If the four of them have to battle for my affections, who would win?
Justin Cronin’s book, The Passage, published in 2010, is a post-apocalyptic novel. It starts off in the US in an unspecified time in the near future, which was a cool touch. There are some clues as to exactly when the first events occur, but Cronin never says outright what year it is. The first part of the book follows a series of events sparked by the discovery of a vampire virus by the military, but this is not your typical vampire book. It is more in line with the zombie apocalypse scenario than with modern day’s view of vampires.
The military develops the virus using human subjects who are death row inmates, but when they have perfected the virus, they decide to use a six-year-old girl, Amy, as their next subject before moving on to using the virus to create the perfect soldier. Amy is their final subject, however, because the previous twelve subjects have, in addition to their other abilities, developed a form of mind control, and they break out of the military installation. Within months, the entire country is overrun with vampires, except for a few safe havens created to protect the few children saved from the virus.
The story moves at this point to some eighty years in the future in one of these havens, protected from the vampires at night by bright lights around the walls. The lights are so bright that the inhabitants have never seen the stars. The haven has developed its own set of rules for life in this world. But all is not well, for the batteries which power the lights have degraded to a point beyond mere repair, and the lights will go out.
Enter Amy, a few hardy souls, and a quest to find a solution to the vampire problem, and the rest of the story takes it from there.
Now, this is not my typical fare, but this book had me hooked and I finished it pretty fast. It’s well-written, though a bit dragged out. There are times when the story lags. Cronin also uses some different elements to tell his story, like correspondence and journal entries, and while they do the job, the changes in perspective can be frustrating. I think this book would have worked out better as a straight narrative.
Still, all in all, it’s a worthwhile read. Personally, about 3/4 of the way through, I was reading towards the end, and I found it frustrating to discover when I reached it that the story wasn’t finished. Book two, The Twelve, comes out in October, and while I will definitely read it, it will be more because I want to know how the story ends and not because of any sense of commitment to the characters.
First of all, can I just say…
Oh, great and mighty Joss Whedon, you humble us with your presence. You restore our faith in the greatness of Hollywood. You are the one, the only. No other can compare to you.
If you have not seen The Avengers yet, go out and see it. Don’t sit here and read the rest of this post. Go to your local movie theater right now and watch this movie.If you can, watch it in 3D.
If you’re still here reading, maybe you need some convincing. Answer this question for me then. When was the last time you were in a theater watching a movie, and the entire audience burst into laughter? Not chuckles. Not polite I’m laughing because other people are laughing. Full on surprised spontaneous laughter from the whole theater. Can you remember?
Ok, yeah, it does happen every now and then. A lot of movies have one or two of those moments. What about five? Ten? Fifteen?
Yeah. that’s what I thought. You don’t need a plot synopsis. You don’t need to like superhero movies, or have read the comics. You don’t need to have seen Thor, The Hulk, Iron Man 1 and 2 (although I recommend it).Your age doesn’t matter. You will love this movie. Go watch it.
Joss Whedon has his finger on the pulse of the world. He is my hero.
This ambitious novel from fantasy newcomer Lucy March is entertaining. Liv Kiskey is a small-town waffle waitress whose life is changed abruptly when she is forced into a world of magic. I loved March’s system of day and night magic, and the manifestation of Liv’s magic (she can turn inanimate objects into animals, like the bunny Gibson, made from a ceramic mug.)
A fun story, but the writing is very emotion driven, the sequence of events is confusing and often doesn’t make sense, and the relationship between Liv and Tobias, not to mention the other relationships in the book, is not very believable. A lot this has to do with set-up, but narrative plot is just lacking in this book. It has a lot of potential to be a great story, but as it stands, this is a good light read. The style is vaguely reminiscent of Sarah Addison Allen’s, but without the light touch on magic that Allen has mastered.
What disappointed me the most in this book is this. In the beginning, we learn that there is a sparkly tile on the floor of the diner that Liv works at which is supposed to be a magic wishing tile. Later on, we discover that the tile is itself not magical. I honestly wanted the story to go somewhere with the tile. It takes a turn just after Liv is going to make a wish on it, and becomes this whole separate conflict. It was a great leaping off point for a completely different story, and I wish that story had been told.
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