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The Twelve by Justin Cronin

The Twelve (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Justin Cronin

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1,798943,893 (3.85)136
Title:The Twelve
Authors:Justin Cronin
Info:Orion (2012), Paperback, 568 pages
Collections:Your library, Sc-Fi

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The Twelve by Justin Cronin (2012)


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English (91)  German (2)  French (1)  All languages (94)
Showing 1-5 of 91 (next | show all)
Taking place five years after the final scene in The Passage, The Twelve continues Justin Cronin’s saga in true genre-busting fashion. Amy and her friends have scattered across the Texas territory, finding their niche in the rugged community that continues to thrive. After five years of fighting the Virals, everyone is just a little more exhausted and less optimistic as to their long-term survival. This sense of dogged determination sets the tone for the rest of the novel as the good guys and the bad ones learn that they are just pawns in the grand design of The Twelve.

Like every sequel ever written, there is a manipulative feel to the story, as Mr. Cronin has to get his plot and his characters to where it and they need to be before the opening act of the final novel. In working to achieve this goal, he makes the world of The Twelve more identifiable and therefore more familiar. We get better glimpses of cities long destroyed, of entire infrastructures that were allowed to sink back to their natural state. We also see how creatively the survivors used this infrastructure to not just live but to thrive. Plus, thanks to the introduction of new characters, we get a better feel for those final days in the U.S., before the Virals had free reign of the country. In this way, The Twelve provides useful information for placing you inside this lost world.

I personally feel The Twelve is better than The Passage. I appreciate the characters and the world-building more than I did in the first novel. The action is more cerebral, as is the enemy. With the first novel, I felt like I was hanging on to a roller coaster without a seat restraint. The sequel makes me feel like I do when I sit down each month to close the books and publish financial reports – everything is familiar which allows me to concentrate on the details, and the details are where the heartbeat of the story reside. Plus, because it is a slower-paced story, Mr. Cronin’s writing ability truly shines. His post-apocalyptic world is fully imagined, and you can miss these gems if you are rushing from one catastrophe to another, as we did in the first novel.

The Twelve may not be as exciting as the first book in the series, but do not count out its importance. There is no doubt that Cronin places a plethora of key information within its self-contained story line that will prove vital for the finale. Everything about The Twelve is getting readers and characters alike ready for the finale. Thankfully, we do not have to wait much longer to find out what happens.
  jmchshannon | May 9, 2016 |
( )
  magerber | Feb 22, 2016 |
The Twelve by Justin Cronin is the 2nd book in his Passage Trilogy, and unfortunately I made the mistake of waiting almost 2 years between these two books. It took me some time to figure out who was who and what was going on, but eventually the stories fell into place. This book takes almost a side-step from the first and it’s almost 300 pages before the reader is brought back to the original characters. This was ok because the other stories were both gripping and vivid. Eventually all storylines link and we catch up with Peter, Alicia, Amy etc. and they are still hunting the original twelve.

I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the first, I found the author tended to get a little biblical and I didn’t always understand what was going on. At over 700 pages I think the book could have been shaved down somewhat. There are lots of plot twists and a few too many coincidents that were hard to swallow. But over all this is a brilliant look at survivors who are moving away from their lost past and forging a new and different future.

I did like that most of the storylines were pretty much wrapped up in this volume, leaving new directions to be explored in the final volume of the trilogy. There was a tantalizing hint of what is to come as Zero, the original is still very much a part of the picture. I am looking forward to the conclusion of this epic dark fantasy. ( )
1 vote DeltaQueen50 | Feb 16, 2016 |
This novel, the sequel to the Passage, continue the tale of a world gone awry after a government experiment to produce a perfect soldier accidentally releases a virus which transforms humans into vampire-like creatures known as Virals. Although, some of the novel occurs in the present as a backstory, the focus is actually about a century after the outbreak. A deteriorating infrastructure America is populated by three groups of inhabitants: pods of Virals, human communities, and a community of a mixture of the two. The blood of some Virals have restorative properties which can increase life expectancy. Therefore, some human communities have entered into a symbiotic relationship in which the Virals are fed human slaves in exchange for some of the Virals' blood. Amy, the Girl from Nowhere, and others introduced in the first novel, join with local insurgents to take down those supporting this practice. This series has the scope of Stephen King's The Stand and is a must read. ( )
  John_Warner | Jan 19, 2016 |
In this sequel to The Passage, we are first given a different perspective of what happened shortly after the viral outbreak and what survivors had to endure to keep themselves alive. Some didn't make it the first year, but they made their impact. Then we essentially pick up where the main characters of The Passage left off. Having scattered in all different directions, they somehow converged together at just the right time to meet The Twelve.

I really enjoyed this sequel. It continues to build the thrill and suspense of what will happen to Amy and Alicia as they continue to change. One question I have is, are the virals landlocked in the Americas? I'm wondering what the other countries are doing. ( )
  bouldermimi | Jan 13, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 91 (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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