Justin Cronin's The Passage
Hey, check it out, I read the summer's big buzz book! And I mean big literally--it's 766 pages and apparently the first of a trilogy. Cronin was actually a literary fiction kind of guy till he dreamed up this big crazy vampire book and caused a bidding war amongst many publishers--and actually, it's a pretty good story. Every review compares it to Stephen King and Cormac McCarthy, which makes a certain amount of sense, as part of it is a big scary vampire story, and part a post apocalyptic road trip story. So anyway, things start off in the near future with the government doing experiments on vampires, but things go awry when they decide a 6-year-old girl should be their next test subject. Then we shoot 100 years into the future and see the terrible aftermath through the eyes of an isolated colony of humans.
Things I liked about this book: lots of cool female characters; variety of narrative techniques. Things I liked less about this book: not everything makes sense; despite the scary and deadly enemies, there's a surprising lack of narrative tension through a lot of it.
Yeah, I have some mixed feelings about it--maybe I wish things could have been a bit zippier? I still read the whole thing in a couple days, which I guess counts for something. I'm not sure if I'll read the other two, though I guess I'll feel less burned out by the time they're released.
So okay, if you feel like reading a 766-page book about a vampire outbreak, I recommend this one highly. A-/B+