Book Review: The Twelve by Justin Cronin

The Twelve by Justin Cronin
Author Synopsis: In the present day: As a man-made apocalypse unfolds, three strangers navigate the chaos, desperate to find others, to survive, to witness the dawn on the other side of disaster. Lila, a doctor and an expectant mother, has been so broken by the spread of violence and infection that she continues to plan for her child’s arrival even as society dissolves around her. Kittridge, known to the world as “Last Stand in Denver,” has been forced by loss of electrical power to flee his stronghold and is now on the road, dodging the infected, armed but alone and well aware that a tank of gas will get him only so far. April is a teenager fighting to guide her little brother safely through a minefield of death and ruin. These three will learn that they have not been fully abandoned—and that in connection lies hope, even on the darkest of nights.

A hundred years in the future: Amy, Peter, Alicia, and the others introduced in The Passage work with a cast of new characters to hunt the original twelve virals… unaware that the rules of the game have changed, and that one of them will have to sacrifice everything to bring the Twelve down.

The scope widens and the intensity deepens as the epic tale of sacrifice and survival begun in The Passage surges forward in its breathtaking sequel—The Twelve

It took me a bit of time to really get into The Twelve (#2 in the Passage Trilogy). Even though I went back and reread The Passage prior to starting the book, the beginning half was confusing. Too many new characters and story lines jumping back and forth in time.  It wasn't until the halfway point, I was able to put it all together and follow where Cronin was going with the story. It jumped between the beginning of the virus and how the infection killed or transformed people and the present with Peter, Amy, Michael and the cast of others from The Passage until the storyline merged to a cohesive whole and the fight to destroy the Twelve. It is one of those books that is definitely worth a reread. Especially since the last book, The City of Mirrors, is coming out some time this year. Yes, The Twelve was good, but a bit of a slog at first.


  1. Sounds like a challenging book to get into. Perhaps the next one will be a bit more engaging and easier to follow. At least you stuck with it!

  2. I really enjoyed The Twelve in the End, though I preferred The Passage overall for tension and pace and real involvement in the characters. There seemed to be some distance in The Twelve that made me feel as if I was watching it, but not feeling the story. Even the big scene at the end didn't pack as much punch as it should have, I felt. It's still good, solid writing, and I will read the third one. I really hope it has more intensity and a character we can like, in it, like in The Passage.


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