The Twelve

The Twelve

A Novel

Book - 2012
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The great viral plague had left a small group of survivors clinging to life amidst a world transformed into a nightmare. Led by the mysterious, charismatic Amy, they go on the attack, leading an insurrection against the virals--the first offensives of the Second Viral War--infiltrating a dozen hives, each presided over by one of the original Twelve. Their secret weapon: Alicia, transformed at the end of book one into a half human, half viral--but whose side, in the end, is she really on?
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, 2012.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780345504982
Characteristics: 568 p. ; 25 cm.


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May 23, 2018

I enjoyed this book as part of the series but certain things were frustrating. It was alternatingly slow then fast, and I would have enjoyed it to be more even paced. It was a long time since I read the first book, so it was really hard to follow the character arcs. It was frustrating to get attached to characters in different timelines and then just be done with them. Not really clear why time was spent on developing the last stand character and the bus driver and that group - very lose tie to just one present day character-as far as I could tell.

The mythology is also reaching. Like why would Amy be able to exist on some alternate plan of existence just because her DNA was tampered with? The biology that explains the epidemic does NOT explain that, and I found that annoying - asking reader to go too far with suspension of disbelief without providing a plausible bridge. Speaking of which, Cronin constantly leaves the reader in suspense, never following through on explanations. I really don't understand Amy's transformation at all. So what? She's a horrible monster and she kisses Peter in a dream? Wtf?

Still overall, I was engaged and excited and mostly enjoyed the writing so I would still recommend the read if you liked the first one.

I hope the third one ties the mythology up better.

Jun 03, 2016

Unfortunately, I waited too long after reading the first in this series. That, combined with the broken timeline, made this book often confusing. (I even tried starting over, after 100 pages, making notations of names and connections. It was still confusing.) This book needs a scorecard and a timeline. That said, "The Twelve" is still interesting and Cronin can paint pictures with his prose (see some quotes, below).

This one has a little more complex narration style and timelines compared to The Passage.
Spoilers ahead…
For me some of the scenes felt quite redundant. Though it filled many blank pages of the mystery, its not as impressive as the first one. Sometimes, the story looked stretched and hurried together for a closure of threads in the end. Bringing back the dead ones to the plot is good and it generally ups the entertainment factor. But every time you do it, it lacks the punch.
I did not like the entire thread about Homeland and Saarah’s adventures over there. It was a drag for me. The whole atrocities happening over there and the aggression of Alicia’s tortures could have been avoided. Personally it was misplaced compared to The Passage and its subtle take on horror and violence. It just does not fit the mood, may be it does not match the theme of the first book. I gladly skimmed many of those pages.

Jul 06, 2015

At least as exciting as The Passage with many unexpected twists.

Jun 27, 2014

Enjoyed the sequel! As always the protagonist, Amy, is my FAV character. Can't wait till book #3 comes out. :)

May 20, 2014

It was a relatively entertaining read - and am only reading The Passage now.

Nov 09, 2013

The first book in this trilogy, The Passage, showed so much literary promise that it was all the more disappointing when it didn’t deliver. With this second book, all aspirations to greatness have been abandoned, and a straight-up and only slightly ridiculous thriller has been given to us. Still a little disappointing, though.

The first book in this trilogy started out in the present day as the vampire apocalypse was just beginning, but as soon as you were hooked, you were yanked 100 years in the future to the stories of the survivors. This second book finally returns to the present day to learn more about the apocalypse and how it all unfolded. I have to admit, spending so much time with the characters in the future in the first book actually made it much more interesting to read about their ancestors during the apocalypse in the second book. That’s a neat literary feat, but it can’t save the rest of the book.

We do finally learn what the virus is all about and where it came from in a few paragraphs of sloppy exposition; perhaps the author realized that he forgot to mention that during the 600 pages of the first book. But we still don’t know what happened to the rest of the world, so of course I’ll read the third book. Fun, but not fantastic.

Sep 02, 2013

The Passage was a great read, but this second book in the series is disappointing. Too many characters and too much of a focus on military nonsense. It doesn't relate well to the first book. I gave up after reading a third of it. I'll probably give it another try at some point, but for now two stars only...

loonylovesgood Jun 08, 2013

Another gripping story. Looks like there will be a third one too! Can't wait to read the next one.

rufus_red4 May 08, 2013

The is a fine sequel to 'The Passage'. This epic trilogy sometimes seems to be crushing under it's own weight but somehow Justin Cronin makes it spin. At times you might be challenged to keep track of all of the character and the numerous stories connected to them, but by the end it all wraps up beautifully, I'm looking forward to the 3rd installment.

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Jun 03, 2016

"To the south and west rose the shadowed shape of mountains, shoulders shrugging from the valley floor."

"Below her, in the wind-scraped blackness, the valley floor unfolded, none but the stars for company."

Jun 03, 2016

"The day was catching up to her, Lila knew; her mind was riding the currents of sleep like a surfer paddling on the curve of a wave; in another moment the wave would wash over her, taking her under."

Jun 03, 2016

"The lone survivors, their lives joined by the mysterious bond of their survival: they traveled in silence, dreamers in a forgotten land, their progress marked only by the grumble of the bus's engine, the hypnotic whoosh of asphalt beneath their wheels."


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