The Passage is an intricate tome, offering dedicated readers a chance to immerse themselves in Cronin's thrilling world of vampires and apocolyptic adventure. There are a lot of characters and over 780 pages, but if you're a fan of King, Stoker, McCarthy, Clancy, or Steinbeck, your dedication to this epic survival tale will be worth it. While the book is long, it's always thought-provoking, and this titanic read never hits an iceberg.

I had the great luck to see Justin Cronin speak at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. this past September. He gives full credit to his daughter for planting the seeds to write this book when she was eight.  She wanted him to write a book about a redheaded girl who saves the world. "You can guess what color my daughter's hair is," Cronin said. "She's now seventeen and has a car as her payment," Cronin joked. "I also told her she'll have the privilege of going to any college she wants. Not optional."

And if you enjoy The Passage, Cronin published a sequel in 2012 called The Twelve, earning a Best Horror Novel Award from the voting public on Goodreads.com. A blend of military thriller, sci-fi apocalypse, and vampire horror, Cronin's books stand apart as deep and unique. I have to agree with Cronin when he confidently said "some books are commercial and sell copies while other books are literary and get respect. Sometimes, you get a book that's both. I like to think The Passage is one of those books."

Recommended by Matthew Lowder

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