I recently reviewed The Passage by Justin Cronin, the first book in his Passage series. As I said in my previous review, I had enjoyed the first book and was eagerly awaiting the sequel, The Twelve. I’m happy to report that the second book is every bit as good as the first.

The e-book version is well done; formatting is good. I saw a few typos, but not enough to detract from my enjoyment. Each major chapter heading had a picture and quote. The image displayed well on both my Nexus 7 and Kindle Touch. The quotes in the image were a bit small, however, and I had to zoom in to read them.

Cronin plays with time in this book, jumping back and forth between Year Zero (the year the virals take over the United States) and nearly 100 years in the future, following the events of The Passage and detailing the future war with the virals.

I particularly enjoyed the Year Zero sections. I’m a sucker for post-Apocalyptic stories, and watching the fall of civilization and how people deal with the events was satisfying. The scenes don’t feel tacked onto the plot. We learn important details about what went on, why, and how that affects the plot 100 years in the future.

Justin Cronin

We meet some characters from the earlier book and discover their role in the larger story. It makes the story richer.

Of course, there’s plenty of good fight scenes against virals, political maneuvering and development of characters we met from the first book. One of the significant villains in this book is particularly well-drawn. He’s evil, but we learn enough about him to be sympathetic. On the one hand, you want to revile him, but on the other, you almost have to feel sorry for him.

I must tip my hat to Cronin. It’s an excellent book. There’s definitely room for one more book in the series, and I’m eagerly awaiting its 2014 release. But Cronin did not succumb to the cliffhanger ending. The Twelve ends as satisfyingly as did The Passage. I enjoyed the ride, and I feel respected as a reader by having some closure at the end of each book.


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