Review: Justin Cronin returns to apocalyptic saga
"The Twelve" (Ballantine), by Justin Cronin
The middle book in a trilogy faces a striking challenge. It must match the interest and appeal created by the first book while advancing the story with enough surprises that readers will believe their investment of time and emotion will pay off in the final installment.
Justin Cronin's "The Twelve" walks a fine line in meeting that challenge. It returns us to a horrible, fascinating future dominated by vampirelike creatures called "virals," created by a military experiment gone wrong. As in "The Passage," published in 2010, Cronin presents multiple storylines, one as the virus takes hold and civilization falls apart and others a few generations later as the world tries to redefine what's normal.
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