Book Review: The Twelve, Book Two of the Passage Trilogy, by Justin Cronin

The Bottom Line: Essential reading for fans of The Passage, one of the most masterful and gripping vampire thrillers of all time.

In our gushing review of Cronin’s first book of the planned trilogy, The Passage, we hoped there would be an equally satisfying follow-up. Cronin has delivered. One word of warning: Cronin tends to change points of view often, and in The Twelve, there’s significantly less context for those perspective shifts, so reading felt like a bit more work in comparison to his earlier entry in the series.

In the present day, as the man-made apocalypse unfolds, three strangers navigate the chaos. Lila, a doctor and an expectant mother, is so shattered 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 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 landscape 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.

One hundred years in the future, Amy and the others fight on for humankind’s salvation . . . unaware that the rules have changed. The enemy has evolved, and a dark new order has arisen with a vision of the future infinitely more horrifying than man’s extinction. If the Twelve are to fall, one of those united to vanquish them will have to pay the ultimate price.

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