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Always Doing

Escapist reading for those who are always doing.

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Mari Fujimura, 藤村真理
The Passage - Justin Cronin There's 300 great pages in this book - 100 at the beginning, 100 in the middle, and 100 right at the end. For most novels that would be perfect. For the 776 page The Passage, however, it leaves much to slog through.Don't get me wrong, they're 300 really good pages. The world Cronin sets up is contained yet massive, crazy yet believable. The mystery kept me going but a third of the way through the whole thing goes POOF and we're forced to restart with a ton of new characters in a completely different setting. I was so disgusted that I put the book down for a day, too demoralized to pick it back up.I liked that:- The women were often on equal footing with the men in the later sections of the book. One of the female characters ended up doing most of the driving (gasp) and the best fighter was a woman. I felt like each person in the group filled what role fit them best regardless of gender.- Gender wasn't ignored. In a post-apocalyptic world with few humans fertile females are a commodity, no getting around it.- The end was tied up neatly but let you know where the next book is headed.I didn't like:- How Amy was treated later in the book, after everyone realizes she's 100 years old. They still treat her as a kid. Even after she starts talking again they don't ask her for her opinion on what they should do next. Why would you let a font of potential wisdom like that go untapped?- The sheer number of characters dumped on you a third of the way through. I still don't feel like I have everyone straight.- At times the action scenes were confusing. One with moving vehicles in particular left me confused as to who was doing what where.Part of me says this book should be a four star read for its "literary value" (whatever that is), but the fact that I had to drag myself to the page more often than not makes it a three.