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The Season of Passage Mass Market Paperback – October 15, 1993


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (October 15, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812510488
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812510485
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (176 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,293,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The year is 2004 and, detente in place, the U.S. has sent a manned mission to Mars to find out what happened to and perhaps rescue the Russian cosmonauts who landed there two years earlier and have not been heard from since. Lauren Wagner, chief medical officer on the U.S. unit Nova , suspects alien infection killed the crew of the Lenin and worries that the same may happen to those on her ship. Little does she know that they face a fate far worse: there are vampires on Mars! Pike ( Chain Letter ), bestselling author of YA thrillers, offers a campy SF/horror scenario with all the credibility and finesse of a '50s B-movie; the "Red Menace" in this case is a thirsty crew of Russian zombies who get their blood from victims via IV hookup. An intriguing subplot concerning Lauren's earthbound sister and a story she is writing--which appears to be a telepathically received fable about Mars becoming a wasteland of ghouls--is not strong enough to redeem the outlandish main events. Long before the Nova heads home, most adult readers will have abandoned ship.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Pike (Sati, 1990) leaves behind the young YA horror/suspense field to show what he can do with horror for adults and scores strongly--in a novel that covers many genres: suspense/fantasy/sf/horror. In 1996, the first unmanned space probe to land on Mars sent back sensational analyses (including secret pictures of huge footprints) before going dead. Four years later, the Russian crew of the manned Lenin loses contact in midmission. When the first American crew, which includes Dr. Lauren Wagner as medical officer, lands there in 2002, the mysteries expand rather than resolve, and author Pike hits top suspense with the American team discovering a Russian cosmonaut still alive in his bed in the orbiting Lenin, despite a freezing temperature in the ship. To be sure, he seemingly has no pulse and answers all questions with a fixed zombie grin that never wavers. When he leads the Americans below to comb the Martian surface by jeep and by foot, and then into a dark cave where they discover something very much like water, the reluctant reader begins shouting warnings. Meanwhile, back on earth, Lauren's sister, 13-year-old Jennifer, begins writing a fantasy tale about her life as the Princess Chaneen, a goddess among the Asurians, which somehow ties in with the vampires of Mars and for a while takes up alternate chapters with the sf/horror tale, though sf folks may not willingly accept the fantasy novel interwoven with the main text. Only Lauren and fellow astronaut Gary ``survive'' the Martian ordeal and return to earth where Jennifer has killed herself--or has she? At least she's been buried. But is the Princess Chaneen still around, to fight the vampire infection sent back to earth in the two astronauts called Lauren and Gary? Not without its ups and downs but, at its best, both riveting and a back-prickler. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Christopher Pike is the author of over forty teen thrillers, including series REMEMBER ME, FINAL FRIENDS and CHAIN LETTER.

Customer Reviews

This book reads like a movie and should have been one.
Daniel J. Turenne
I first read this book about 15 years ago, and have re-read it several times since then.
J. Finn
It will entertain anyone who enjoys horror, science fiction, or fantasy books.
Lawyeraau

