Tuesday, October 23, 2012
The Twelve by Justin Cronin
In The Passage readers were introduced to the project that created The Twelve and Amy. We met Wolgast, Amy's surrogate father through the end of the world. We also met the brave and determined group of folks who would join Amy in an epic quest to save humanity.
Now, in The Twelve, Cronin brings the story back to the beginning and introduces Lila Kyle, a pregnant doctor dead set on protecting her unborn child, and Lawrence Grey, one of Zero's familiars and the man who will help Lila. We also meet Bernard Kittredge, aka Last Stand in Denver, and a group of other survivors from Denver and the surrounding area who will band together and make the long trek to what they hope will be safety. Their story, seemingly destined for a tragic end, plays a significant role in what will come next for Peter, Alicia, Hollis, Michael, Sara, and Amy as they continue their quest to bring down The Twelve almost a century later.
There's just so much to say about this most epic of epic post apocalyptic series. It's completely fabulous. The scope of the story and Cronin's admirable talents for storytelling make this the kind of series you can completely immerse yourself in, investing yourself in the characters and their stories, their triumphs, their losses, and their hopes and dreams for what will come next. In turning the final page of this book, I emerged completely exhausted and a bit shell shocked while desperately feigning for more!
While The Twelve is a little bit shorter than it's predecessor (592 pages compared to the 784 of The Passage) readers should know that these chunksters are fast paced enough that the story flies by. I don't recall my reading pace on Passage, but The Twelve took me just over two days to finish in terms of read time. Cronin's style encourages quick reading, maintaining a sense of urgency and suspense throughout the books. One might fear that such a doorstopper would be filled with dull, descriptive moments but rest assured this is most definitely NOT the case at all. Everything is necessary and everything moves the story forward. I would warn against a late night start as you'll likely find yourself reading into the wee hours! There's no stopping once you start.
The Twelve is a worthy follow up to the amazing Passage. It fully met my expectations and I highly recommend reading them both if you're a fan of end of the world fiction! Now begins the *sniff* final wait til book three and the conclusion of the story.