Ahhhhh Sequels… best left for 1980’s movies and preteen books. I am not usually a fan of sequels or trilogies (except all 5 of the books in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy trilogy) but I’m at ease saying that I’m sucked into this one.
It goes without saying that The Twelve by Justin Cronin is a sequel to The Passage. You have to read the first one, and if you liked it this one will not disappoint. The format is similar to the original, in that there are a few different timelines. The first “story” takes place right after the virals (they don’t use the word vampire, but that’s what they are, not sparkly or cape swishing, but savage monster) start taking over America. There are a couple sets of survivors that pull together to survive. It is the usual mix of a few kids, ex-military, pastor, old school teacher, gangster wannabe all driven around by an autistic school bus driver. Throw in there one of the original guards from the Project NOAH (the vampire making top secret government project) who holds the clue to the virals. He is being tracked by one of the bureaucrats from the DC office of NOAH. Oh yeah, Amy is somewhere too.
Jump to 80ish years later and we are following a farm community in the post-apocalyptic era. A couple of families leave the compound for a picnic. It happens to be the day of an eclipse and well… shit hits the fan.
Jump to 20ish years later , which is 5 years after The Passage ends. Peter and Lish are still in the Expedition tracking down the original 12 virals. Things don’t quite work out and Peter gets demoted back to the protecting the oil route. This is really just an excuse for Cronin to show how humanity has pieced together a life after the cushy life we 21 century couch potatoes are used to. There are cities, governments, slums complete with an acceptable criminal fringe. They managed to keep the oil rigs on the Gulf Coast of Texas running and use that for fuel for their trucks and energy. There is some environmental damage, but that is glossed over, and the story continues. Oh yeah, Amy is there.
There is another community out there, that is not so good.
Read the rest of the awesome review here… complete with a bonus cover.