The Twelve – Justin Cronin

The Twelve


Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )

New  Books Magazine

The Twelve is the second of Justin Cronin’s epic post-apocalyptic trilogy which began in 2010 with The Passage.   I “devoured” the first book and have been anticipating the sequel with equal amounts of dread and delight.  Fear not, this is not a casualty of Second Novel Syndrome but is instead a glowing example of engaging dystopian fiction at its best.

Yes, it’s a story about vampires but as far removed from Twilight as is humanly/virally possible.  Comparisons with Stephen King’s The Stand are more apt.  As in The Passage, there are several converging storylines with different starting points.  At first this can be quite disconcerting as time frames zoom from the beginning of the apocalypse to events mentioned in The Passage to the present day where mankind seems on the verge of eventually destroying the bio-engineered vampires.  If you hang in there, for the first 100 pages or so, you will be rewarded bountifully with an almost 3D cinematic experience with motifs of good versus evil, love, loss and sacrifice. 

This is a book which deserves large chunks of your reading time, an addictive narrative which will take up most of your waking hours.  It is an excellent springboard for reading group discussion especially in an era where medical and scientific advances are juxtaposed with moral and ethical issues.  For those with weak wrists, the kindle version is a less cumbersome alternative!

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  1. Marie says:

    Hm! I have seen mentions of this all over the internet but have to admit I dismissed as ‘just another vampire book’. Judging from your review Treez I suspect I may be wrong, it sounds pretty epic! I’m off to read some reviews of the first book right now!

  2. Teresa says:

    Marie, quite a few RiSi folk loved The Passage, including myself, Annie, Sarah, Tracey and Leah. It’s as far removed from Twilight as is physically possible – no offence to Twilight fans but romance and vampires is not my thing! If you do read it, invest in a couple of wrist supports or even better, get the e book version…

  3. I liked The Passage but if I’m honest, I liked the first part much more than the second, thought that was a bit slow. Would you say the pace is quicker in this one? I’ve been debating about whether or not to buy it…

  4. Charlie says:

    Another massive book, I wonder how much shelf space this trilogy will end up taking! Am yet to read The Passage but would like to sometime, glad to hear the second is as good.

  5. admin says:

    Yes, the pace is much quicker this time, Sam although it does take a while to get familiar with the different narratives before they merge – he does like to keep us on our toes!

  6. admin says:

    My ARC weighed in at 700+ pages but I think the final version is 500+ so perhaps a bit more manageable, Charlie! ;-)

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