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The City of Mirrors: A Novel (Book Three of The Passage Trilogy) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 587 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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- Book 3 of 3 in The Passage Trilogy
- Due to its large file size, this book may take longer to download
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Customers who bought this item also bought
“The City of Mirrors is poetry. Thrilling in every way it has to be, but poetry just the same . . . The writing is sumptuous, the language lovely, even when the action itself is dark and violent.”—The Huffington Post
“This really is the big event you’ve been waiting for . . . A true last stand that builds and comes with a bloody, roaring payoff you won’t see coming, then builds again to the big face off you’ve been waiting for.”—NPR
“A masterpiece . . . with The City of Mirrors, the third volume in The Passage trilogy, Justin Cronin puts paid to what may well be the finest post-apocalyptic epic in our dystopian-glutted times. A stunning achievement by virtually every measure.”—The National Post
“Justin Cronin’s Passage trilogy is remarkable for the unremitting drive of its narrative, for the breathtaking sweep of its imagined future, and for the clear lucidity of its language. The City of Mirrors is a thrilling finale to a trilogy that will stand as one of the great achievements in American fantasy fiction.”—Stephen King
“Superb . . . This conclusion to bestseller Cronin’s apocalyptic thriller trilogy ends with all of the heartbreak, joy, and unexpected twists of fate that events in The Passage and The Twelve foreordained.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Readers who have been patiently awaiting the conclusion to Cronin’s sweeping postapocalyptic trilogy are richly rewarded with this epic, heart-wrenching novel. . . . Not only does this title bring the series to a thrilling and satisfying conclusion, but it also exhibits Cronin’s moving exploration of love as both a destructive force and an elemental need, elevating this work among its dystopian peers.”—Library Journal (starred review)
Praise for The Passage
“Magnificent . . . Cronin has taken his literary gifts, and he has weaponized them. . . . The Passage can stand proudly next to Stephen King’s apocalyptic masterpiece The Stand, but a closer match would be Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.”—Time
“Read this book and the ordinary world disappears.”—Stephen King
“[A] big, engrossing read that will have you leaving the lights on late into the night.”—The Dallas Morning News
“[A] literary superthriller, driven at once by character and plot.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Gripping . . . Cronin [introduces] eerie new elements to his masterful mythology.”—The San Diego Union-Tribune
“An undeniable and compelling epic . . . a complex narrative of flight and forgiveness, of great suffering and staggering loss, of terrible betrayals and incredible hope.”—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
About the Author
- File size : 14245 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 587 pages
- Publication date : May 24, 2016
- Publisher : Ballantine Books (May 24, 2016)
- ASIN : B015BCWZWW
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Language: : English
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #41,430 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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It is not a perfect book: in my opinion, Cronin's female characters are all a little too alike and a little too perfect: sassy, smart, headstrong (I know, could be much worse). When the men in his stories fall in love with these women, they fall instantaneously, hard, and forever, whether they're 14 or 60. But I think that might be my only critique of his writing. So now that's over with, I can sing its many, many praises.
Justin Cronin has a gift for creating sentences. His grasp of language and ability to use it to capture a moment so clearly it's as though I'm watching a movie is unassailable, whether or not one appreciates his "genre." He is able to build a story like those cotton candy machines create their cloud of sugar: completely three-dimensional, yet diaphanous, with no more structure than absolutely necessary to hold the creation together. In an era where I truly believe we are witnessing the dumbing down of our language into tweetable, textable shortcuts, Cronin pulls out his dictionary and finds the exact right word to depict the emotion of the moment. There wasn't a single time when I thought, "this is overwritten," or "less detail, please:" it was pitch-perfect in its creation of people, relationships, and the scenery upon which those relationships were played out.
I won't give any spoilers: I'll just say that for me, the book brought a very satisfying end to this epic tale. There might have been one or two places that felt a little too "tidy" and fortuitous, but overall his storytelling walks the balance between fantasy and true, imaginable possibility with utter grace. I am truly sorry to see these characters go, at least until I start reading the whole trilogy all over again, which I guarantee I will.
