Review: The Twelve by Justin Cronin

Title: The Twelve
Author: Justin Cronin
Pages: 568
Genre: Fiction, Dystopia, Apocalyptic, Post-Apocalyptic
Source: Owned Print

Rating: A+

Review: This second book in The Passage Trilogy is just as good as the first, if not better, but in a different way. It’s actually a little difficult to compare the two. The Twelve is both a continuance of the first book as well as an enhancement to it. We meet up with our favorite characters once again, but also some minor characters develop into major characters and we get to know a lot more about some of the major players in what’s to come.

In the beginning, we get a quick synopsis of the first book, and then we dive into scenes from the beginning of the pandemic, when things were just starting to get really ugly. It’s a very personal and in-depth view of the different ways in which people were impacted. In many respects, it doesn’t feel as quick-paced and action-oriented as the first installment (though there is some of that, too), but the pace was just right for me.

During these after years, when the world is trying to recover from an unimaginable disaster, there are a lot of bad things happening. In every dystopian novel or movie, there are always those who take advantage of the situation and create a hostile environment where people are enslaved or get hurt in horrific ways, and we see that in The Twelve. But what I really appreciate is Cronin’s respectful handling of these situations. He addresses the horrors that happen, impresses upon the reader how it impacts the victims, but he does so in a way that gets the point across without being unnecessarily graphic. Sometimes graphic scenes of that nature are called for, but I’m glad that Cronin realized they wouldn’t benefit the story.

At the end of The Passage, there was no doubt that I would read The Twelve because a) the first installment was so amazing and b) something horrible had happened to some of my favorite characters and I really needed to know what came next. The Twelve ends in a much more positive way and I feel good about where the characters were left, but a) how could I NOT finish the trilogy when the first two were so phenomenal and b) there are a lot of unanswered questions, and I’m naively hoping that I’ll get answers to most of them in The City of Mirrors, which is being released in May. A review of that is coming soon!

Definitely recommend reading The Twelve if you’ve already read The Passage, and if you haven’t read The Passage, I highly recommend you get right on that.

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