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Jenny W on March 9, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I reviewed this book back in July of 2002 using lots of cheesy descriptors and verbosity. Well, I still love the book as much as ever, although this time I'm not compelled to launch into any cliches.
I DO however want to expand more on what you might THINK you know about this book. Pike is well known as an author of teen horror, but this is not a young adult novel. I feel that Pike's established reputation as a teen horror writer actually could have hurt this book because it makes it less likely to be taken seriously by adult readers and the literary community in general. It is most definitely for a mature audience and can MORE than hold its own for content and quality against the novels of any other respected authors of adult fiction. I find myself shocked that this book was never "discovered" by the literary community because it is really quite brilliant. Like most of the reviewers I grew up reading Pike's YA fiction and was actually a little surprised by this book, which is a very mature and adult story. You probably want me to get to some point, so here it is: This is NOT a young adult novel so please do not disregard it just because of Pike's reputation as a teen horror author. Don't make the mistake of the general literary community and overlook this book based on your preconceived notions about Pike's work.
On to another point. I was reading the reviews, and I was overwhelmed by a common thread that repeated over and over. Snippets like "I've read this book x number of times"... "I'm on my second copy because I read my first one out" ... "this is my favorite book of all time"... "10 years later this is still the best book I've ever read"... What's my new point?
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 2, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is my all-time favourite Christopher Pike book, and quite possible my favourite book in general. This superb blend of horror, science-fiction, and fantasy captivates the reader the whole way through and the story-within-a-story concept encourages the reader to keep on reading to find out what happens to Chaneen's kingdom and Lauren's expedition to Mars. I would recommend this book to anyone who has an open mind (don't you just hate those stubborn people who refuse to enjoy something different). I remember when I first read this book two summers ago, I was enchanted and unable to put it down (I even ignored my girlfriend), and since, I have lent it to all my friends. Please, read this. It is an extraordinary read and it changed my life.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 24, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As a Yale student, I have read, analyzed, and been lectured on the best works of the western world's literary cannon. But I've also read my share of supermarket fiction--some of which is good escapism, some of which is just awful. I was given Season of Passage for my birthday a number of years ago, and, expecting it to fit somehwere in the range of the supermarket fiction books, was greatly surprised to find that it belonged in a much higher class. This book is a masterpiece, and I mean that in the sense that it has true literary value. A brilliant page-turner, it's one of my favorite novels--along with Crime and Punishment and the Brothers Karamazov. The Season of Passage is a true gem for avid sci-fi fans, and definitely worth the interest of those fed on the classics. This is the only Pike book I have read, and whether or not he just got lucky in writing such a fabulous work, I do not know, but I will attest to the merits of Season.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Sarah E. Pearsall on October 2, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was nine when I read "Season," for the first time. I remember I did not sleep for a few days after I finished it - not out of fear, but out of complete and utter awe. I knew then that all I wanted to do was write books and be in love with Mr. Pike. Now, at the ripe age of 29 and an MFA Fiction Grad student, I still want thoes 2 things! I just re-read this spectacular and epic piece of amazing writing, my copy glued back together at least 5 times, (too hard to part with and buy a new one) and I am in love all over again. We are getting old, dear Pike followers, and we still come back again and again. I have saved every paperback for my kids to love and cherish when they get a bit older ( they are 5 and 2 right now).

There is such a deep and wonderful search for te human spirit in these books, all the books! Words can hardly say what it is and why we love him so. I have used this book in my Intro to Creative writing to excite and instill a burning love of stories. The science fiction, the fantasy, the pain, and the horror are just what lies on the surface - as all of his true fans know, the heart of these stories is a deep truth about who we are, how we love, and what we are capable of.

Christopher Pike is Literature!! Read this book if you are unfortunate to have never done so! See the beauty and be happy you listened to all of us!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 10, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I first read this book, when I was 16 years old and could not put it down. To this day (7 years later) it is still the scarist book I ever read. But I am currently reading it for the seventh time. Everytime I read it I notice something I missed the first time around. Buy this book in hard back because you'll definitely want to read it more than once.
Season of Passage is primarily the story the US exploration to Mars that go to do research and find out what happened to the Russian crew that went before them. But the terror starts long before any of them ever leave the ground. With vivid nightmares and an unexplainable pull and dread of the 'dead' planet. There is also the underlying story that is being written by the younger sister of the main character. At the end the two stoies combine to an ending that will leave you wanting more and eager to read it again and again...
There is so much about this book I could tell you but I won't for fear of giving the story away. But Mr. Pike did an extrodinary job of developing characters that seemed real enugh to touch, and invoke an emotional response from the reader. It's the little details that make this book great, and most readers won't recognize the significance till the last page. (Think Sixth Sense) This book is a must read.
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