21 October 2013
Review: The Twelve
The Twelve by Justin Cronin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Closer to a 3.5.
I really, really enjoyed The Passage. I thought it was a solid modern take on the vampire genre and was a fun read overall. The Twelve, somehow only a middle book in the series, suffers a bit from being a little more allegorical and a little less direct in how it goes about its narrative. Middle book syndrome or an idea that exhausted itself? I don't know.
Regardless, the book jumps around timeline-wise a bit to give us more backstory on the main vamps, and to get into an infiltration scheme to turn the tide a bit. We meet a ton of new characters, we learn about more human interactions with the virus as opposed to the solid government conspiracy angle of The Passage, and, to its credit, we get a really fascinating conclusion to the whole thing.
The number one issue I had with the book is that it somewhat betrays the initial idea in The Passage. It stops being that conspiracy book and becomes something incredibly different, and while that different story is good, it would have worked better had it not been attached to the existing plot. It has a very World War II infiltration feel to it in a lot of ways, which I'm not sure was the intent, but was something I walked away with a bit. It just took too long to get there, even though "there" was a good time.
Overall, a solid read, although definitely flawed. As there's supposed to be a third volume sometime, I have no clue where it will go based on this ending, but I'll still go and pick it up. Hopefully the third one brings things back around to where the first was plot-quality-wise.
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