The Passage – Justin Cronin

30 08 2010

I recently finished reading The Passage by Justin Cronin.  I have to admit that I knew there was a lot of publicity and hype around this book, but I didn’t really know what it was about.  It wasn’t until I saw it listed on a post-apocalypse reading list that I decided to try it.  Also, it happened to be on the shelf at my library when I was looking for something to read.

Let me just say that reading this book was a very fortuitous accident.  It has been a long time since a book has gripped me like this one did.  So much so, that I found myself dreaming about it in between bouts of reading it.  Believe me, I only put it down so that I could sleep.  This book was all consuming. 

Yes, there were parts that were rather simplistic, and parts that I wish had been expanded upon but overall this was a compelling book and one that is very entertaining.  Also, despite the subject matter there were parts that were definitely meant to be humorous. 

The beginning reminded me a lot of Firestarter by Stephen King which is one of my all time favorite books.  The rest was purely original.  Some people are saying this is a vampire book, but you know what, based on the current sub-genre of vampire books that are popular, ie. sexy, friendly, animal eating, super heroes, this is not a vampire novel.  This is an original book that holds its own and will probably create its own sub-genre just like cyber punk created a sub-genre of Sci-Fi.

It is hard to say I loved a book like this, how can you love a book about the hopelessness of the end of the world as we know it?  All I can say is that I want more and I can’t wait for the next two books in the series.


The Year of the Flood – Margaret Atwood

22 04 2010

The Year of the Flood is another triumph for Margaret Atwood.  Atwood is a great writer, she understands language, suspense, mystery and how to weave a story that will lead on down the path to its conclusion and leave you wanting more.

It has been many years since I read one of her books even though The Handmaid’s Tale is one of my favorite novels of all time.  This novel like The Year of the Flood was a serious social commentary written as science fiction.

I was so taken with the characters and the story that I am going to have to go and read Oryx and Crake an earlier book that mentions some of these characters and see how their stories were developed.

This book certainly brought me back to being a reader of Atwood’s books, I would recommend it to anyone that wants entertainment with a good dose of conscience and sense.

This book was borrowed from the library.

The Host – Stephenie Meyer

8 03 2010

I recently finished reading The Host by Stephenie Meyer.  I don’t know why it has been so difficult for me to sit down and actually write some commentary about this book.  I really, really loved this story.  I have read all of the Twilight Saga, so I expected to like it, but I was really surprised by how much I liked it.

This was one of those books that you don’t want to end, you really want to know how it concludes but you hate to finish the last sentence.  When I find a book like that it takes me a while before I can pick up the next book because I am still absorbing and also freeing myself of my involvement with the story and the characters.

I have been a Science Fiction fan for a long time and this book is a great addition to the genre.  The story was very meaty and well developed.  The characters were strong and most of them are easy to like and empathize with, the antagonists are also well- developed bad guys and you want them to fail.  You also feel the frustration and fear of the main characters when they are interacting with the bad characters.

Some of this book is cloyingly sweet, Wanda’s (Wanderer’s) altruism is hard to come to grips with as a “human”.  But her host body’s fighting spirit is great and the way their relationship blooms and grows really leads the story onwards to its conclusion.  I was surprised to find that the ending was a tear-jerker, I didn’t expect it.

When I finished this book I visited Stephenie Meyer’s website and it mentions that this book is going to be made in to a movie.  Well, I can’t wait to see it.  I would recommend this book to anyone, it was a quick, easy but thoughtful read.

Book borrowed from the library.