by Justin Cronin
Series: The Passage #3
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Horror
In "The Passage "and" The Twelve, "Justin Cronin brilliantly imagined the fall of civilization and humanity s desperate fight to survive. Now all is quiet on the horizon but does silence promise the nightmare s end or the second coming of unspeakable darkness? At last, this bestselling epic races to its breathtaking finale.
"The world we knew is gone. What world will rise in its place?"
The Twelve have been destroyed and the hundred-year reign of darkness that descended upon the world has ended. The survivors are stepping outside their walls, determined to build society anew and daring to dream of a hopeful future.
But far from them, in a dead metropolis, he waits: Zero. The First. Father of the Twelve. The anguish that shattered his human life haunts him, and the hatred spawned by his transformation burns bright. His fury will be quenched only when he destroys Amy – humanity's only hope, the Girl from Nowhere who grew up to rise against him.
One last time light and dark will clash, and at last Amy and her friends will know their fate.
“All stories end when they have returned to their beginnings.”
The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin is the third and final book of the Passage trilogy. The wait was long, expectations were high and attempts to savor this last book failed. The City of Mirrors was a brilliant finale to this epic post-apocalyptic fiction. Unique and brilliantly written the dark and light clash for one last battle as our future is determined.
Flyers you know a book is fantastic when six hundred pages are not nearly enough. Cronin takes us from the beginnings of this post-apocalyptic trilogy that began in the jungles of South America and spans thousands of years to a satisfying ending that left me completely spent. Cronin shared the horror of both monster and man as he shared the perspectives of Zero, the twelve, and a group of humans who rise above to save others. As he does Cronin meddled with the reader’s emotions, exposed their fears and at times slayed them open.
In City of Mirrors in the Texas Republic a settlement rose from the ground as men and women worked together to protect themselves. Since the fall of the Twelve, there has not been a viral sighting. They are beginning to expand to reclaim the land and dare I say hope. Readers quickly learn Zero is held up in New York, and the threat is far from extinct.
The book is broken up into parts and from these we gain perspectives of Zero (Professor Tim Fanning) the first infected and learn of his nests. We spend time with Peter and watch him become an integral part of this newborn nation. We travel with Lis, mourn her losses and shiver as we learn of the threat yet to come. Michael plagued by dreams is repairing a freighter and hiding a secret. Sara, Pim, Greer, Calaeb and more all add to the tale and gave depth. They reminded us of the strength of the human race and its shortcomings. The story has paranormal elements from the mind links to the vivid dreams and premonitions. All of these elements served to add suspense and had me losing myself within the pages. We spend time with Carter and Amy, both thought to be dead and witness their reawakening for the final battle. Smaller characters like Dunk made me laugh and further expanded the emotional hold these characters had on me.
The timeline is nonlinear and Cronin brilliantly shares moments from the past shedding unexpected new light to events first shared in The Passage and The Twelve. At times the tale was horrifying but his strength of characters, tender moments, and even humor helped balance the story allowing readers to catch their breath. Even though we traveled from past to present I easily slipped into each timeline and became caught up in the story.
The battles, narrowing escapes, unbelievable losses and sacrifices brought forth tears from this reader. These characters were my people, their feelings and fears my own. Shivers ran down my spine, my pulse increased and there were moments when I held my breath and flipped the pages at a maddening rate.
Readers who stuck with the trilogies drawn out release dates are rewarded with answers that brought hope for a bright new dawn. From the brilliant world building to the plethora of questions Cronin presents to the reader The City of Mirrors and the entire Passage trilogy is one that will stick with readers for years to come.
I closed The City of Mirrors weeping and felt an urge to hold my loved ones close and to appreciate the comfort found in another’s arms as I sought solace for the blessings we have.
“Absolution is not the same as understanding.”
“Maybe just being alive, and having someone to love who loved you back, was enough.”
“It is an interesting truth that the human body, liberated from its head, is in essence a bag of blood with a built-in straw.”
“We have mortgaged the planet and spent the cash on trifles.”
“This girl from nowhere. This Amy NLN. Who was alpha, who omega? Who the beginning and who the end?”
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“Behind every great hatred is a love story.”
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