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The Twelve (Book Two of The Passage Trilogy): A Novel Paperback – January 19, 2016
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“[A] literary superthriller.”—The New York Times Book Review
“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
“The Twelve is even better than The Passage.”—The Plain Dealer
“A compulsive read.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Gripping . . . Cronin [introduces] eerie new elements to his masterful mythology. . . . Enthralling, emotional and entertaining.”—The San Diego Union-Tribune
“Fine storytelling.”—Associated Press
“Cronin is one of those rare authors who works on two different levels, blending elegantly crafted literary fiction with cliff-hanging thrills.”—Fort Worth Star-Telegram
About the Author
Justin Cronin is the New York Times bestselling author of The Passage, The Twelve, The City of Mirrors, Mary and O’Neil (which won the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Stephen Crane Prize), and The Summer Guest. Other honors for his writing include a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Whiting Writers’ Award. A Distinguished Faculty Fellow at Rice University, he divides his time between Houston, Texas, and Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
Top customer reviews
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First off, for anyone who isn’t familiar with Justin Cronin’s trilogy, this apocalyptic literature is not told in a linear fashion. Saying that, you have to read The Passage first and this one will make sense.
In the previous book you read about life before the virus. It’s life as we know it with stores, shopping, farms, social life, going to school and….everyday life. A virus which is mishandled by the government (what do you know, the government and military had a hand in this apocalyptic catastrophe) leading to a virtual wipe-out of our civilization.
Some survive – fast forward 100 years and you have read about the First Colony in California where people are secured in a compound. It’s a back-to-basics way of life, the sort we read about for our ancestors with them making tools by hand, growing their own food – a life devoid of television, or phones, cars and office life. People have jobs such as teachers, soldiers and farmers. It begins with the year 97 A.V. (after virus).
New characters are introduced but you’ll revisit some favorites such as Peter, Amy, Michael, Alicia and many others. If you read The Passage do you remember the cliff hangers at the end? The Twelve picks 5 years after The Passage and we are introduced to communities in Iowa, Kerrville Texas and one called "The Homeland" which is pure evil.
As with the first book and the last (I have already finished City of Mirrors) this story is about survivors and the lengths they will go to protecting their loved ones and keep the human race from being eliminated.
Not too much food mentioned in The Twelve. As you can see from my Paperwhite a bowl of soup was mentioned and it was a comfort food. Soup is certainly a comfort food, anytime.
I started this book immediately after Book 1. It is a bit darker - in terms of lows that mankind has and will stoop to. That said the story is enthralling. Within minutes of finishing The Twelve I downloaded the final book City of Mirrors.
So there are basically two ways of looking at this book - comparing it to the others in the series and the others in the genre. Compared to the genre it is way ahead, but to the rest of the series it is probably the least, however not by much.
If you've read The Passage you already know that this author knows how to write, and you can see how much he loves his character as he spends a lot of time on them and makes them very unique. Some people might not like that so much time is spent on characters that for instance simply end up long ago relatives to a main character, but I do enjoy the writing style and brevity immensely so that does not bother me at all. And in the end he really needs to tell of Gray, Guilder and Lila so it was nice to have the Last stand in Denver in there to have some change of scenery between chapters. But once again they are so well written that you can't help but enjoy them. Altough some of the characters being so much fun can bum you out when their story concludes about a third of the book in.
The rest of the book ties really well with the first third and is beautifully written as well. And again reading about the characters before makes one feel omniscient later. What I mean by that is that when the future characters like Alicia, Sarah, and Peter do meet some of the characters (I am not telling which) you know exactly who they are meeting and exactly where they are coming from which is awesome. Plus everyone that actually made it into the future had a pretty logical and sensible path and there are no leaps of logic or anything like that.
Now on to the not so good - there are some big coincidences... now in a land without cellphones and mass transit etc. two character meeting a thousand miles away coming from different directions and different means is kind a crazy... but you got not two, rather like 10. Also some of the things that some characters and groups have done really don't make sense if you spend more than a minute thinking about it, but I can't say more since it will be a spoiler.
The antagonists and the climax of the novel are pretty great, however be warned that the book turns into pretty dark places unlike the previous one. I've read interviews that the writer's daughter helped out with plot ideas and whatnot when she was pretty young (inspiration for Amy) but here I guess she grew up because s**** gets serious with some rape, murder, slavery, savage beatings, and general oppression going on in the second half of the book. I love this kind of stuff, but be warned it gets pretty dark.
Overall if you love survival post apocalyptic stories this where you want to be, and although there were some things that irked me i enjoyed it immensely. And knowing what comes next having read the third one it is worth even more as there are things coming that you simply do not want to miss by skipping on the series.