The City of Mirrors, the final Passage Trilogy book from Justin Cronin

The Bottom Line: For Passage Trilogy fans only. A gorgeously crafted and thoroughly satisfying finale – so long as you’ve read the previous two volumes in sequence.

In Cronin’s brilliant vampire apocalypse novels The Passage and The Twelve, Justin Cronin brilliantly imagined the fall of civilization and humanity’s desperate fight to survive.

Now all is quiet on the horizon—but does silence promise the nightmare’s end or the second coming of unspeakable darkness? At last, this bestselling epic races to its breathtaking finale.

TCity of Mirrors by Justin Croninhe world we knew is gone. What world will rise in its place?

The Twelve have been destroyed and the hundred-year reign of darkness that descended upon the world has ended. The survivors are stepping outside their walls, determined to build society anew—and daring to dream of a hopeful future.

But far from them, in a dead metropolis, he waits: Zero. The First. Father of the Twelve. The anguish that shattered his human life haunts him, and the hatred spawned by his transformation burns bright. His fury will be quenched only when he destroys Amy—humanity’s only hope, the Girl from Nowhere who grew up to rise against him.

One last time light and dark will clash, and at last Amy and her friends will know their fate.

If that plot description makes any sense to you at all, you’re already a Cronin fan (for all others, it’s surely completely incomprehensible). From the book’s very first few pages – a recap written in prose that reads like Bible verses – the novel makes great effort to tie together the great saga that as come before it. And yet much like Game of Thrones, which juggles a massive cast and intermingling story lines, the book contains passages that go on for hundreds of words at a time before naming the character that is being described. For that reason and others, re-reading the last 100 or so pages from The Twelve will make for a much smoother reading experience before entering this third and final book. But about 25% of the way in, once the book has sufficiently loosened itself of necessary backstory (and there is lots of it), the narrative picks up speed and comes into its own as a worthy finale to an exceptional series. All things considered, Cronin has completed the most ambitious and satisfying work derivative of the vampire myth in the 21st century.

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Bella Wright

Bella Wright blogs about books, film and media.

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