Justin Cronin: The Twelve

It’s been a year since I read The Passage and I’ve been postponing reading The Twelve to closer the release date for the last book (but it’s still not known) and I could no longer wait and had to read it.

There are obvious similarities between the two. The beginning is disjointed and it takes time for the reader to get his bearings because the story is skipping backward and forward and it takes a while before you can connect what happened in the intervening years and how it reflects on the story now.

But you do and you shouldn’t stop reading even if it bothers you.the twelve

We follow the characters from the The Passage five years after the story of that book has happened and even though there is a place where humanity survives, there are hints that all hell might break loose and overtake that little human circle.

Hmm, now that I mentioned hell, I should also mention the fact that God is a big part of the story. Not in the obvious way, but there are references to Peter being a shepherd-like figure, to hearing God’s voice/hints as to which way a character’s life lies, etc. When humanity disappears, turning to God is an obvious choice. And I don’t mean it in a condescending way, we all need some kind of comfort to hold on to.

One thing Mr. Cronin does well is describe what  might be happening in someone’s mind. The description of what goes on in a mind of a crazy person here was unbelievably believable. I hope that doesn’t mean I’m leaning toward crazy?! (since I can imagine it so easily…) 😉

You know, the thing about really good post-apocalyptic books is the fact that they make you aware how much cruelty and pain we inflict on each other and how in any possible scenario of a future apocalypse (except for meteors and stuff like that), we, as humans, will be the ones responsible for bringing about the end of our world. And I really don’t have a hard time believing it after seeing one of the characters pave the road to hell by selecting the so called “good intentions road”. And true to my prediction, he certainly did that.

And here is where it gets both interesting and complicated.

We follow some of the characters from the previous book but we also learn how previous events are going to reverberate down the future and influence our heroes’ lives and choices.

The great thing about Mr. Cronin’s writing is that you really get lost in the story and feel you are truly a part of it. It keeps pulling you in and you are powerless to stop it.

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