Tag Archives: Justin Cronin

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 ┬ámight 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…) ­čśë

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.

Justin Cronin: The Passage

Honestly, I don’t remember the last time I read such an engrossingly haunting and incredible book.
And before you go thinking it’s something lovely, it isn’t. Not even close.

It’s basically a horror story of what we as people can do to ourselves. Well, in my opinion not a true horror story, most post-apocalyptic stories feature some kind of deformed human predator which in this┬ácase are the virals (which is possibly why some people call it horror).
I’ve seen reviewers calling this a vampire story but I would never refer to it as┬áthat just┬áon the account of virals who have some┬ásimilarities with vampires but in my mind only┬ábarely. passage
The scariest part of the story for me was the fact that people keep tinkering with things they don’t really know anything about because they feel they can gain something out of it. And thinking that they have it under control. But that is only an illusion.

Which is pretty much what happens here and how world descends into apocalypse. It’s also very scary reading about the atrocities people can do to each other. And I’m not discussing virals now but people.

The beginning reminded me a lot of Terry Brooks Shannara world building – the World/Void books. Here we follow a slow decline of the world through all the bad choices we, as the people, make.
In the beginning I got very upset that I had to wait for understanding of different story lines. I mean, the different story lines make perfect sense in the way they build up to a full story but it takes a while for that to happen. Until then, you are hooked trying to figure out what will happen. And that lasts until the end (which is long time coming). ­čÖé

It also took me some time to figure out the story is not happening in present day but in close future.
The really scary part of this book is the fact that it’s possible. Probably not as imagined in this book but the virus tinkering is a quite real possibility.
Can I just add that the collective of the twelve reminds me a lot of the Borg? ­čÖé Couldn’t help it, the association just appeared. I don’t want to spoil the book so I won’t be explaining this further, if you read it, you’ll know what I meant.

If you enjoy post-apocalyptic worlds, I would highly recommend this. While reading it, it might feel like you’re in the Twilight zone but it will be worth it.

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