Justin Cronin's writing is like a dense piece of Black Forest cake - rich, thick, layered, and delicious. I don't normally like zombie apacalypse and horror but Cronin's books are different. He layers the gore and fright of the story with fantastically detailed portraits of people's lives and inner dialogue. From the patently evil, to the heroes of the story, each major character seems to get their own novel. I got sucked into "The Passage" last year and eagerly awaited the next in the trilogy "The Twelve."
Even the virals each have their own horror story of their original crimes and how their origin as death row inmates influences how their hunger comes over to their viral minions. Not just horrifying creatures who come out at night. And we learn even more about Carter, who has found a psychologically interesting way to handle his infection.
This story of how humans survive the unsurvivable, is in turns a story of military, government, and religion. With elements of a ghost story, a history, a religious text, sometimes its seems like even the author doesn't know where he is going. The plot is sprawling, the characters all over the darn place.
But I, like so many other readers, am along for the ride. I even feel like donning some threaded studs and joining in the fight.