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.

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My Current Reading Kick – Horror

10 08 2010

If you have taken the time to look at my reading lists from 2009 and 2010 then you will see a pattern in the number of books I am reading that would fall in to the genre of Horror.  I am not sure why this is really, maybe because they are just for entertainment, maybe it is due to the current frenzy for vampires and lycanthropes on television at the moment.  Some of these books have been great, some just good, others complete rubbish.  Here are the books by category:

Great:  Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer – Seth Grahame-Smith.  A great combination of historical facts woven into the fantasy that Abraham Lincoln was a Vampire Slayer and that the American Civil War was really fought to destroy vampires and remove them from the fabric of our society rather than to free the slaves which was just a fortunate by-product of the war.  This book is very gory and some of the scenes the author describes are quite gruesome, no romantic, sexy vampires here.  Just true demons.

Good:  The Forest of Hands and Teeth & The Dead-Tossed Waves – Carrie Ryan.   Books about the Zombie apocalypse.  These are Young Adult and are very easy reading.  I did enjoy them both but definitely preferred The Forest of Hands and Teeth, it seemed more genuine.  I felt like the author was trying to hard with the main character of The Dead-Tossed Waves.  Also, I didn’t think the story line made sense at the end. 

Rubbish: Pride & Prejudice & Zombies – Seth Grahame-Smith.  I decided to read this after I finishedthe Abraham Lincoln book.  I have to say I am sorry that I bothered.  It was a tongue-in-cheek poke at the writing of Jane Austen.  I have no problem with that, I like her novels but don’t mind seeing them satirized for entertainment.  This book was just boring.  I kept thinking I should just put it down but then I kept hoping it would get better.  Unfortunately, I got all the way to the end and it never did.  I would read this author’s next book but would not recommend this one.

Rubbish:  The Vampire Diaries – L J Smith.  Let me start here by saying I am a great fan of the television show adapted from these novels.  Having said that other than a title and the character names the books and television show do not resemble each other at all.  I didn’t like the books one bit.  I am sorry to say I have nothing good to say about them.  The characters were annoying, I could not empathize with them at all, the plots were disjointed and had no cohesion.  For the first time I would have to say that I like the television show/movie better than the book.  When does that ever happen?

Rubbish:  Faces of Fear – John Saul.  I had always avoided reading anything by this author and this book just confirmed why.  I finished it but I will never read another of his books.

All these books were borrowed from the library.





The Lost Symbol – Dan Brown

8 03 2010

I really was not going to read this book.  I thought Angels and Demons was OK, I didn’t really like The Davinci Code and I didn’t think I would like this one too much.  I eyed it in the bookstores and at Costco but always left it behind.  But, when I saw it on the New Releases shelf at the library I decided to give it a try.

Well, for me this one was the best of the 3 I really think that
Dan Brown got it totally write with this one.  I am also overwhelmed by the amount of research he must do before he actually writes his novels. I am certainly glad I picked it up.  The story was very interesting and because of my recent reading also very relevant.  I recently finished reading The 5000 Year Leap, a book about the Founding Fathers, their religious beliefs and their ties to the Masons so I found the storyline in
The Lost Symbol very interesting since the information from the non-fiction book was so clear in my head.

I am happy it was better than I thought it would be and look forward to the next one.

Book borrowed from the library.