Monday, November 5, 2012

Book Review: The Twelve by Justin Cronin

Book: The Twelve by Justin Cronin
Genre: Horror
For: Fun and RIP Challenge
From: Borrowed from the library

I loved the first book, The Passage. Yes, it was long, yes it was detailed, and yes it was pretty graphic, but yes I was very much looking forward to finding out what happened to all these people! In the first book we learn about a virus that has been developed to supposedly create a super human fighting machine, but something goes terribly wrong and instead, the infected become a sort of vampire-like creature. We meet most of our cast members nearly 100 years after the Virals are first set loose on the country and find out how they've managed to survive the apocalypse and what they intend to do about it now.

However, this book starts out back in the beginning when the virus is first let loose. We meet several new groups of people and learn how they get through the initial attack of the Virals. I kept wondering why I needed to know about them, when I so wanted to go back to our familiar set of characters.

Well, it all makes sense eventually when the stories of these new guys intersect with the stories of the people from the first book. Ah, and it's so very violent and brutal! Beware those of a queasy stomach! Some people, it appears, when infected by this virus instead of turning into a full vampire creature, they become a sort of half breed. Some (one or two I should say) even have the ability to control the Virals. They've used this ability to create a society safe from the creatures, but on the other hand, they have become monsters themselves.

And now the people not only have to face the Virals, but these other monsters that are even worse. It gets absolutely crazy!

The Twelve, by the way, refers to the original guys that were infected with the virus, and each of those guys now control vast communities of the Virals who are under them. The idea is that if you can kill on of the originals, you will then sever the tie they have to their subjects and all of those under them will die. The goal, then is to seek out these twelve, kill them, and thus finally take back the country.

One issue I had was that I'd forgotten much of the detail from the first book, and while I didn't want to go and re-read it (hello!) I did pick it up and skim some spots to remember a few things. Often sequels will sufficiently remind you what's gone on in a previous book, but I found that not to be the case with this one. It just assumes you remember.

Anyway, in the end, I enjoy the writing, I enjoy the story and I enjoy the investment I feel to these characters. But, I don't enjoy reading about torture and brutality, that's for sure.

Bottom line: I didn't find myself as sucked into it as I did with the first book, but I still enjoyed the story as a whole.

Other Reviews:

This is Cronin’s dystopian-apocalyptic-sci-fi-woo-woo-vampire-horror follow-up to The Passage. Okay, maybe not so much sci-fi, but I’m pretty sure everything else made it’s way in there. From Fizzy Thoughts

Cronin keeps the action moving, keeps the characters busy and moves the plot to a heart-pounding climax with everyone on stage. From Boston Bibliophile

Cronin is in complete control of this masterpiece and I was spellbound. Not since Stephen King’s The Stand have I been so blown away. From Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Cronin’s post-apocalyptic world is so well created that I forget that it’s not real. From Chrisbookarama

I can’t say that I’m thrilled with The Twelve, but I’m not disappointed either. The book definitely feels like a bridge to the last of the trilogy. From From Left to Write


  1. I have heard good things about both books. I will have to check them out.

    1. Hillary: If you like big detailed epic horror stories, you'll love it!

  2. This guy and Brandon Sanderson should get together, hold hands and skip through a meadow. Need I say more? ;)

    1. Jenny: ACK! What a visual to put into my head!

  3. I'm reading this now so I just skimmed but I have forgotten all but the bare bones of the first book. Curious to see how it all ties together.

  4. Amazing sequel to The Passage, I can't wait for the next book! Just Cronin really keeps you interested and wanting more.

    Rowena Hailey (Search Engine Optimization Kent)



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