The City of Mirrors
By Justin Cronin
Ballantine Books, Hardcover, 9780345505002, May 2016, 624pp.
The Short of It:
There is a lot of pressure for the last book in a trilogy to be great and I feel that Cronin delivered with this one.
The Rest of It:
Long ago (2010), Cronin wrote The Passage and it was a huge hit. People hesitated to call it a “vampire” book because at the time, there were many vampire books out there for the taking. No, it was a little harder to describe. Genetically modified creatures who happen to suck blood? Yes. That’s a better way to describe them. It was epic. Cronin created this desolate landscape and I loved it.
Then, book #2 came out, The Twelve. Although it certainly built upon the first book, which was mostly about the world going to hell in a hand basket, The Twelve focused on the effect of these “virals” on society as a whole.
This last installment, is really very different. Cronin takes us back in time. The time before the virals roamed the earth. This surprised me. So much so, that there was one part of the book where I thought my Kindle malfunctioned and I was accidentally reading a different book. Nope, I was just reading about a viral before he was a viral but the back story was so well-developed that it almost felt like a different book to me.
It took me a long time to read this book because there was a tiny part of me that was very worried that it would not live up to the first two books but I worried for nothing. It was entertaining, thoughtfully told and I could tell that Cronin had a thing for some of his characters.
All in all, Cronin delivered and if you enjoy genre mashups of Science Fiction, Thrillers, Horror and the like, then you will enjoy this series.
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
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