Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Twelve, a (Spoiler-Free) Review

Justin Cronin’s The Passage (my review here) was a tour de force. (I just wanted to use that phrase.) It was incredibly fast-paced, horrific in all the right places, and had a cast of characters that I could really get behind. There was no doubt that I would be reading the follow-up, and when the library informed me that I could check it out, I happily obliged.

The Twelve picks up a few years after the events in The Passage. Well, after the majority of the events, in any case, since that book was told in three separate eras. The Twelve continues with the three eras, still choosing to focus primarily on the year 97 A.V. and the people there. There is a hefty chunk of exposition beforehand, just like The Passage spent several hundred pages building up Wolgast and the virus.

Peter, Amy, and Alicia are the major POVs for The Twelve, but Cronin gives us more insights when the occasion warrants it. The Twelve introduces several new characters to the mix, many of whom made this Reader’s skin crawl. Post-apocalyptic America is a tough place in which to live, and Cronin does not hold anything back.

I devoured The Twelve (I had to; I couldn’t renew it.) and am already waiting for the concluding volume to hit the shelves. There were parts of this book that seemed without purpose, but I trust that Cronin is simply focusing on the journey and not the End Game. This book was a bit more gruesome than The Passage, but nothing too shocking.

If you’ve read (and enjoyed) The Passage then you’ll read (and enjoy) The Twelve. If not, and you want to read a very entertaining and deeply thought-provoking speculative fiction novel, I definitely recommend picking up The Passage. Cronin is a heck of a story teller. He’s able to make the Reader actually care about the characters and their choices, even after the pages run out.

1 comment:

Carl V. said...

Love it when an author can make you care about the people he or she has created. I've seen positive buzz about Cronin's books but haven't picked any up yet. The ol' 'too much to read' excuse more than anything. I'm glad you enjoyed it and hope you don't have to wait too long for the trilogy to conclude.