The Twelve, by Justin Cronin

This is the sequel to "The Passage," which I absolutely loved, but I have to say that I didn't enjoy this one as much. It took me a while to figure out why, but it finally dawned on me: Cronin wrote it like a movie, not like a book. Characters say and do things that are scripted for dramatic effect, things that would look great in a movie or a TV show, but read awkwardly in a book. I liked "The Passage" so much partly because it took a common movie theme (vampires), and treated it unlike any movie out there. I got involved in the life the characters had built for themselves after the proverbial end of the world, not in high octane action sequences. "The Twelve" is all about action, revenge, true love - it's not about how real people would act in these science fiction situations. Like when Peter Jaxon defeats a drac in a caged off boxing ring by looking it dead in the eye, or when Sara immediately recognizes a five-year-old girl as her daughter even though she'd never seen her, not even right after giving birth. These are crafted for the big screen, not the small page, and as a reader, this is a disappointment. It feels like Cronin sold out a little, and I'm not sure I'll bother buying the third installment.


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