So what happens when you turn over to a “legitimate author” the dystopian, post-apocalyptic genre with a mix of vampires and the “fast-zombies” of 28 Days Later? Well, the long and the short of it (and this will be the last reference to “short”) is 784 pages of frackin’ awesome.
The author is Justin Cronin, whose prior works, “The Summer Guest” and “Mary and O’Neil”, were less mass-marketable titles. They were, however, popular and well received, with each earning pretty solid reviews and critical acclaim. In “The Passage”, he breaks out into the world of big, Hollywood-tie-in fiction. And he does so by journeying into a realm that, to be honest, few “legitimate” modern authors have ventured into.
Yes, Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker became legends with the monster book story, and each did so with sophistication. But the modern face of monster fiction is the drivel that Stephenie Meyer has made a fortune off of. I’ve not read and have no intention to read Twilight books. One only needs to understand that they are written for an ADD, tween audience with film in mind. I imagine her books must be like Dan Brown vomited up a trilogy with no religious underpinnings and a lot more self-cutting.
I’m probably not being fair, as this isn’t really a genre I seek out in books. I generally read more non-fiction than fiction and I tend to stick with the classics or some Michael Chrichton (who, to be honest, probably actually would qualify as something not far off this genre). Nevertheless, I imagine most horror fiction is somewhat like a harlequin novel or the Star Wars spin-off books. Not a lot of thought, but mindless enjoyment.
“The Passage” is so very much more than that. Click on through for why. Read more…