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First off, I think The Passage was brilliant. This second installment of the trilogy disappointed me though. The amount of important characters swells, and the overall outcome is a story line diluted by some periphery characters that distract the reader from the core characters of the story, at least for the first half. The last half of the book really picks up and while it was not what I was expecting, it certainly kept my attention. If you read the first, you have to read this book. Trudge through the slow start and you will be rewarded at the end. You will also be waiting to find out what happens to the crew, or what is left of it, in the next book.
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.
This could have been a nice short story rather than a long drawn out epic novel.
I'd skip large portions of the book and pick it up a chapter or two later and not miss a beat.
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.