Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Review: The Twelve by Justin Cronin

Title: The Twelve
Series: The Passage Trilogy #2
Author: Justin Cronin
Publisher:  Orion Publishing
Pages: 752
Genres: Post-apocalyptic fiction, Science Fiction, Horror


Death-row prisoners with nightmare pasts and no future.


Until they were selected for a secret experiment.


To create something more than human.


Now they are the future and humanity's worst nightmare has begun.


The epic sequel to

This is the middle book in The Passage trilogy and I have to admit, The Twelve lacks the same magic that was abundant in The Passage.

The book started tantalisingly, the reader is given a short summary of the events of the first book in the form of a future document called The Book of Twelves, then there is a short chapter set five years onward from events from the last book which focuses on some of the fates of the main characters. But then, too suddenly the narrative switches to a new group of characters back at the beginning of the outbreak, year zero; before going back to the storyline five years onward from the last book. Don't get me wrong I liked the time jump, it was all very interesting, it was the last third of the book that seemed a little messy.

I was left feeling confused and unsure of what was happening at points as the narrative becomes super weird with an over saturation of character transformations with dream sequences. I'm thinking particularly of Amy here. I have no idea what on earth is going on with Amy or Alicia for that matter.

The dystopian Homeland was really well done and despite all of the gory violence I really enjoyed that part particularly. The Twelve perplex me though, as does Zero. I still do not fully understand what their significance is. It gets a little too 'weird fiction' for my tastes in parts.

There were characters that I just did not remember and had to backtrack through The Passage to remind myself. Bearing in mind I read them back to back, I can't imagine how hazy details must have been for readers who had a longer gap. I think Cronin could have helped this by weaving in slight refresher sentences about the secondary characters here and there like other authors have done in other series that I have read.

So in short, this book barely made it to a 3 star rating, it was convoluted and quite bizarre in parts. I will still read the next book, City of Mirrors but I need a break for now.

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