The Twelve (The Passage #2) by Justin Cronin: Book Review

Title: The Twelve
Author: Justin Cronin
Series: The Passage #2
Publication Details: October 16th 2012 by The Random House Publishing Group

In the present day, as the man-made apocalypse unfolds, three strangers navigate the chaos. Lila, a doctor and an expectant mother, is so shattered by the spread of violence and infection that she continues to plan for her child’s arrival even as society dissolves around her. Kittridge, known to the world as “Last Stand in Denver,” has been forced to flee his stronghold and is now on the road, dodging the infected, armed but alone and well aware that a tank of gas will get him only so far. April is a teenager fighting to guide her little brother safely through a landscape of death and ruin. These three will learn that they have not been fully abandoned—and that in connection lies hope, even on the darkest of nights.

One hundred years in the future, Amy and the others fight on for humankind’s salvation...unaware that the rules have changed. The enemy has evolved, and a dark new order has arisen with a vision of the future infinitely more horrifying than man’s extinction. If the Twelve are to fall, one of those united to vanquish them will have to pay the ultimate price (from Goodreads).

The fight and survival against the virals continues with The Twelve.

The story starts 5 years after the Kensington event. With the family they lost, new friends gained, and new responsibilities earned, the main characters went on with their lives, trying to fit in their new community, trying to out-live the virals.

Like The Passage, the second book is still action-packed and gripping, though a bit weirder. The plot elements are less science fiction-y in my opinion, but still as entertaining as the first book. We still have the different scenes and POVs which makes it easier to picture the whole story and understand each character better- struggles and hopes.

The beginning of the story is quite slow as it re-introduces the characters, where they are and what they've been doing. But as it progresses, the pace picks up and things get more intriguing. The events before the main plot may also seem unconnected to each other, but once everything is set, it gets easier to follow the flow of the story. And in the ending, we get both a resolution and something to look forward to in the next book.

In general, The Twelve is really an entertaining read. I felt like it drives away from the science fiction genre and goes more on fantasy, but regardless, I still enjoyed reading it.

We still follow the main characters from The Passage. However, there were secondary characters in the first book that are main characters in The Twelve. And since we're following multiple characters, like in the first book, note-taking will come in handy. Haha!

Overall, I liked the dynamics of the characters, as well as the relationships between them. I enjoyed reading about the old ones, and exploring the new mains.

The Twelve is also written in third person omniscient perspective. As a result, it gave me a wider view of the story.

As mentioned in my The Passage review, the writing style of the author is straight-forward, and thought-provoking in some parts. I liked the way he tells the story. It's very entertaining, and when I got to the climax, it's hard to put the book down.


The Twelve is such an enjoyable read. I can't wait to read the third book, The City of Mirrors. If you're up for an action-science fiction-fantasy-thriller read with some social commentaries on the side, you'll enjoy reading The Passage trilogy.

PS: Here is my review of The Passage (here).

Born in New England, Justin Cronin is the author of Mary and O'Neil, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Stephen Crane Prize, and The Summer Guest. Having earned his MFA from Iowa Writers' Workshop, Cronin is now a professor of English at Rice University and lives with his family in Houston, Texas.