Review: The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin

Title: The City of Mirrors
Author: Justin Cronin
Pages: 624
Genre: Fiction, Science Fiction, Apocalyptic, Paranormal
Source: Free ARC from Random House-Ballantine

Rating: A-

Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from Random House-Ballantine via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review (and trust me, honest is always what you’ll get).

Review: Let me start by saying that I loved The Passage. LOVED. And The Twelve? Loved it even more. AND I read them both recently, so there wasn’t a big gap for me in between the first two and this final installment. Not sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing. Sometimes a time lapse helps soften some of the details so you regard the next in the series more as a complement to the previous rather than an extension. Perhaps that difference is a bit nuanced, but in some cases, it really matters. Somehow, I suspect that, for me, a little time in between The Twelve and this final book would have served me well.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed The City of Mirrors, I really did. Cronin is an amazing writer who builds worlds you get lost in and characters you fall in love with. That alone makes The City of Mirrors worth your time. But sadly, I must admit that I loved The Twelve and The Passage more. There are a couple of reasons why, and I think they have more to do with me than anything.

To begin with, when it comes to trilogies, it seems like I frequently love the second book best. This was true of Hunger Games and Divergent. It was even true of The Lord of the Rings! It also seems to be true that I always love the third book the least. Why? No idea. But also, I was pretty satisfied with the ending of The Twelve. Sure questions were left unanswered, but you never know everything. It answered most of the questions I cared most about (barring – where the hell is Zero, of course). So, mostly I just wasn’t as hungry for The City of Mirrors as I was for The Twelve.

All those caveats in place, I still really enjoyed it. It went a little further story-wise than I really needed it to go, but getting to know the background of Zero was splendid, and even more so, spending all that time with Michael. That alone made The City of Mirrors for me. I loved him from the first book and didn’t realize how badly I wanted him to play a bigger part in the story until it was in front of me. Getting to know him better was supremely satisfying.

And, it kind of goes without saying that you HAVE to finish a trilogy when you’re already two books in don’t you? What kind of masochist would leave it all hanging out there like that? How does it all end? What happens to my favorite characters? Of course, you have to know.

So yeah, it’s isn’t my favorite of the three, but I still think you’d be crazy not to read it. For one, it’s Justin Cronin. Duh. Two, it’s the final installment in an absolutely astounding trilogy. And three, well…do you really need more reason than that?

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