The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin

May 24th, 2016 Kimberly Review 72 Comments

24th May
The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin
The City of Mirrors
by Justin Cronin
Series: The Passage #3
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Horror
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

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.

PAGETURNER 2016 Fave squee EPIC

“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?”

“Behind every great hatred is a love story.”

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

72 Responses to “The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin”

  1. Heather

    My nerves are still shot from finishing the afternoon, I was just blown away by it. Even though Zero is mental it was interesting to hear his back story. There was just so many feels about this book. There is a part at the end when a certain character goes away east to see what was there, I wonder what did happen over there – I think this world could grow arms and legs, and I could have read pages more!

    Thanks for your review, so glad you loved it too!

  2. Olivia

    It sounds like a really long book but that you managed to enjoy it from beginning to end and raced through it quickly! So happy you could enjoy reading this one so much 😀 It must have been a wonderful trilogy and I love when a series is epic and ends on such a high note.

  3. Jeann

    Wow, I can really tell that this final book will be with you for some time to come Kimba! It sounds absolutely amazing and like it was a really satisfying ending. Lovely review!

  4. Bookworm Brandee

    Wow! Quite the moving read, huh? I’m glad the finale was so satisfying and worth the wait! Thanks for the excellent review…my tbr list is now even longer. 😉

  5. AngelErin

    Hooray! Glad to know we will get ANSWERS. I’ve been reading this series since the first book JUST came out. You’re right, it’s about time we get some answers. I’m so glad you enjoyed this and I can’t wait to read it. I think I was approved on NetGalley so maybe I’ll get to it soon. Excellent review!

  6. Emma

    I want to read this…but the other books took me a long time so won’t be for a while I don’t think.

  7. Melliane

    I’m always so anxious about finalbooks but I heard great things about this one and I’m glad it was a great one for you too!

  8. Leona

    This is the second great review I’ve seen of this book. I definitely have to read this series now.

  9. cindy

    Great review!!! I have not read any of this trilogy so I cannot wait to begin. i do not know why I have resisted for so long because these books have been on my radar for a while no w, the first 2 anyway. Thank you again for this great review -it was just what I needed to get going:)

  10. Candace

    It definitely sounds like an EPIC trilogy! Maybe a bit too much for me though? I don’t know, it scares me to think about reading it. But perhaps I could do it on audio. I’m not sure.

  11. Tyler H. Jolley

    Great minds think alike! Ali reviewed this today at myguiltyobsession today as well. Now it has two seals of approval, it must be read.

  12. Kristin

    Shredded… that’s the word that comes to mind after reading your review. I these books would shred my soul!!! I’ll have to tell my hubs about them, tho 😉

  13. Kathy

    Wonderful!! I love it when a book really does live up to its hype before it, and this one has had so many pre-release praises sung for it. It didn’t appeal to me all that much before, but I’m thinking differently now. Two quotes, “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,” and “We have mortgaged the planet and spent the cash on trifles,” are cracking me up and really compelling.

  14. kindlemom1

    I absolutely loved this, how could I not? It was the hardest review I think I’ve ever written because I wanted to do it justice. You did wonderfully Kim, I couldn’t have said any of it better.

  15. Stormi

    As long as you waited I am glad it ended good for you. I am almost tempted to try book one…lol.

  16. Maggie

    Kim, fantastic review- I am so glad this book is finally out. Now I can finally sit and read book #2 without worrying that I have to wait for book #3. Cronin sure knows how to write vampires!

  17. Nick

    Gosh, you and Christy make such strong cases for this book with your praising reviews! How can I even NOT read it now?
    It’s most certainly the sign of an epic read when 600 pages doesn’t feel enough.
    I’m glad this was such a hit for you, Kim!

  18. Lekeisha

    I enjoyed reading this, but it was a little much at times. I am really glad you loved this one!

  19. Jenny

    I just read Ali’s review of this one and she loved it too Kim! Clearly this is one of those exceedingly memorable, knock your socks off kind of series, and I hope to get to it one day. The length is a little intimidating as reading time for me has been so limited, but I love when 600 pages absolutely fly by!

  20. Angela

    This trilogy has been on my TBR list for what seems like ages. I need to actually get around to reading it because the reviews have been amazing.

  21. Sophia Rose

    Christy loved this one, too. I didn’t even know about the series and now I am onboard with needing to read it. Who knows when. LOL

  22. Christy LoveOfBooks

    EXCELLENT review! You said all I wasn’t able to. Gah, this was so freaking good. I’m kind of going to miss waiting for another book.