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The Twelve: A Novel Audiobook

The Twelve: A Novel: The Passage Trilogy, Book 2

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Publisher's Summary

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...

The Twelve

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

What the Critics Say

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)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Cooper V Missouri, USA 11-10-12
    Cooper V Missouri, USA 11-10-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beware the Deus Ex Machina"

    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.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gregg Branum 10-21-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Excellent second installment"

    I just finished The Twelve. While I plan to listen to it again to catch what I missed, here are my initial impressions (and no spoilers here that aren’t mentioned in literary reviews). First, the narration by Scott Brick is excellent as always. The beginning part of the story switches back and forth between 97 A.V (five years after the conclusion of The Passage) and the Year 0. In the Year 0 portion, Cronin expands on the events surrounding the viral plague through the eyes of those living through it. A few of the characters make a brief appearance or are mentioned in the first book. Of note are Kittridge (known only as Last Stand in Denver in the first book) and Lila (the ex-wife of agent Wolgast). It is interesting to see the apocalypse through the new eyes of people just trying to stay alive as the world is dying around them, and also how these characters impact future events.

    The story of our main band from The Passage continues five years after the death of Babcock with the survivors trying to cope and adjust to life in Kerrville. Each is struggling in one way or another. Peter has joined the Expeditionary, but feels he isn’t fulfilling his mission. Alicia is as tough as ever, but the strain of being half human, half viral is a constant weight. Amy is growing as a woman and leader, but is haunted by the twelve and her memories of Walgast. Greer is serving time in the stockade for deserting his post to follow Amy and Peter, and he has become a man of deep faith.

    The primary enemy in this novel is another human settlement located in Iowa. Some of the people we meet here are old characters and some are new. I do agree with some of the early reviews that draw a comparison between this settlement and the Vegas colony in The Stand. The leader of the community even bears some similarities to Randall Flagg. It is the confrontation and the threat of this new foe that is the source of the conflict.

    I found this a great read, and an excellent follow up to The Passage. We learn the answers to many of the questions left hanging at the end of the first book, including the fate of the garrison at Roswell and what became of the citizens of First Colony. This book takes a much deeper turn into the mystical than the first book. Some of the passages that delved into the world of dreams and other dimensions were confusing at times. I also was never fully engaged by the characters in the colony in Iowa, which reminded me of a Nazi concentration camp, or its leader. Guilder, the leader, is an evil character, but I never found him as compelling as, say, Randall Flagg, to which he seems an homage.

    I rate this highly as a second installment, but was not as blown away with The Twelve as I was with The Passage. It was entertaining and was good to revisit characters fans of The Passage have come to care about. It was also good to see the story move forward to what any fan knows will be the ultimate conflict of good vs evil against Subject Zero. Some people did not find the cliffhanger ending of the first book. I loved it, and found it to be great storytelling. There is no abrupt ending as before, but that’s not to say there aren’t unanswered questions. The ending does set up the finale and opens a couple of burning questions that will ensure fans run to buy the next installment. I will.

    13 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William R. SAN FRANCISCO, CA, United States 11-27-12
    William R. SAN FRANCISCO, CA, United States 11-27-12 Member Since 2016

    Author, rabid Audible listener.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Is Justin Cronin trying to write a new Bible?"

    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.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justin WEST PALM BEACH, FL, United States 11-22-12
    Justin WEST PALM BEACH, FL, United States 11-22-12
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    "Good sequel, but very different from the first"

    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.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ida M. Garrett Missouri 11-08-12
    Ida M. Garrett Missouri 11-08-12 Member Since 2014

    Ida Garrett

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    "Ran out of bread crumbs"

    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.

    IMHO

    Peace

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff HOUSTON, TX, United States 11-30-12
    Jeff HOUSTON, TX, United States 11-30-12
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    "Good book, but a bit confusing at times"
    Would you try another book from Justin Cronin and/or Scott Brick?

    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.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    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.


    Have you listened to any of Scott Brick’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Just as good as the first in the series.


    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Checkered Heart 09-25-16
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    "Twelve hours of boredom"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    djkpayne 06-20-16
    djkpayne 06-20-16 Member Since 2015
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    "The Twelve"

    Loved this book all the way through.

    This was my third time reading it because there is so much detail.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Cartier Philly 05-28-16
    Robert Cartier Philly 05-28-16 Member Since 2016

    Robby Wonder

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    "Perfect Sequel To The Passage"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PitPak 05-25-16
    PitPak 05-25-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "My third read !"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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