- John Gaines
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The Passage by Justin Cronin
A human-created virus has infected humankind, mutating most into superstrong, near-immortal vampiric creatures. The "virals"--also called "jumpers"--and "dracs" (after Dracula, of course)--can leap 20 feet through the air at a bound and split a human (or a horse, or a cow) in half with their bare hands. A small band of men and women embark on a cross-country trek, looking for a way to protect the few remaining uninfected humans from extinction. With them travels an enigmatic prepubescent girl who talks to the virals with her mind and seems to have been born 100 years before. (Library Journal)
The other two books in The Passage trilogy:
If you like the intensity and terror of The Passage trilogy, check out these intriguing titles:
Cell by Stephen King
Civilization doesn't end with a bang or a whimper. It ends with a call on your cell phone. What happens on the afternoon of October 1 came to be known as the Pulse, a signal sent though every operating cell phone that turns its user into something...well, something less than human. (catalog summary)
The Fireman by Joe Hill
The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton: a highly contagious spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies before causing them to burst into flames. There is no antidote. Harper Grayson was a nurse who treated hundreds of infected patients; now the telltale gold-flecked marks are on her skin. But Harper wants to live at least until the fetus she is carrying comes to term. Her husband Jakob becomes unhinged and abandons her. And a man in a dirty yellow fire fighter's jacket straddles the abyss between insanity and death. Known as The Fireman, he has learned to control the fire within himself, using it as a shield to protect the hunted-- and as a weapon to avenge the wronged. (catalog summary)
Read a CRRL staff review of The Fireman, here.
The Forbidden by F.R. Tallis
1873: When the ambitious Doctor Paul Clément takes a job on the island of Saint Sébastien, he has dreams of finding cures for tropical diseases. After witnessing the ritualistic murder of a young boy who was allegedly already dead, he is warned never to speak of what he has seen. Back in fin de siecle Paris, Paul's attentions turn to studying the nervous system and resuscitation through electricity. Paul is told of patients who have apparently died, been brought back to life, and, while they lay between life and death, witnessed what they believed to be Heaven itself. Using forbidden knowledge he swore never to use, he attempts to experience what everyone else has seen, but something goes horribly wrong. When Paul returns to the land of the living, can it be possible that he brings something else back with him, an unspeakable evil so powerful it can never be banished? (catalog summary)
The Girl with All the Gifts by Mike Carey
A little girl who is detained by the military, restrained in a wheelchair, and goes to school while heavily guarded doesn't truly understand why she is special until it is up to her to save the world. (catalog summary)
NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photography, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it's across Massachusetts or across the country. Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing--and terrifying--playground of amusements he calls "Christmasland." Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble--and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx's unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He's on the road again and he's picked up a new passenger: Vic's own son. (catalog summary)
Read a CRRL staff review on NOS4A2, here.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
In this postapocalyptic novel, a father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. They sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food--and each other. This book boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, "each the other's world entire," are sustained by love. It is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation. (catalog summary)
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
An audacious, darkly glittering novel about art, fame, and ambition set in the eerie days of civilization's collapse, from the author of three highly acclaimed previous novels. One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time-from the actor's early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as the Traveling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains-this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor's first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet. (catalog summary)
The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro
Abraham Setrakian, a former professor and survivor of the Holocaust, joins forces with CDC specialist Eph Goodweather to battle a vampiric virus that has infected NewYork in this first installment in a thrilling trilogy about a horrifying battle between man and vampire that threatens all humanity. (catalog summary)