Judging A Book By It’s Cover: The Passage by Justin Cronin



A few months back, I bumped into a friend at the library (go figure!) We were looking at the Playway audio books, she held up The Passage and pointed out it had been recommended in the audio book group we’re in on Facebook.

“It looks good,” she said as she held it up.

“Oh yeah?” I asked. I’d heard of the book but didn’t know what it was about.

“Well, the cover looks nice,” she shrugged. “ I’m judging a book by its cover.”


Fair enough. As I’ve discussed before, covers are designed to influence readers, so how can we be expected to ignore them when it comes to making a quick assessment about a book?



So, in the case of The Passage, did it work?

I finished the epic 766 page novel this week. (My friend hasn’t read it yet)

I agreed with my friend in the library, the cover is lovely. It inspires me to think of night time, of something celestial, maybe hints at a disappearance. I’m definitely thinking something creepy is going to happen.

The cover art combined with the jacket blurb led me to expect a gorey sci-fi thriller that I may not be able to get through.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover a beautifully written saga. It’s the tale of a horrific scientific experiment carried out by the United States government that goes horribly wrong. It’s also the story of life one hundred years after the atrocities that took place. The two time frames are woven together brilliantly. Much like The Walking Dead, The Passage is about not only one specific incident (and the monsters existing afterward,) but the way humanity responds. The characters in this novel are complex and fascinating.

Reminiscent of The Stand, and other works by Stephen King, and Neil Gaiman, it is an intricately woven novel that doesn’t feel nearly as long as it is.

There are two more books in this series, and I plan to move on to the next soon. Its cover is also stunning, and a bit creepier. I like the vagueness.



Have you read The Passage, or do you want to? Were you influenced by the cover?


  1. Doree Weller

    August 11, 2017 at 9:48 am

    I hadn’t even heard of this, but I’m a huge Walking Dead fan. I love the way it is about the people in the aftermath. So I guess I have to read this!

  2. Five Things Friday – While I Was Reading

    August 11, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    […] finally finished The Passage. (I even wrote a post about it!) I also finished The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and My Story by […]

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