Justin Cronin's The Passage is an epic tale of monsters; government monsters and the ones they have created. This is a lengthy read and it covers a full century, shifting seamlessly from one time period to another. Yes, it has and will be compared to many other books out there but it definitely has unique qualities that make it worth the read.
In the opening chapters, we are backtracked in time and introduced to an American doctor. Through a series of emails to his close friend the doctor tells of his experiences in a South American jungle on a research expedition. He speaks of the company he is in, his grief over his dead wife and how his group has been unexpectedly joined by U.S. soldiers. His emails continue with a tale of most of the group being attacked by a large colony of bats, then growing extremely ill and dying. Thus we are given the origin of the vampire virus.
Flash forward some years and we are introduced to Amy, who is the most pivotal character of the book. Amy is the daughter of a woman who has a great deal of hard luck. This woman becomes a prostitute, which eventually leads her to murder someone in self-defense. Knowing that she will be arrested, Amy's mother desserts her, leaving 6-year old Amy in the care of Sister Lacey and her group of nuns.
Meanwhile, in a government compound in Colorado, the doctor from expedition is performing experiments in an effort to create bio-engineered soldiers that are unconquerable. The FBI has been tasked with recruiting 12 prisoners from death-row to take part in these experiments. When FBI Special Agent, Brad Wolgast picked up his last criminal, Anthony Carter, he saw something in the prisoner that caused him to question the prisoners' futures. When the next person to be picked up for the doctor's experiments is 6 year-old Amy, Wolgast knows he must risk everything to save her.
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