THE PASSAGE by Justin Cronin May Be the Hottest Book of the Summer

The Passage by Justin Cronin debuts on Tuesday, June 8, 2010, but it has been getting a ton of buzz for months now. It’s the first book in a planned trilogy, and, yes, it’s about vampires, but these are no sparkly, vegetarian vampires.

In The Passage, a military experiment to create super soldiers goes awry and millions of people end up infected with a virus that makes them thirst for blood. A young girl who has been infected with the virus but doesn’t have the monstrous side effect might be the key to saving humanity. It’s been compared to Stephen King’s The Stand, and even King himself is a fan of the book and is blurbed on the cover.

The Passage isn’t even out yet, but the movie rights have been sold. According to the New York Times, Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Productions reportedly paid $1.75 million for the film rights back in 2007. At that point, the manuscript was only half finished but it still incited a bidding war. Apparently, they think it could be the next big movie franchise.

So the question is: Will The Passage live up to all the hype? Trish at Hey Lady! and Alayne at The Crowded Leaf both gave the book rave reviews. I definitely plan to get my copy on Tuesday and let you know what I think.

The Passage will be out on June 8, 2010 (get your copy on Amazon). Here’s the publisher’s summary:

“It happened fast. Thirty-two minutes for one world to die, another to be born.”

First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear—of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.

As civilization swiftly crumbles into a primal landscape of predators and prey, two people flee in search of sanctuary. FBI agent Brad Wolgast is a good man haunted by what he’s done in the line of duty. Six-year-old orphan Amy Harper Bellafonte is a refugee from the doomed scientific project that has triggered apocalypse. He is determined to protect her from the horror set loose by her captors. But for Amy, escaping the bloody fallout is only the beginning of a much longer odyssey—spanning miles and decades—towards the time and place where she must finish what should never have begun.

With The Passage, award-winning author Justin Cronin has written both a relentlessly suspenseful adventure and an epic chronicle of human endurance in the face of unprecedented catastrophe and unimaginable danger. Its inventive storytelling, masterful prose, and depth of human insight mark it as a crucial and transcendent work of modern fiction.

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