Review: The Twelve

The Twelve

The Twelve
By Justin Cronin
(Ballantine Books, Hardcover, 9780345504982, October 2012, 592pp.)

The Short of It:

Open the book, read the first few pages and fall into a world quite unlike your own.

The Rest of It:

I’ve been talking about this book for months and could not wait for it to finally hit the shelves. The anticipation of it coming and the feeling I had when it finally appeared on my e-reader made me feel like a kid in a candy store. The only negative was that I was in the middle of a huge project at work so I could not take the day off like I wanted to. In fact, because I am so particular about how I read highly anticipated books, I ended up putting it off until I had some time to really sit down with it.

I finally read it and let me tell you, I was not disappointed. The Twelve is book #2 of The Passage trilogy. What impressed me about The Passage, is that it was a combination of many different genres. Part thriller, part fantasy with vampire-like creatures and an experiment gone wrong. It was the end of the world, and the beginning of another. Well, in The Twelve, the story focuses on what the world has become.

There are some new characters, but lots of familiar ones as well. As good attempts to overcome evil, there is a lot of getting from point A to point B but what I especially enjoyed, what I really savored was the decimated world that Cronin created. I love stories that center around the Apocalypse and as dark as most of these books are, The Twelve was not that. Cronin focuses on the survivors and they are a resilient bunch. Quirky, strong and level-headed. There are no idiots here.

As you can imagine from the title of this trilogy, Cronin takes us on a journey and as we go along for the ride, we get to spend time with these characters, we get to know them and we get to know their weaknesses. This installment was more personal, or it seemed to be as I was reading it.

Now for those of you who are wondering about these “Virals” and their vamp-like tendencies, let me just say that this is not a book about vampires. These creatures are altered but they are thinking beings and their calculated means of attack makes for some entertaining reading. The battle scenes put you right in the action, but they aren’t overly graphic. A lot is left to your imagination which is how I like it.

The Twelve is a solid follow-up to book one. The pacing was just right so the length of the book was not an issue. I can’t wait to see what Cronin dreams up for book three.

Source: Purchased
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

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23 Responses

  1. I’ve still got The Passage on my TBR shelf :/ Sometimes I like to read trilogies after they’ve all been released…that way I don’t forget important stuff nor do I have to wait so long in between :)

  2. I never wrote up my review! I didn’t love it as much as The Passage, but as you say, it’s a solid follow-up and was definitely not a disappointment. I think I missed a couple of the characters from The Passage too much to love The Twelve quite as much.

  3. I plan on reading this at some point this next year….. I just need to make the time.

  4. I just put a hold on The Passage. I like to read books in the actual order that they were written in the series, no matter how much I am tempted to do otherwise. I’ve gotten a lot of great book recommendations through your site!

  5. I have not read the first one but I will…I am so glad you loved ths one and read it the way you wanted to!

  6. Fascinating review, Ti. I think you hooked me especially after explaining that the vampire-like creatures aren’t vampires. I’ve loved every book I’ve read that you recommended so some time soon I hope to start this trilogy. I’m intrigued that several different genres make up The Passage. And how can I not read a trilogy in which the first book stars a character named, Amy?!

  7. OK then! I have this loaded on the iPod, but it is going to take a chunk of time so I have to wait until I am ready for the journey. I am pretty excited!

  8. Because of your raving, I would really like to read the series. Starting with The Passage. :) Happy New Year Ti.

  9. I’m glad you enjoyed this so much. This book (and its predecessor) are out of my comfort zone. I know I should give them a try but, so far, I haven’t worked up the gumption.

  10. I haven’t yet read The Passage, and part of me wants to wait until the final book comes out before I do. Don’t know if I have the patience to wait that long though. I am glad this one is good too!

  11. I need to try The Passage once again — never finished it the first time (bad timing really). I also bought the eBook of the Twelve so perhaps back to back in 2013. Glad you enjoyed this one as well.

  12. Sounds like a good series, that I’ll read once all the books are out.

  13. My husband is reading The Twelve now and enjoying it. I will get going on this series one of these days ….

  14. Well, I’m glad you liked it … especially given that you were so excited to read it. I was a bit disappointed in it but I’ll read the last part just to see how he wraps it up.

    • I read your review and do agree that it was really hard to remember who everyone was. At the end of the Kindle version, he lists out the survivors and who they were. I needed that at the beginning, minus their survival status of course.

  15. I really enjoyed reading The Twelve. It was worth the wait. I can’t wait until the 3rd book comes out. I hope a movie or miniseries could made out of it.

    • I did read somewhere that movie rights were sold for the Passage but that was over a year ago. Ridley Scott was mentioned at the time. I would love for Scott to take it on.

  16. Ti, I have to admit that I didn’t care much for this one. I was really looking forward to it, but it just fell short for me. I think I was expecting something equally as good as The Passage (if not better) and I didn’t get what I wanted. I’m glad you enjoyed it :) I’m still excited for the third book, but I’m not going to be rushing to buy a copy like I did for this one. Oh well.

    • I think I liked Twelve a little better because much of it wasn’t spent setting up the story. A lot was already known this time around, so I just savored the setting. I love decimated towns and that one part, where the lone guy tried to make it out of there alive? I ate that part up. I also liked the Lila storyline as disturbing as it was.

  17. Unfortunately, I was disappointed in this one, and I wonder if part of it has to do with me having so much time between reading The Passage and then reading The Twelve. I don’t know what I was expecting, though, other than the same experience as The Passage, but that’s probably not fair for me to compare it too much like that! I did really enjoy how he explained what happened immediately after the virals escaped, as I thought it was missing that in The Passage. And while I thought there were too many easy coincidences in the end of The Twelve, I already knew that I was thoroughly committed to the series, so I can’t wait for the final installment! I just hope, selfishly, that it’s more like The Passage than The Twelve! :)

  18. […] Home by Deborah Levy 62. The Round House by Louise Erdrich 63. The Leopard by Jo Nesbo 64. The Twelve by Justin Cronin 65. Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki […]

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