The Twelve by Justin Cronin
I always find reviewing my favorite books hard because i tend to come across like a star struck teenager so i apologize in advance. I absolutely loved The Passage, it was the book that made me fall in love with reading and will always have a place in my heart. Although sequels are rarely as good as their predecessors this book was an epic in its own right. The Twelve was suspenseful and very well crafted, Cronins writing completely captured me and I adored this book.
The Twelve is manly events in differing time periods and jumps back and forth, like pieces of a puzzle building to the final picture and the great climax. This book is over 500 pages and full of exciting moments like "The Field" which was one of my favorite parts along with the "Year Zero" chapters. The only problem with the time hoping, much like in The Passage, is that Cronin builds the characters up to a point where you become attached to them and then the book changes and in the case of "Year Zero" your left without a definitive end to there story, hopefully he will pick up with the survivors on the bus in the next book.
Cronins beautiful writing skills kept me enchanted by the book throughout the slow parts, and for a book of such length it didn't seem to drag or lack in any aspect. I loved the poetry of the sentence "And in this manner they passed an infinity of hours, the barest blink of an eye, until the darkness, a blanket in its own right, settled down upon them." the descriptive nature of which every sentence is written, even in the seemingly insignificant moments, is partly why I found myself falling so deeply into both The Passage and The Twelve.
That is not to say I didn't have my issues with the book, after all nothings perfect but the issues i have seem almost trivial in the longevity of the book. My first problem with The Twelve is simply that i don't understand how Amy roamed the country for a hundred years and eventually comes across First Colony, which apparently only ever housed around 100 people at a time, yet on her travels she never came across any of the bigger settlements like the place in Las Vegas in The Passage, any of The Military bases housing thousands or The Homeland where 70 thousand people are kept. My second issue is how much of the books rely on coincidences, hinting a god is one thing but i cant help but feel he takes it a little to far, if god could align all these coincidences to stop the twelve couldn't he have done it 100 years before to stop the death of millions? It was just a little too unbelievable to me which brings me to the Lila and Grey story line, which don't get me wrong i thoroughly enjoyed and was glad to see more of Grey, but of all the people in america Grey finds Wolgast ex wife again I felt it pushed it a little to far.
Well I would hate to finish a review of a new favorite on a critique so more on the plus side - of which there's a lot- I found the carter story line in the passage really riveting and i was sad when he was sent to the compound and became one of the twelve, so his reappearance was a great moment in the book to me especially as he stayed one of the good guys - despite the whole being one of the twelve, eating and turning people thing. His story line really pulls at the heart string and really adds to the underlying tones of melancholy in the book. I cried a couple of times while reading The Twelve mostly during the Amy/Wolgast parts despite the fact Peter and Alicia are my favorite characters.The films would sell millions and no doubt so will the last book. In my eyes these books are one of a kind and so is Justin Cronin. I'm already craving the next book! I know its going to be a long wait but writing epics takes time I suppose.
Dystopia challenge read count: 1