“It happened fast. Thirty-two minutes for one world to die, another to be born.”
First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear—of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.
As civilization swiftly crumbles into a primal landscape of predators and prey, two people flee in search of sanctuary. FBI agent Brad Wolgast is a good man haunted by what he’s done in the line of duty. Six-year-old orphan Amy Harper Bellafonte is a refugee from the doomed scientific project that has triggered apocalypse. He is determined to protect her from the horror set loose by her captors. But for Amy, escaping the bloody fallout is only the beginning of a much longer odyssey—spanning miles and decades—towards the time and place where she must finish what should never have begun.
With The Passage, award-winning author Justin Cronin has written both a relentlessly suspenseful adventure and an epic chronicle of human endurance in the face of unprecedented catastrophe and unimaginable danger. Its inventive storytelling, masterful prose, and depth of human insight mark it as a crucial and transcendent work of modern fiction.
“Cronin has given us what could be the best book of the summer. Don't wait to dive into The Passage.”—USA Today
“Cronin’s unguessable plot and appealing characters will seize your heart and mind.”—Parade
“Great storytelling … vital, tender, and compelling” – O, The Oprah Magazine
“A blockbuster…astutely plotted and imaginative”—The New York Times Book Review
“Cronin gets it just right; the combination of attentive realism and doomsday stakes makes for a mesmerizing experience.”—Salon.com
“We’ve just found our summer escape!”—Elle, “Top 10 Summer Books for 2010”
“Magnificently unnerving…A The Stand-meets-The Road journey.”—Entertainment Weekly, A-
“Addictive, terrifying, and deeply satisfying. Not only is this one of the year's best thrillers; it's one of the best of the past decade - maybe one of the best ever."—Men’s Journal
“A literary richness that rivals Stephen King’s The Stand.”—Time
“Fans of vampire fiction who are bored by the endless hordes of sensitive, misunderstood Byronesque bloodsuckers will revel in Cronin’s engrossingly horrific account of a postapocalyptic American overrun by the gruesome reality behind the wish-fulfillment fantasies…manages to engage the reader with a sweeping epic style.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review and “Pick of the week”)
“Literary author Cronin turns in an apocalyptic thriller in the spirit of Stephen King or Michael Crichton....The young girl as heroine and role model is a nice touch.”—Kirkus
“[An] apocalyptic epic…Expect a lot of interest in this title.” —Booklist
“The monsters in this compulsive nail biter are the scariest in fiction since Stephen King's vampires in Salem's Lot...This exceptional thriller should be one of the most popular novels this year and will draw in readers everywhere.”–Library Journal, starred review
“Meet what is likely to be one of the biggest blockbusters of the summer.”—People
“Imagine Michael Crichton crossbreeding Stephen King’s “The Stand” and “Salem’s Lot” in that lab on Jurassic Park, with rich infusions of Robert McCammon’s “Swan Song,” “Battlestar Galactica” and even Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road.””
—The Washington Post
From the Hardcover edition.