The end of the world was only the beginning.
In his internationally best-selling and critically acclaimed novel The Passage, Justin Cronin constructed an unforgettable world transformed by a government experiment gone horribly wrong. Now the scope widens and the intensity deepens as the epic story surges forward with...
In the present day, as the man-made apocalypse unfolds, three strangers navigate the chaos. Lila, a doctor and an expectant mother, is so shattered by the spread of violence and infection that she continues to plan for her child’s arrival even as society dissolves around her. Kittridge, known to the world as "Last Stand in Denver", has been forced to flee his stronghold and is now on the road, dodging the infected, armed but alone and well aware that a tank of gas will get him only so far. April is a teenager fighting to guide her little brother safely through a landscape of death and ruin. These three will learn that they have not been fully abandoned - and that in connection lies hope, even on the darkest of nights.
One hundred years in the future, Amy and the others fight on for humankind’s salvation...unaware that the rules have changed. The enemy has evolved, and a dark new order has arisen with a vision of the future infinitely more horrifying than man’s extinction. If the Twelve are to fall, one of those united to vanquish them will have to pay the ultimate price.
A heart-stopping thriller rendered with masterful literary skill, The Twelve is a grand and gripping tale of sacrifice and survival.
©2012 Justin Cronin (P)2012 Random House Audio
Named one of the Ten Best Novels of the Year by Time and Library Journal, and one of the Best Books of the Year by The Washington Post, Esquire, U.S. News & World Report NPR/On Point, and St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"[A] blockbuster." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Magnificent...Cronin has taken his literary gifts, and he has weaponized them.... The Passage can stand proudly next to Stephen King’s apocalyptic masterpiece The Stand, but a closer match would be Cormac McCarthy’s The Road." (Time)
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.
The book gives some nice backstory on the events between the viral outbreak and the start of the "modern" age from the latter part of The Passage (97 years after outbreak). Then it picks up after that, building up to a grand finale, where instead of letting the characters resolve the situation on their own, deus ex machina is used to resolve this book's storyline.
Although in retrospect I guess the first book had something arguably similar. It didn't stick out to me last time, but this time boy it sure did.
Scott Brick's performance was good, as in the previous.
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.
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.
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.
2nd time through. Great to get the filler of what happened during the 90 year leap in the first book. Starting City of Mirrors now.
I love the scope of time and place and Characters. Great author- Great narrator! I like that the Virals have some emotions from time to time. It adds a lot to the quality and depth of the story. I can't refer it to some of my friends and family because of language and certain violence but other wise I can't get enough of it. On my way to get The City of Mirrors from the mail box.
I was so glad when this ended. So tired of listening to it. Should've stopped at book1. There are just too many stories, and too many characters, going on. Difficult to keep track of them all in an audio book. Some scenes are too descriptive, making them longer than necessary.
Eliminated unnecessary characters and their stories.
A former globetrotting surf punk turned homeowner with ecclectic tastes. Classics, horror, crime, biographies or lectures? Yes please!
I enjoyed this book very much. Although I enjoyed "the Passage", as well, I think this book was a little tighter in terms of writing and story-telling. I think the writer struck a better balance between the "slices of life" character development stories and the continuity of the overall storyline in this installment.
I was especially impressed with how the past and present story-lines tied together in order to give more depth to the motivations of the "adversaries". Cronin is very simply an excellent writer, so he brings life to material that could easily be one dimensional in the hands of another. I am very much looking forward to the next installment of this series, in addition to future projects he undertakes.
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