First of all it's really two books in one. The first part is weirdly unrelated to the second part. In the first part, everybody dies. Well, sort of. The second part has a whole new cast of characters with a whole new storyline in a made-up world a hundred years in the future. There's the girl, Amy, who's introduced to us in the first part, and is supposed to save mankind, but only reappears halfway through the second part in a way that made it seem like the author had forgoten that this second story was bound between the same covers as the first story so he'd better bring back some of the original characters and storyline to at least give the illusion that the two stories are related. Make sense? Yeah, me neither. Weird.
There's the shear size of the book too. The author takes 759 pages to tell a 400, nay, 300 page story. I couldn't believe how many new characters and situations were introduced that did nothing but stall the story, and because it's set in an unrecognizable future, the possibilities for these tangents are endless . . .
But in all honesty, if I had known how science fiction-y this was I probably wouldn't have read it. I was under the impression that The Passage would be more like the action and science and mystery of the Michael Crichton/ Stephen King kind. And had the editors done some serious surgery, it would have been. There's a really cool story in there; you just have to carve away the filler to find it.
One of the best sentences ever?
'It was more than the simple absence of sound; it was the silence of something stopped.' pg511