Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The City of Mirrors

by Justin Cronin
598 pgs  (The Passage trilogy #3)

There have been a lot of books written in recent years featuring vampires as characters. Many of them are pretty good. They're suspenseful, frightening, creepy, and even original. Some of them—even though I’ve never read them, nor seen the movies based on them—I’m sure are terrible, and don’t deserve to occupy space on a bookshelf or memory on an e-reader. Justin Cronin’s apocalyptic vampire trilogy is one of the best I’ve ever read. First of all, the vampires, or virals as they're called, since they began as 12 individuals infected by a government-modified bat virus, are what they should be. They’re ruthless killing creatures with an insatiable appetite for blood. They’re not sparkly teenagers full of angst and emotional turmoil.

But where the books really separate themselves from the rest of the genre, is in Cronin’s writing ability and style. He’s a Harvard-educated man who previously wrote a couple of literary novels, so the books don't have the feel for most horror books. They read like fine literature. Each of the books is masterfully crafted and the series as a whole comes in at around 1500 pages, covering about 1,000 years of history, beginning with those first Twelve. The scope of the story as a whole is enormous.

After getting off to a great start in the first book, things get a little bogged down in book two. But this third, and final book, is the best of the three, and more than makes up for the faults of its predecessor. As the story begins, it's believed that all of the virals have been destroyed. The humans that have survived are ready to start picking up the pieces and rebuilding the civilization that is essentially non-existent. 

But obviously, there wouldn't be a need for this book, if the virals were truly eliminated in the last one. Fortunately--for us--they're only biding their time, waiting for the right time to return and finish off the survivors once and for all.

The series as a whole deserves all the hype it's received, and this book, itself was well worth the four-year wait it took to come out. 

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆  

No comments:

Post a Comment