By Justin Cronin
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Pub. Date: May 24, 2016
Rating: 4 & 1/2 out of 5 stars
The Twelve have been eliminated in what appeared to have been an almost Christ-like sacrifice by Amy. Yet Amy is still alive as is Zero, the original creator of the Twelve. In fact, most of Abbey's friends, and some enemies, still exist in one form or another. The survivors in North America are slowly getting used to dealing with a post post-apocalypse and some are braving living beyond the city walls now that the Virals, vampire like creatures controlled by The Twelve, are gone. But they may not be gone at all and Zero has a plan and an obsession that will affect Amy and her friends.
The book starts where the last book leaves off. We are given a rundown of the survivors, each with their own plan on how to deal with the coming return of the virals. Amy, Michael and Peter are the main focus yet one of the things I love about the series howeeach character playes an essential part and we can never rely on the roles of the characters. They can change as the plot does. Villains are not always villains and heroes are not only heroes. Even Zero has the tendency to gain sympathy and may be more or less than he appears. This leads me to one of the weaknesses in the book. We spend a long time hearing Zero's back story. If you have read the other books I am not sure it is necessary to do so in so many pages. Yet it does lend some patheos to the telling. That is one of the few weaknesses though. Cronin has a deft talent in telling a wide ranging tale yet can given you enough insight on the many characters to empathize for them individually.
So all in all. The Passage as a trilogy is indeed one of the best of the 21st century and is easily a five star trilogy. The only reason I lowered the rating on this last book to four and a half instead of five stars is because I felt it was slow going at first and spent to much time restating the backstory and personality of the protagonists. Yet when it starts, especially when the virals rise up..literally...It is full steam ahead with nothing to slow it down. It also has a very nice wrap-up which of course you need to discover on your own. So I can relax and give this, the entire three books, a very hearty recommendation.