Thursday, February 14, 2013
The Twelve by Justin Cronin
If you like: Deathly Hallows, Part 1 * vampires * unity
The Twelve is the sequel to Justin Cronin’s The Passage. (See my review here.) It is primarily set five years after The Passage ended, but also moves around in the timeline since the beginning of the viral outbreak. Though they now possess the knowledge of how to defeat the Twelve, none of the characters have made any headway in hunting them down. Other curious events have transpired, raising more questions about the nature of the virals and their ultimate goals.
The irresistible lure of power plays a strong role in The Twelve. As the nature of the virus is explored, individuals inevitably thirst for the longevity and strength it provides. A previously unknown sector of the population has embraced this virus and made themselves into a new sort of half-breed. They posses some of the characteristics of the virals, but are subordinate to them. They act as willing slaves to the end goals of the original vampires. Just having a taste of what the virals posses is enough motivation for these people to treat the rest of humanity as fodder, and have no regard for the survival of their own species. Their greed, and the things they do to obtain their power, are utterly despicable, and leave the reader rooting for them to receive their just deserts.
The interconnected destinies of the protagonists continue to evolve further in The Twelve. Each time the groups reunites, their senses of predestiny is further cemented. Since they are all working towards the same goal, some amount of commonality is to be expected. Yet, their unique paths lead them towards each other in often unexpected ways. Though this could seem too convenient, in Cronin’s hand it is as though a multitude of pieces in a complex puzzle are finally snapped into place. It is difficult to discuss the further evolution of the characters without spoiling some of the journey, but be confident in knowing that the growth and evolution the group experienced in The Passage is continued and improved in The Twelve. The cerebral dimension of the virus adds additional depth to the connection. As Amy evolves, she creates her own version of the collective consciousness shared by the virals. The subtle comfort and direction she provides aide all of the protagonists in readying themselves to fight for humanity.
If you are concerned by a sudden lack of danger, read The Twelve.
Cronin, Justin. The Twelve. Random House, Inc., 2012. Kindle Edition.