Like so many others, I loved The Passage and was counting down the days until The Twelve was available on Audible. Sadly, the book did not live up to my expectations. All the compelling tension of the first book seemed to be missing from this one. The story had its moments, mostly in the second half, but characters that seemed so complex and 3-dimensional in The Passage felt flat. Scott Brick is one of my favorite narrators, but I felt that he contributed to the slow pace of the novel this time. I ended up listening on 1.5X speed which helped move the book along. Will I take on the third book in the trilogy? Probably, but I hope Mr. Cronin listens to his critics.
In terms of being an epic journey, near the top. Certainly this continues the journey started in "The Passage", both adding more detail, plot and complexities, as well rounding out characters and backfilling the story.
The battle scenes are fascinating.
He needs to cover alot of ground, and does a remarkable job in that regard. He is my favourite performer however, so I am naturally biased.
Part 2 of this sprawling series ( I believe it will be a trilogy ) is engrossing ( sometimes gross as well ) and both mystical , almost too much so for it's own good at times, and a wonderful addition to the genre. Most listeners will look me in looking forward to the final installment.
Come to me!!!
This book rates way up there with the best I've read. It's a terrific second installment. I too, like others have mentioned in reviews, struggled a bit with the first few chapters . I am so glad I stuck with it because it evolved into the amazing continuation of The Passage.
It is a deep, complicated and huge story. I loved it and am thrilled that there will be yet another part to this amazing trilogy.
Scott Brick does an amazing job narrating and Cronin is an excellent writer. Will check out the next book in the series when it's out and hope it doesn't jump around so much and leave so many empty holes.
The development of the virals is great. The story jumps around quite a bit and is a bit hard to follow at times. Some people in the story are built up, then sort of vanish and you don't hear anything about them. Maybe to be picked back up in the next book? Who knows.
Just as good as the first in the series.
The Twelve is a worthy sequel to The Passage, though it didn't quite keep me up at night like the first book. The imagery and pacing doesn't quite pack the same punch, and if you're not a careful reader some of the most important character relationships can sail right past you. The Passage introduced the reader to a strange new world full of horrors brought to life with vivid imagery and suspenseful chase scenes, whereas The Twelve is told in a series of sorrowful vignettes which only during the last quarter of the book begin to tie together. The Twelve requires a bit more patience to enjoy, though I definitely did.
One of the more entertaining aspects of The Passage was Justin Cronin's skillful employment of tropes. He weaves elements which could easily become cliche into a story that's greater than the sum of it's parts, a Hollywood action movie on literary steroids. In The Twelve, Cronin takes a different approach.
The Twelve is structured more as a biblical parable of sin and redemption (or sin and destruction). The story focuses more on the (non-viral) antagonists; each is given an elaborate backstory full of suffering, each makes a terrible decision in response to their anguish and becomes a monster, then finally each is redeemed or destroyed depending on whether or not they try to right their terrible actions.
This may turn off readers that are expecting another scary sci-fi adventure. The religious references are also dialed way up to 11, which while cute at first might become a little irritating by the end. Finally the characters from the first book generally take a back seat to the new antagonists, and sometimes come off as a little too woodenly "Good".
Scott Brick delivers his performance in a lilting, melancholy voice that's absolutely appropriate for Cronin's prose. In some other books I wonder if Brick doesn't actually interfere with the story by adding pathos the author didn't intend. Not so with The Twelve (or The Passage), where his style is a perfect fit for both the style and the substance of the book.
Bi-Vocational Pastor/Draftsman. Full time husband and dad. Audiobooks are a staple in my life because I can read and work...
POSSIBLE SPOILER: I really wanted the book to explore more of the scientific issue of the biological experiment, but it was all about the relationships that were developed in the first book. Don't get me wrong, they are important and are interesting, but I would have preferred a better mix. The book really felt segmented and somewhat hard to follow to me due to the back and forth between times and old then new characters. I re-read the first book just days before this one came out and it was still that way somewhat. I enjoyed following the journey of the first book on google earth, but this one doesn't allow much of that because the characters just appear at the destination in the next chapter. However, there were some turns in the plot I didn't expect and I will be getting the final book of the Trilogy. Narration was as good as the first one. Its slow enough that its easy to listen on double speed. Later.
I listened to the first book again to get 'up to speed' as far as remembering the fine points. Started The Twelve with perhaps a little too much anticipation and was ready to move forward with the story. I truly was confused pretty much right off the bat but kept the faith that it would all come together. I kept leaving bread crumbs so I could find my way back to some organized story line but ran out about 1/3 of the way through. There were so many incredible places this story could of gone but it seemed like it just expanded in so many different directions and with so many characters it was hard to keep it all together!
I am a multi-listen person and often enjoy my audio books more the second time through and intend to listen again sometime. I hope that the third book has more of a unifying story line to it where there is fewer characters but more depth to their story.
Putting books on the back burner.
(The wonderful people at Audible has allowed me to edit review because I mixed up the narrator with the author's name is my first review on 10/25/12. My review is the same, but just the "correction" of the names.)
I cannot believe that no one have yet to comment on how horrific on the narration. I just couldn't listen to "Scott Brick's" performance in normal speed on my IPod. I needed to speed up the audio and even then the narration was just tolerable to listen to. For some reason, "Brick" is just down right awful in this book and totally ruin the story for the listener. His pace is extremely slow, where you cannot take it anymore and need to stop listening to the book because it's just so frustrating.
As far as the book, it's just okay. I found that the book to be slow also. I gave the first book one star because I didn't like it at all.
Usually, I give the sequel a chance to change my mind, but as for "The Twelve", it's slightly better than "The Passage", but still not that great.
The Twelve is just marginally better to give it two stars. There are some highlights in the story, but nothing to drool over. At least it was just 1 credit to buy. Something to kill time and maybe to look forward to the next edition to the saga.
I just don't understand what is the big deal for this trilogy, but then again, I'm not the target audience.
I was disappointed with the book. You know all the characters from the first novel, but in this novel it seemed like they were cardboard cutouts. The plot and the world the characters moved through seemed to be painted on, lacking the depth of the first novel.
Author, rabid Audible listener.
Get through the first few chapters of The Twelve and you will start back on the journey where The Passage left off. It was those first few chapters that really made me question whether I wanted to continue reading. Either Justin Cronin just meant to write the books this way or his head is getting too big.
The first part of The Twelve is downright difficult to read with scripture-like text getting all high and mighty about God's creation of Zero and how Amy will be the light, etc, etc. It is all very over the top.
That said, this is a very good and very dark outing. There is little to be happy about but you do get to learn a whole lot about the back story of the world being overrun by the virals. All the characters are treated incredibly well so you never feel like there is some 'side character'.. they are all very well developed.
If you read The Passage and want to get on with it, I suggest you do. If you are wondering whether this story is good for you, realize it can get very preachy.