That refusal to stick to any one genre is both the best and the most frustrating thing about The City of Mirrors, the final entry in the trilogy. At times uplifting, at times heartbreaking, at times terrifying, The City of Mirrors takes all of Cronin’s habits to extremes. This is a book that features the most terrifying and nightmarish sequence of any of the novels to date; it’s also one which dedicates a huge percentage to the backstory of its major villain – a backstory which is mainly about a young student navigating his complicated relationship with his friends and struggling with his attraction to one of them.
That means that City of Mirrors can often be frustrating, even while it’s constantly engaging. Cronin’s prose remains solid, and his willingness to focus on character depth has always been one of the pleasures of the series. Every character, no matter how major or minor, gets respect and a fully realized backstory; it’s a choice that’s paid off again and again in this series. The choice to go to this level of depth is a somewhat strange one, and one that undeniably hurts the pacing of this book. And yet, once you finish the book, you start to realize that Cronin has more on his mind than simply wrapping up his apocalyptic epic.
Indeed, you could be forgiven for thinking that Cronin had ended the series already. (Spoilers for The Twelve follow.) After all, by the end of the previous book, The Twelve, the titular Twelve – the original infected – had been destroyed, and peace seemed to be inevitable. Yes, Amy’s fate was up in the air, as was Alicia’s, but the story seemed to be at a sort of ending point. (Spoilers end.) Indeed, it’s a feeling shared by many characters in the novel, who feel that the story is at an end, and that humanity is finally entering a world of peace and rebuilding.
But The City of Mirrors reminds us that there’s one major threat still surviving, and focuses on that threat: the originator of the plague, a creature only known as Zero. And in Cronin’s hands, this final battle is as much ideological as it is physical. Is there any reason for hope? Does humanity deserve to survive? What, exactly, does survival mean, and at what cost should we attempt to survive? And what part does hope play in all of this? Cronin takes on the questions that underlie so many apocalyptic horror tales – from The Stand to The Fireman to The Walking Dead – and makes them part of the text, thus justifying the time spent on Zero’s backstory. Yes, it’s long, and it sort of wrecks the pacing…but it ends up being central to the philosophical battle at the heart of the novel.
That conflict extends all the way to the ending of the book, which finds Cronin looking at the far larger picture as to what it all means. It’s something he’s been hinting at all through the series, and yet that final section of The City of Mirrors is nonetheless quietly moving, giving us a true epilogue to the story, and an ending that nicely brings his themes together. The endings of apocalyptic tales are always complicated – just look at the three very different endings (or lack thereof) of the titles I mentioned above – and it’s rare to find one that moves so strongly toward optimism. And yet, it works here, giving an ending that both wraps up the story and feels emotionally satisfying. The City of Mirrors is an ambitious book, and one that’s far more “literary” and less conventional than its predecessors. And yet, nonetheless, it sticks the landing for the trilogy, satisfying the reader on a variety of levels while still providing the thrills and excitement we’ve come to demand from the series. It may be a little lumpy at points, but I’ll forgive that for the level of satisfaction that I got from the book as a whole.
Top reviews from other countries
However, the part that most reviews seem to dislike the most (Fanning's backstory) was the part that I found the most intriguing as this was where Cronin played to his strengths again, in building characters. Characterisation was part of what hooked me in the first novel, and Fanning's backstory seemed to focus on this once again.
I generally finish one book and pick up the next but struggling to start anything else right now as still lost in that world.
In the second book, the twelve were felled, and this changed the outcome for mankind. Or so they thought. Zero was still out there somewhere. He is the one who must be destroyed if mankind is to have a future.
All I can say is that this third and final book in the series didn’t disappoint, and the finale is not what I expected. Even though each book stands at around 700 to 800 pages, the author outdoes himself with fresh material at every turn. While these three tales make for epic reading, I cannot recommend this trilogy or the author highly enough. I rate The City of Mirrors a solid five stars. Go out and buy this series. I’ll be looking out for more books by Justin Cronin.
NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.
5 STARS: IT WAS AMAZING! I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! — Highly Recommended.
4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.
Then I saw they'd made a TV series based on The Passage, and thought oh yeah I never did finish the last book. It's a shame I didn't persevere the first time around as a couple of chapters in and the pace really picked up, and found the last third of the book flew by. I actually found the last movements of the story quite beautiful really, though not entirely happy with some of the characters final endings, but overall a solid ending to the trilogy. Really I would rate it 3.5/5, but putting 4 stars felt fairer than 3.