Left stunned, saddened and heartened by the culmination of this three-part reworking of a classic horror tale brought forward a few years into the future and spanning a further thousand years.
The three books are built on stories within stories within stories, with a cast of thousands, plots and characters that meet, separate, entwine and merge.
Cronin’s writing is beautifully descriptive, whether of ruined cities or loving relationships. Characters change and grow whilst always staying in character. The first book in particular The Passage paints detailed pictures of life before, during and afterwards which leaves little to the imagination. The epic moves forward, slowly and gently in the main, with sudden bursts of action. It is at these points that Cronin stumbles a little, as if having spent so much time on his great descriptive passages he feels he needs to throw detail to the wind at the crucial action points.
None the less, its a powerful and humbling trilogy, leaving me wondering what on earth to read next (Lord of the Rings again, which is not dissimilar?). I for one will miss Amy Harper Bellafonte, the mysterious, serene and terrible girl from nowhere.