The Passage by Justin Cronin (http://enterthepassage.com/) is a grand story. In the tradition of such hallmark works such as King's The Stand it presents a believable apocalyptic world. Part of a broader story arch spanning at least two volumes, it captivates from the first page. It awesome 800 pages of text are lapped up like milk by a stray cat who had given up all hope of a square meal.
Taking on a mythic quality, the story weaves a spell at one haunting and satisfying. Through the tale is a vein of mystery and the unknown. As the security of a technological world collapses in the wake of the disaster, these take on deep meaning and significance.
The creatures are vampiric in nature but so much more in creation and development. Monsters are so often painted with broad strokes and caricature, Cronin uses fine detail to offer creatures horrific but with nuances and layers providing creatures of deeply disturbing threat.