I feel like compared to the other vampire/horror novels, The Passage is very different. With most thrillers, the scary characters and gruesome scenes are what make them so enticing. Of course, those elements are what make the novel fitting for the genre, yet Cronin keeps that same page-turning, stomach gripping, feeling of fear without the crazy graphic effects. He creates a story that doesn’t seem so fantastical, it feels real, and that is terrifying enough.
Lois Lowry’s book, The Giver is a dystopian novel that has some similar elements to Cronin’s story. In The Giver, the Community lives in a perfect world. There is no fear or war, no pain or suffering. The people in this society live free from negativity. Ultimately, it looks like a utopia. However, we see that it is definitely a dystopian society. “The truth” is hidden from the people and those in power do horrible things. Just like The Passage, members of the Colony, especially children, don’t have knowledge about the outside world or The Time Before.
When Jonas received the truth from The Giver, he is overwhelmed. He experiences pain and suffering, something that is completely new to him, and his perception of life is changed. In The Passage, members of the colony had a similar reaction. There was a lot of confusion and pain after Viral attacks and the journey outside the wall. The main difference of The Giver and The Passage, is the Colony never experienced any benefits of a utopia. They were struggling to survive and keep safe, where the Community always were.
I really enjoyed reading Cronin’s book because it had so many great moments. It wasn’t “scary,” in the sense that I couldn’t sleep at night, but it was terrifying to imagine a world like the one Cronin creates. The Passage is now one of my favorite novels because it really brought me into a whole new world. It didn’t feel clichè or boring at all. The book is VERY long, but the writing was so good, that I didn’t mind it one bit. I’ll definitely recommend this book and can’t wait to jump into the second installment!