Throwback Thursday Review: The Twelve by Justin Cronin



This week for my throwback review I decided to pick a dark post apocalyptic tale.  Read from November 21 to 28, 2012


The Twelve (The Passage, #2)

Book Synopsis over at Goodreads

Book Two in The Passage Series

Well…not sure what to make of the second installment of The Passage series. I enjoyed the first one and had such high hopes for this one. I think that is probably why I was a little disappointed with The Twelve. It was a good book and the plot was wonderfully woven cumulating in a grand finally, that could have been a satisfying end of the series if not for the last section. 

This book goes back to the beginning where this post apocalyptical version of America started and shows us what else was going on in the country. We are introduced to new families and new tragedies that unfold as people just struggle to survive. All the new names was a bit overwhelming, I kept thinking about how I didn’t care about them I was already invested in a set of characters and wanted to know what was happening with them. Where were they? When would the story lead us back to them? Eventually it did, but it took me a while before I could keep everyone straight, even at the end there were a few names that made me think ‘Now who are they again? How do they fit in?’ The Twelve could have easily be a stand alone companion to The Passage. 

One thing I did like about the story is all the time spent in Iowa. Being from Eastern Iowa it was easy to picture the setting and to try and figure out what the author used for inspiration for his story. I even recognized a couple names of stores in the book and decided the flatlands sounded a lot like the Iowa City area, which having been there frequently was interesting to picture as the backdrop for the story.

The virals played a very small part of the book, much of the story revolved around the awful things the humans did to each other. The world reminded me a little of the old Mad Max movies, humans praying on each other, plays for power, violence, nothing good to hope for. In the world Cronin has created America has devolved into a third world existence. It is truly horrific and Cronin paints an excellent image that is difficult to turn away from or to get out of you head.

I did enjoy the book, not as much as I had hoped for, but that is all me, Cronin definitely delivered an entertaining and complex story. If I had stopped before the last section I would have been satisfied and had no need to read the last book, that hopefully comes out faster than this one. But that last section…it was kind of bizarre and it sucked me back in. Now I need to know how this story plays out. Will we ever learn what is going on in the rest of the world? What is happening to Amy? Where will Cronin lead us next? I really hope its not back to the beginning again. Will this world be all right in the end? I hope so…I look forward to finding out.


4 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday Review: The Twelve by Justin Cronin

  1. I read The Passage and found really frustrating. Parts of it were quite good but so much of it was extraneous to the story. My wife couldn’t even finish it. My problem with big L authors who dabble in genre fiction is they have difficulty just telling the story. They indulge too much in the need to produce words, and more words, that demonstrate some clever descriptions etc. but disrupt the plot, making the reader play a game of “I guess I’ll read this and hope he gets back to telling the story.”


    1. I read The Passage before I was writing reviews, and I really wish I had written one to go back to (however I’m not willing to re-read it just to give it one). I gave it 4 stars, but that could have just been for a great ending or something else I can’t remember. I do remember it being really, really long. I usually get annoyed with over description as well, I don’t need to know how many leaves on a tree, but I’m thinking I might have just been in the right frame of mind when reading it that it spoke to me. Then again it could have just been that it was about a girl named Amy from Iowa that saved the world…


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