I’m not entirely sure where to start this review. I guess I’ll start at the beginning, and how I got into reading this book. I’m one of those people who sees that a new movie / TV show is based on a book and wants to immediately read the book. It’s happened so far with: A Handmaid’s Tale, A Wrinkle in Time, The Darkest Minds, and this book. I’m sure there were others too! I always want to read the source material before I see how it’s translated onto the screen. I watched the first season of The Handmaid’s Tale, and I plan to see The Darkest Minds when it comes out. I haven’t seen A Wrinkle in Time yet, because my nieces are also reading the book and we’re all going to watch the movie together. Aaaaanyway, I saw The Passage was going to be a movie (I was apparently wrong at first – it’s going to be a TV show) and immediately wanted to read it. Now I see it’s a trilogy too, so the completist in me will be reading all three books!
I can’t remember exactly how it starts, but in the beginning, we learn about a cop named Wolquist (*spelling approximated!) who is convincing cons on death row to join a health experiment. He doesn’t exactly know what he’s talking them into, just that it’s super secret, and that he needs people no one will miss. He convinces a convict to join, then hands him off to the place where it’s supposed to go down.
At the same time we’re learning about a little girl named Amy. Her mom is single and trying to raiser her right, but she can’t catch a break. We find out quickly that Amy is special. We don’t know precisely how, but we know it. Amy’s mom drops her off at a convent because she thinks she’ll be safe there, and she can’t take care of her anymore. The shady “health experiment” guys send Wolquist to the convent to pick up Amy. Again, he doesn’t know why they need her. On the way to the health experiment place (I need a better way to say that!), he almost runs away with her, but his partner stops him. You can tell he loves her and wants to protect her. We kinda find out that the convicts and Amy are being injected with a virus that’s supposed to make them resistant to disease. They don’t quite turn into zombies, but they’re not the same either. I guess they’re more like vampires, because they like blood. This is basically what was in the previews for the TV show version of The Passage. This is what I thought I was getting into when I got the book from my library. But, as my title says, it’s so much more involved than that!
The next section is about 80-90 years later, and it deals with the fallout from the “virals” (the first 12 convicts originally inoculated, plus patient zero) getting out and taking over the country. There is so much more after part one. I definitely liked part one the best, which is funny, because I’m totally in love with post-apocalyptic stories.
I definitely recommend this book, but please know what you’re in for. It’s very long, and there’s a lot of survival and death. There’s also virals, which are kind of vampires. The writing is great, the character development is good, and it’s a super interesting story!