At nearly 800 large pages it is not a novel to be picked up lightly (excuse the pun). It’s sheer size and epic scope as well as the fact that it is a bit of a page-turner means that it can take over your life for a good few days or weeks depending on how fast you read. I was absorbed to the point that I found it quite frustrating having to put it down to do something else (like go to work).

The Passage is quite a difficult book to sum up without giving away the storyline too much. After all, if you are going to bother reading a massive book then, I imagine that you would like some of it to be a surprise. To be on the safe side I’ll quote the blurb:

“Amy Harper Bellafonte is six years old and her mother thinks she’s the most important person in the whole world.

She is.

Anthony Carter doesn’t think he could ever be in a worse place than death row.

He’s wrong.

FBI agent Brad Wolgast thinks something beyond imagination is coming.

It is.


I will say that it is a book about vampires, although more of the 28 Days Later variety than RPatz in Twilight. It did make me think of how I felt watching the films 28 Days Later and I Am Legend because of the way that the monsters in the book were terrifying, insensible and lacking any obvious humanity, and also because it felt quite cinematic. It doesn’t surprise me that the film rights have been sold to Ridley Scott because I can imagine it translating well to the big-screen.

However, by drawing comparisons to these films I am in danger of selling The Passage short as being unoriginal. If anything it has a very different style to any book I’ve read in a similar genre. The first half of the book sets the scene of the story in-depth, exploring the lives of key characters – Amy, Anthony Carter and agent Wolgast. Cronin creates incredibly well-developed personalities, each with their own quite tragic back story. He takes his time progressing the story, however the writing never feels slow, rather you feel fully immersed in the plot.

There is a quite sharp change in the story about halfway through the book, which I have to admit threw me. Initially I thought it felt a bit disconnected, however once I became used to this (trying not to give anything away!), I soon became absorbed again. I think this break in style is a bit of a gamble, but one that pays off – mainly because Cronin’s storytelling is so strong.

Cronin is a talented novelist. The Passage is really well written. It is a brutal book. It combines vicious bloodthirsty monsters with characters that you really don’t want to be killed off because Cronin makes you like them. He describes people and landscapes with a great deal of skill and moments of everyday beauty and  are offset against which are set against the underlying sense of horror. By the time you finish reading The Passage you really feel as if you have been on an epic journey with the characters. An impressive achievement and a totally absorbing read.

My Rating:

8 out of 10

Thanks to Simon (Savidge Reads) for my now well-thumbed copy. You can read his thoughts here.

Getting there…

Only about 300 pages to go now. Oh yes, that’s the length of a normal-sized novel!

How many more cups of tea do you think it’ll take me to finish this chunky mother of a book?