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The Twelve by Justin Cronin

The Twelve (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Justin Cronin

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1,632924,437 (3.85)124
Title:The Twelve
Authors:Justin Cronin
Info:Orion (2012), Paperback, 688 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, own, dystopia, fantasy, science fiction, horror, vampires, thriller, first edition

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The Twelve by Justin Cronin (2012)


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English (88)  German (2)  French (1)  All languages (91)
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"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."
( )
  jan.fleming | Nov 9, 2015 |
Cut my finger cooking so typing is a pain and then a vampire came and sucked all the blood out of me and transformed me into a primal, bloodthirsty beast haunting a post-apocalyptic nightmare landscape, in the thrall of one of twelve death-row inmates, telepathic monsters-in-chief of the twelve tribes of nosferati, so not only was dinner a bit late, but I'm not up to writing a long review because my finger hurts and savage bloodlust is crowding out my critical faculties. It's a big, meaty, dripping, throbbing, nyum nyum sequel to The Passage, notable for being written with a rare literary focus on style and character though not without neglecting the horror and the action. A bit too long maybe but I enjoyed it all. Now excuse me. Nom nom nom. ( )
  Nigel_Quinlan | Oct 21, 2015 |
Justin Cronin’s [The Twelve] picks up the apocalyptic and dystopian story he began with [The Passage]. Some 100 years after the destruction of most of civilization at the hands of a race of beastly vampires, several bands of humans try to rebuild. At the center of the story is one particular group from an outpost in California and a young girl who has been infected with the same virus that created the vampire plague.

It’s difficult to distill the story Cronin tells with [The Twelve], just as it was with the first book in the series. The sheer depth and breadth of the story is measure. Cronin adroitly shifts back and forth in time, picking up loose threads from the original story and weaving them into the story as it has grown with time. We find the backstory of a new band of survivors from Kerrville, TX, and how they fit into the new events surrounding Amy and Peter. We learn more about the history of the original twelve vampires. And we learn how the twelve have found a way to begin to organize and harvest the blood they need to survive without extinction. But the thrust of the story is the coming war between the vampires and the survivors.

The fact that the story is hard to distill reflect the principal strengths of Cronin’s storytelling. First, the story is humungous – epic is such a trite word, and humungous is really more fitting. Second, with such a large story, in time and space and character, it would be easy to lose track of some of the threads. But Cronin’s narrative never loses focus and his characters are never empty or inconsistent. Finally, the space such a big novel creates leaves a lot of room for Cronin to show off his prose. Such a big space might prove too big to fill, but Cronin takes his time and each line, each paragraph, each chapter hits just the right note. I never got tired or impatient with the story or with Cronin. The book is a great object lesson for writers in taking your time and letting your voice find its own pace.

Bottom Line: Humungous story but one that never gets lost, hitting just the right note.

4 ½ bones!!!!! ( )
  blackdogbooks | Oct 11, 2015 |
Full 4 star-story. Just no 5 stars (like The Passage got from me), since it doesn't wholly match its predecessor. It's simply less epic, less horror, ...

Nevertheless, the storyline as it unfolded had me completely in its grip. You constantly feel you want to keep on reading and learning about the characters' (there's SO many of them!) futures, without really knowing what to expect next.

In the beginning I was a bit confused to be reading about year Zero again after which the book jumped 79 years and then 97 years in the future, where The Passage ended in year 92 (I think) of the new era.

Yet again however, Cronin manages to paint wonderful stories and emotions in just a few beautiful sentences. It's absolutely amazing how lively the images he describes get in your mind while going through this book. Smells, thoughts, visuals, sounds, ... he leaves nothing untouched.

When I started with the last chapter, I couldn't help myself hoping ferociously that it wouldn't end with such a crazy cliffhanger as the first book, even though I know now that there's a third book to follow. I'm happy that it didn't. There's a clear path set for the final book in this series, but at least this time I can wait in peace until it it published. :-) ( )
  bbbart | May 30, 2015 |
If there was a rating called it was amazing, but a little less exciting than the prequel, this would be it. I enjoyed The Twelve immensely, though it was way too short, comparing to the first part. But, yeah, that's the thing with awesome books - you want them to go on and on.

I thought that after Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire I would never find a book with such intricate storyline, yet here it is. Everything is connected here, seemingly unimportant things become vital, and the reader has those "ahhhh, that's what it was" and "holy crap, that's why that happened" moments. Characters coming back from the dead, flashbacks of the life before, feeling sorry for the bad guys - it's all part of this amazing plot, taking the reader for an unforgettable journey, full of danger, adventure and mystery. The book ended in an actual ending, but left so many loose ends, that it already makes me wonder what The City of Mirrors will be about. Can't wait! ( )
  v_allery | Apr 19, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 88 (next | show all)
For the early years of his career as a writer, Justin Cronin won awards and got teaching posts for the sort of book that is described as sensitive and evocative; then he decided to do something else, but to do it with the same seriousness and competence. The first novel of his vampire trilogy, The Passage, was a canny combination of disparate elements – he had learned from Stephen King how to tear the world apart and set monsters loose in it, and from Tolkien how to set a new innocent generation on a quest for the cure to the world's pain. What is impressive about that book, and now its sequel The Twelve, is that there is nothing contemptuous about Cronin's approach; this is a formal exercise based on study and thought, but it has also a serious commitment to the virtues he has found in genre fiction – well-paced flurries of action and a deepened portrayal of the conventional emotions that too often become clichés.
added by marq | editThe Guardian, Roz Kaveney (Oct 25, 2012)
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She stood beside me for years, or was it a moment? I cannot remember. Maybe I loved her, maybe I didn’t. There was a house, and then no house. There were trees, but none remain. When no one remembers, what is there? You, whose moments are gone, who drift like smoke in the afterlife, tell me something, tell me anything. - Mark Strand, "In the Afterlife"
For Leslie, foot-to-foot
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For it came to pass that the world had grown wicked, and men had taken war into their hearts, and committed great defilements upon every living thing, so that the world was a dream of death;
Watch the clock. Know the location of the nearest hardbox.  When in doubt, run.
Hence the major problem with immortality, apart from the peculiar diet: everything began to bore you.
Give people hope, and you could make them do just about anything. And not just your average, everyday kind of hope--for food or clothes or the absence of pain or good suburban schools or low down payments with easy financing. What people needed was a hope beyond the visible world, the world of the body and its trials, of life's endless dull parade of things. A hope that all was not as it appeared.
They became their enemy, as all must do; they ceased to be slaves, and so became alive.
"Because that's what heaven is," said Amy. "It's opening the door of a house in twilight and everyone you love is there."
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Survivors of a government-induced apocalypse endure their violent and disease-stricken world while protecting their loved ones; while a century into the future, members of a transformed society determinedly search for the original twelve virals.

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