There doesn't seem to be much middle ground with this book. The same goes for the narration...I think you either generally love Scott Brick as narrato..Show More »r (he's one of my favorites), or you can't stand him.
I didn't read a lot of the hype before listening to the book, so I didn't know what to expect. I like to try out different books from time to time, and I saw that it was long and only one credit, so I got it for my long commute to work. Glad I did.
First of all, this is not a cheerful book. It is at times uplifting, and at others very depressing. It is about vampires, but not the "traditional" vampires we're usually hearing about. And no one "sparkles" in this story, trust me. I thought the character development was good. Sometimes things moved slowly, but I never found myself wanting to skip sections. There was always enough going on to keep my interest. It's also like two stories in one. There is a bit about the world before, and then the story about what happens after. Not immediately after, as in the Stand, but a few generations later. I found that to be very interesting.
It is VERY long. That in itself doesn't work for some people. I myself enjoy long, rich stories, and that's what I feel I got with this one. There's a lot of description, which I enjoy but others may find dull. I was a bit annoyed with the ending, but I understand that this is to be part of a larger work (trilogy, I think) so it's more understandable.
Overall, if you can handle a long, depressing but sometimes uplifting story that is rich in detail but sometimes a bit on the slow side, give this a try. You might love it...or you might hate it.
The main reason i gave this 5 stars is not because it was one of the best books i have read, although it certainly is great, but because this book is ..Show More »so bloody long and it never loses you, and there is no way for myself that it seems that long... great....
There are very few books that I've waited as long for, or in as much anticipation of. I was a big fan of "The Passage" when it came out, and made a p..Show More »oint of reading it again just before the release date of "The Twelve". This turned out to be a much smarter thing to do than I had anticipated, and I encourage anyone that's considering doing so to do it. "The Twelve" takes the surface story we got in "The Passage", and adds depth, breadth, and context to it. One of the main ways Cronin does this is by fleshing out the background and history of the characters; some of which were not major players in the first book.
Readers of "The Passage" know that part-way through, there was a very... unexpected (and for many readers, myself included) unwelcomed turn of events that meant we were not going to continue with many of the characters and plot lines we'd come to care about. I know from other people's reviews that some readers even stopped reading at that point. I made the choice to continue, and was incredibly glad that I did - but it was still a hard pill to swallow at the time.
Now I realize that I should have given more credit to Justin Cronin's grand plan for his trilogy.
The first thing that really struck me as I began was that the quality is just as good as the first novel; the tone, the pacing, and the mood were all consistent and it was great to have Scott Brick back as the narrator. Once the story begins, we are promptly taken BACK to Year Zero. We see what happened to other characters we knew, and get a view of how the country handled the beginning of the crisis. More importantly, we slowly start to understand how these people end up affecting the world of 97 AV. I really enjoyed being able to fill in these holes, and the connections that are artfully woven between the characters in both times.
Time moves fluidly in this novel; transporting us not just to Year Zero and 97 AV, but also too a "mid-way point" of 79 AV, which allows for more background and history of the world and people in 97 AV.
This novel crystallizes what a huge, clear vision the author has for this trilogy. While I hate that it's over, and waiting until 2014 for the final chapter, I thought this book was fantastic and took the level of story-making to the next level, compared to the first book.
Finally, I just want to note that although we visit a few different times to allow for more plot development, I never felt I was being kept from the characters I wanted to spend time with. The book was done so incredibly well, it leaves me at a loss - so all I'll say is 5 stars, and enjoy the adventure.
(The kindle version of this book provides a list of all characters, organized by what year and place they were in, at the very end of the novel. After not having much luck online finding a list to help clarify a few things for myself, I got the Kindle version and just opened up the cloud reader option to open the book. If you choose "Table of Contents" from the books menu, right near the end you'll find an option in bold caps: "Dramatis Personae". If you click on that, it pulls up the characters. For me, this ended up being worthwhile. I have a feeling there are even more character connections than I picked up on yet; and I'm sure more are coming with book 3.)
At the end of reading 'The Passage', part one of Justin Cronin's triology, there was no doubt that I would immediately buy 'The Twelve' and I was not ..Show More »disappointed. The Twelve picks up where The Passage left of and continues the adventure at the same pace and excitement as the first book. This time the story is brought to a satisfying conclusion, or more accurately, a satisfying resting point, while setting the scene for the finale, 'The City of Mirrors'. I'm waiting impatiently...
After reading approx 10,000 books over my lifetime
...yes, ten thousand books. This is my favorite trilogy of all time.
Notable aspects about the final book (some of which seem to be bones of ..Show More »contention, judging by other reviews):
1. Scott Brick’s narration 2. Fanning’s backstory 3. Massive jumps in time 4. My minor quibbles
1. Narration: I love Brick’s voice and cadence. No, he doesn’t do character voices (just southern accents for Anthony Carter and Rachel, which I quite liked). I think you either love Brick’s voice or hate it.
2. Fanning (Zero): Personally, I loved hearing Fanning’s pre-virus backstory. I found it interesting and found him to be a likeable though flawed human being. As are we all. But I’m guessing it was there to explain why Fanning comes to do what he does. (See minor quibbles)
3. Time jumps: Yes, there are 1000+ year jumps in time, but they serve the story.
a. I didn’t really buy the reasons for why Fanning does what he does in the part of the post-virus story where most of the action takes place. It wasn’t enough to stop me listening or annoy me too much but…
b. Uh…was one critical character’s storyline NOT wrapped up? It’s possible it was just one line, “And so-and-so was never seen again” and my attention was diverted at that moment in the audio book and I didn’t even realize it.
All in all, while not everything is exactly “happily ever after” for some of our characters, I felt their stories were wrapped up in a satisfying way.
As I said, my favorite trilogy of all time. Throughout these 3 door-stopper books (what’s the audio book equivalent?), I was always completely drawn into the world and characters Cronin created—and so glad that there are a few writers out there who write giant tomes, even if we sometimes have to wait a while for the next book.