Ballantine, Jun 8 2010, $27.00
Another major hurricane has turned New Orleans and the surrounding gulf into a dead zone. The war on terrorism is failing as the enemy recruits faster than the Americans and their puppeteers can kill them. Other futile fronts leave the only superpower teetering.
In the Amazon rainforest, a miracle has been found; a viral that can turn a good soldier into a Captain America super soldier. Those selected as guinea pigs fail to become Captain America; instead the scientists ignored the side effect of them becoming blood sucking super killers. FEMA declares an emergency and begins warehousing people inside safety zones. America and the world need a superhero before human extinction occurs. In that mode arises thirteen years old shy Amy Harper Bellafonte living in a nunnery. She is mankind’s only hope as places like The Colony find their technological defenses failing with the super monsters chomping outside the gates.
Jumping into the Stoker side of vampire tales, The Passage is a terrific horror thriller that paints a grim futuristic atmosphere. Humans survive behind electronic barriers while the man-made super monsters own the streets. That grim picture controls much of the exciting story line with a neat spin of the heroic John Wayne type being a reticent young teenage “Joan Wayne”. Providing a cautionary underlying theme with a nod to Pogo’s “we have met the enemy and they are us”, Justin Cronin paints a gloomy viral red future; yet with a slight optimism as the Zager and Evans song In the Year 2525 says: “now man’s reign is through but through eternal night, the twinkling of starlight …”