The Twelve is the 2nd novel of The Passage trilogy by Justin Cronin and an incredible follow up to the impressive first novel The Passage (read my review of The Passage) When I read the first novel I was taken by the proportions of the story. It spanned many decades and every character would play some important role in this epic take on a post viral world. There is a great connectedness of the characters both in the moment and across generations and The Twelve takes us back to year zero when the virus first gets out, to a time before the First Colony, and then into the time after the end of The Passage.
“At the end of The Passage, the great viral plague had left a small group of survivors clinging to life amidst a world transformed into a nightmare. In the second volume of this epic trilogy, this same group of survivors, led by the mysterious, charismatic Amy, go on the attack, leading an insurrection against the virals…”
It is another epic novel introducing us to more characters all connected to those we’ve already followed in the first novel and no doubt who will be connected to those of the third novel to come in 2014, City of Mirrors. Cronin has once again woven a story of suspense and reveals an element of the world we came to know that we really could not have guessed at. The plot is different and you won’t be disappointed with this book after having read The Passage but I wouldn’t recommend reading this without reading the first…you simply won’t get some of the surprises and some of the magic of it will be lost on you. Not to mention that you won’t have a clue as to who all the people in the novel are! For those of you, like me, who read the first novel ages ago you may need a refresher on the character list which you can find on wikipedia except beware as there are spoilers in it.
Again we are privy to the hardships of this post apocalyptic world and more importantly the strength of the human spirit to go on through a desire to survive and through the love they have for their friends and families in the face of fear and loss of hope. There’s something for everyone. I really enjoyed reading it.