Thursday, 15 August 2013

The Twelve - Justin Cronin

   So all last weekend I had The Twelve beside the computer, planning on writing my book review of it.  Then company came over, and I got sidetracked by pretty butterflies and life events, so here it is, Wednesday, and I discover that my friend Bride over at Bride of the Book God has already written a review of The Twelve today!  So here is the link to her fun review.

    I pretty much agree with what she says, so I'm going to say what I want to say about the book, starting after (and which includes) everything she says.
Mainly, I am disappointed it didn't have the creepy factor with the vampires.  It is still a well-written series, excellent characters and pacing, thrilling tension as they try to avoid the vampires - but that danger, that terror of them that prevades the first book, The Passage, is missing.  I know we have all seen the terror, but I want it to continue through the books. Not that the vampires have to develop into anything new, or unbelievable - absolutely not.  I wanted - want -that horror back, that creeping sense that we had all through The Passage of the wrongness of the vampires, of the sense of unease, the dread, of them.  Even though The Passage was about what caused them and how the world so drastically changed in the event, I think that a 100 years later of dealing with the vampires, that horror would still be there.  I think maybe there wasn't enough attacks, enough fighting them off, though there is one - In the beginning of the book is the set-up to an attack that I wish we had gotten the full details of , that we got to see it in full.  I think this is what changed the book for me, that we don't get to see the characters die, so the immediacy of their deaths is missing. This attack turns out to be important to the plot of Book 2, and some characters, so I think a chance was missed to make this a full horror novel here, and an outstanding one.  We do find out in flashback, what happens to the survivors, but I have to say, I like straightforward writing too.  As Bride calls it, timey wimey can be interesting, but it has to be carefully done, and maybe this is where that sense of distance comes in The Twelve, so that made it less of an impact that The Passage had.

 The evil of the Twelve is what they do to their followers, as the vampires are called (each main vampire spawning his own group of vampires).  Maybe it was just the sense of menace was missing, because the groups had defined - the survivors in their areas, the vamps in theirs.  Although the vampires are still hunting whoever they can find, and leaving a known safe area is still extremely risky.  I just missed the real wrongness that is a vampire, although there is plenty of darkness, and some horror, and lots of bravery and good souls in this book.  I do enjoy this series very much, and highly recommend it.  These are mostly minor quibbles about why I found this book less scary than the first one, and I'm in this series to be scared.  I want to see it written to scare, to terrify, like the first book, so I'm hoping Book 3 will be all that, and more.

       Amy is still a fabulous character, and developing along interesting lines in the book.  I like Peter, and Alicia.  Alicia is kind of scary, actually.  

 I will be reading Book 3 whenever it is done!  I also really enjoy the different covers, interesting how the publishers thought it would appeal over in the UK, and here.  Nothing about Fear the Dark, as her book cover has.

I also read this book in less than two days, that's how much I enjoyed it and couldn't put it down.  So if you are a little bit worried about being too scared, this is a good book for you  :-)    A very good vampire series, so far.

Other reviews:
The Book Smugglers
S Krishna's Books
Coffee and A Book Chick

If you reviewed this book, please let me know and I'll link to it.


Care said...

oH, I'm sorry - I have zero interest in this book so I barely skimmed your review. But I wanted to stop by and say hi and let you know I was here. I'll keep visiting and see what else you've read.

Anne Simonot said...

I too thought it wasn't quite the gripping, unputdownable book that the first one was. I did enjoy it, and I liked finding out what happened to some of the characters from The Passage that I figured were gone forever. And definitely lacking some of the scare factor too!

Susan said...

Care: that's ok! thanks for leaving me a hello note :-)

Anne Simonot: It was lacking in the scare factor. Interesting that you and I and so many of the reviews I linked to, agree. I hope, really hope, the third book has more like the first one did.

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