Sunday, 9 April 2017

Book Review: The Twelve by Justin Cronin

This is the second book in Justin Cronin's The Passage trilogy. The Passage focused on the outbreak of a virus created in a government experiment gone wrong, turning humans into blood-thirsty virals (pretty similar to vampires). As for The Twelve, there's two main timelines in this book; we go back to the very beginning of the plague, encountering some new characters, and we also visit Peter, Amy and the gang 5 years after The Passage ended.

"Kittredge had obviously misjudged her, but he had learned that was the way with most people. The story was never the story, and it surprised you, how much another person could carry."

Having read The Passage towards the end of last year, I was afraid my memory would fail me and I'd find it hard to remember all the characters and goings-on of the previous book. However, Cronin generously provides us with a Book of Twelves recap of previous characters at the very beginning of the book. Wikipedia also provided a nice refresher of the plot.

As with The Passage, Cronin's writing is impeccable. It's so easy to get sucked into this world he has created and not realise that an hour has passed since you picked up the book. My early morning car reading left me slightly late for work some mornings as I zoned out and become engrossed in this apocalyptic thriller - oops! Amazing, interesting, well-written characters - we revisit those from The Passage as well as being introduced to some pretty great new ones too!

One of my issues with this book, however, was the jumping back and forth between storylines and timelines. There's just so much going on that it can become slightly confusing at times. This wasn't really an issue with The Passage because in that book there was three distinct parts with three distinct chronological sections. I do still believe Justin Cronin is a master at weaving all the storylines together, and he did it perfectly in The Passage, but this was not handled as well in this book. His merging of storylines and characters was still amazing and impressive, I just felt there was too much jumping around this time.

This book was definitely more violent and gory than The Passage, and I did like that, because apocalyptic tales should be visceral and raw, in my opinion. However, there was one storyline I had an issue with and I don't want to say more as it would be a spoiler, but it was too stereotypical for me and left me feeling a bit disappointed in Cronin's decision to include it (for people who've already read this, it concerns Alicia - I'm sure you know what I'm referring to).

Overall, I loved being back in this world, I'm going to order City of Mirrors soon because I can't wait to finish off this enthralling trilogy. It gets 4 stars out of 5 from me!

After a break from my King, my TBR jar is letting me go back to him again! YAY. Until next time...


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