Justin Cronin The Twelve

I heard this guy being interviewed a few years ago. He had published a couple of literary works and recounted being asked by his daughter to write a vampire novel. He did – a novel called The Passage, which was to be the first book in a trilogy. The Passage was a big hit and movie rights have been taken for it. You don’t have to have read The Passage to read The Twelve, but you may wish you had.

Now if you like your vampires to look like brooding young English guys, this may not appeal. Cronin’s creatures are monsters – really nasty monsters. The novel perhaps borrows from the zombie genre as most of the population of America is either dead or converted; the story is about survival for the small remaining human population. Both novels move nicely through time from the period just before Zero day to around 100 years after. The books feel quite epic in scale with well drawn characters that attract the readers sympathy. Cronin can be quite ruthless with his characters. This adds to the suspense as the reader cannot assume that their characters will make it to the end of the novel.

For me, both The Passage and The Twelve are ripping yarns told really really well. I was totally engrossed and stayed up way past my bedtime enjoying reading a nice bit of extremely well written horror.

Here’s a quote: “Kittridge closed his eyes. So, the end. It would happen instantaneously, a painless departure, quicker than thought. he felt the presence of his body one last time: the taste of air in his lungs, the blood surging in his veins, the drumlike beating of his heart. The bomb was dropping toward them.
“I’ve got you,” he said, hugging Tim fiercely; and again, over and over, so that the boy would be hearing these words. “I’ve got you, I’ve got you, I’ve got you, I’ve got you.”

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