Title: Die Zwölf
Original Title: The Twelve
Author: Justin Cronin
Published: January 14, 2013 (Germany) | November 1, 2012 (USA)
Format: Audio Book (unabridged)
Narrator: David Nathan
This is part two of a trilogy. I’ve read and reviewed part 1 – Der Übergang| The Passage here.
To be dead honest with you… I’ve finished the book already a few weeks ago and actually had to look up what happened in it. The reason why I almost forgot is because I had a reeaaally hard time getting through because it was at times a complete DRAG.
Cronin starts the novel with a very extended roundup of what happened in Der Übergang | The Passage. Which is surely not a bad thing because not everyone reads these books back to back. There has so much happened in part one, a reminder is surely welcome. I’ve asked myself though, if that refresher would have been really that much helpful if I hadn’t read part 1 and … I don’t think it is. While it is long, I find it impossible to sum that book up in a way so that you don’t have problems here and there with characters and events in book #2. I would always suggest that one starts with book #1.
So the story begins again at that time where the newly created vampires, those twelve death row inhabitants, break out and go literally viral. We are introduced to characters that were bearly touched in book #1 (e.g. Wolgast’s wife… those familiar with the story know who I’m talking about) and learn about their view and what happened to them. Cronin goes a looooooooooong way of introducing these characters and their backstories to us. If it would be of any use, I’d say nothing. Unfortunately though, while not everything, but some of that shit is pretty much useless for the rest of the story.
Then we skip to events that happen 5 years after the ones in the first book. We learn about other survivors and a new very large community where a lot of people live, albeit under the regime of a dictator. Cronin was obviously heavily inspired from Hitler and the Nazis here. On the other hand I felt – again – reminded of The Walking Dead, season 3 to be exact – the whole story around The Governor and that… um… village, who’s name escapes me, where he lived with all the others.
We meet all the familiar characters from book 1, they are still together, but some ways part because of certain circumstances. There are several subplots and the story is not told in a chronological way. Which isn’t usually a problem but here, sometimes, for me it was. Maybe because I just couldn’t concentrate on the book as much as it would have been necessry.
Not even close as good as The Passage | Der Übergang was. I found it very sad since I was totally looking forward to the sequel. First off, the story was all over the place. There was no focus. Also: the book is called Die Zwölf | The Twelve, but most the time it wasn’t really about these twelve. I had a feeling that the twelve vampires (or better the now remaining eleven…) were just a side story and not the main reason for this whole trilogy. Also, what happened to Peter, our hero in book #1? His character was reduced to a lame bore. Amy – the supposed saviour of the world – what DID she do all the time? I guess that Cronin has saved up a lot for book #3.
While the book had its good parts, I had to force myself to stay with it all too often. Yes of course I could have stopped. But as I’ve said before, I don’t really like to end a book before it’s finished, except it is completely and utterly insufferable. It wasn’t that bad. But still…
The final book of the trilogy came out on October 31st here in Germany. After how I felt about #2 I probably shouldn’t spend time and money on it. Then again, book #1 was so good and a small part in me wants to know how it all ends.
S felt the same about both books as me but has decided she’ll not read book #3.
I haven’t made up my mind yet.
A word about narrator David Nathan. He’s got to be one of the most, if not THE most popular narrator of audio books by now. He’s also the prominent dubbing voice for Johnny Depp and Christian Bale. He has a very distinctive voice and a GREAT reading style. He is specialized in fantasy and horror and is also the narrator of many books by Stephen King.
He certainly did his best but unfortunately couldn’t save the story.