The Twelve

Justin Cronin
The Twelve Cover

The Twelve


The Twelve is Justin Cronin's second novel in his series "The Passage Trilogy". The first of which is The Passage. Although hints of religious undertones peppered the first novel, in this second one there are religious undertones, overtones, and throughtones. The Twelve tells the story of what happened right after the outbreak to some of the characters we were introduced to in the first book and new characters. The second story was "The Field" This is the story of one tragic attack on the survivor's community in Texas. This attack is the seed that the remainder of the novel sprouts from. Unlike many novels in a trilogy, The Twelve is not just a gathering of the main characters. There is real movement in the story; especially the third section.

Much of this novel is the story of Lila, the ex-wife of one of the main characters in the first novel. I must say I found this woman to be a completely unlikable character. I know she was supposed to be a tragic victim in this novel, a woman pushed beyond her ability to cope, but that is not how I could see her. I spent the entire novel wondering why a good man like Wolgast would have ever loved this woman. There were slight glimpses of a decent person at the very end of the novel, but by that time I disliked her so much it barely mattered.

I enjoyed this second novel and was thrilled that it was not just filler between the first and last parts like so many second novels tend to be. It is obvious Mr. Cronin had a plan as to where this novel was going, although at first it was unclear how each section ties to each other. I breathlessly anticipate the final novel in this series.