The Passage By: Justin Cronin

written by: Gregory Silverman

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Setting

In this novel, the setting takes place all around the world. This world, is over run by bloodthirsty super humans. The people however are all infected with a highly contagious virus. The novel spans over 90 years and shows how humans attempt to live in a world filled with cannibalistic super humans. This affects the plot because the more people become infected by the virus, the more deadly the virus becomes. Furthermore, the setting helps set the basis of what happens during the plot.

Characterization

Throughout the novel the author uses, Characterization to help develop the characters throughout the story. For example, when the author describes the protagonist Amy Lee Harper Bellafonte's background, including how she was born to explain her behavior. Another example would be how he characterized people sticking together to live in a post-apocalyptic world. This also affects the plot because it brings out emotions in people that they have had or faced anything like this before.

Character Analysis - Amy Harper Bellafonte

Also known as "The Girl From Nowhere". Her mother abandons her at a convent, where she forms a bond with one of the nuns, Sister Lacey Antoinette Kudoto. Amy is quickly targeted as a test subject by the secret government program known as Project Noah, and is subsequently kidnapped by Bradford Wolgast and Philip Doyle. They eventually decide to turn themselves in to save her. However, Richards manages to kidnap all three of them and Amy is given the final, refined version of the virus.

When the original master Virals break out of the Colorado facility, Amy is rescued by Wolgast and resides with him in an abandoned summer camp in Oregon. After Wolgast supposedly dies from radiation poisoning, she resides with an unnamed family, and later an unnamed woman. She then wanders alone throughout the North American Pacific region for decades, often feeling very lonely, but eventually settles in the vicinity of the First Colony. When she comes to First Colony she still looks like a teenager and has amazing healing properties. Amy only talks through her mind for a period, telepathically. She can also communicate with animals and the virals. When she does begin speaking, her behavior and communication style comes across as quirky and slightly "off" to the members of the First Colony. It is also revealed that the Twelve and Zero know of her, and seem to be searching for her. A tracking chip is found embedded in her neck, and she travels with the First Colony Apostles to find the broadcast location. She eventually locates the original Colorado facility where Lacey has taken up residence, and is given the remaining strains of the virus. Following Lacey's sacrifice, Babcock's death and Alicia's transformation, Amy chooses to burn the viral strains.

Amy begins work at an orphanage in the Texas Republic until she is overcome by severe abdominal pain. She travels with Greer to visit Carter and then to The Homeland. After her visit with Carter she appears as a fully adult woman. She poses as the leader of the insurgency in order to get close to the Twelve. At her staged execution, Amy transforms into a viral and with the help of the viral Brad Wolgast, attacks the Twelve. She shows a lot of perseverance and bravery through all of this.

Brad Wolgast

Brad Wolgast was a special agent that was sent to track down Amy. when he did they performed an experiment on her and it went terribly wrong. he ends up saving her and escape from the institution they were at. They survive for 90 years by hiding in a cave until Brad dies from radiation bc they dropped an atomic bomb to kill off all the super humans.

Doyle

Doyle was Wolgast's partner in finding Amy. When the experiment goes wrong he helps to save her, but he does it reluctantly because he did not want to get in trouble. All three of them were caught though and he is then killed by Carter. Amy was then given the final shot from the experiment.

Babcock

Babcock was a death row inmate convicted of murdering his own abusive mother before becoming infected. He is described as being much larger than the other virals and possesses the ability to influence weak-willed people. While on death row, it was widely whispered that he was dangerously insane and could never stop talking; as a viral he retains this unnerving quirk, never ceasing to make clicking and gurgling noises. Babcock manipulates the weaker-minded to kill each other over a three-night period. He controls a large group of virals known as The Many as well as controlling some of the citizens of the Haven, from whom he takes human and cattle sacrifices every New Moon.

Peter Jaxon

Theo's younger brother, who leaves with the other First Colony members for Colorado. After living in his brother's shadow his entire life, he realizes that his mother viewed him as the stronger of the two brothers. Amy initially communicates with him telepathically until she remembers how to speak. Over the course of the book his personality darkens, his mounting responsibilities weighing heavy on his mind. He has a love for Alicia Donadio, who trusts him implicitly. He tries to infect himself with the virus in an attempt to more effectively fight off the other main virals but is stopped by Amy.

In Conclusion

As you can see this book is a very suspenseful and catastrophic book. I believe that the authors developed a good plot and made this book a lot more interesting and enjoyable to read. Furthermore, I liked the way the characters, who where not infected stuck together and never gave up. One con to this book was how it doesn't catch your attention in the beginning, it takes a while to figure everything out. Once the storyline does pick up, i think it is a non-stop thriller that takes you on a joy ride with every twist and turn of the plot. Also i think the way Cronin enticed the reader with such great use of vocabulary was great. I also think the conclusion was great and makes you want to read the The Twelve the 2nd book in this series, I recommend this book for the following reasons to 10th and 11th graders.