Monday, November 26, 2012

Why I DNF The Twelve, by Justin Cronin

Sometimes when I do not finish a book, I don't even bother to write a post, but I am so disappointed with The Twelve that I wanted to discuss it.

I enjoyed The Passage, even though it is a long book, my opinion was that it was worth the investment. After reading 215 pages, about 40%, of The Twelve, I decided I could not make the investment.

The Twelve jumps back and forth in time. First we are in 97 A.V. (after virus), then we are in Year Zero (when the horrible virus took over the country) for 150 pages. It was interesting to find out more about the beginning chaos. But, then we jump to 79 A.V. and then back to 97 A.V. In each of these time frames, we are introduced to many new characters and their situations. They each end up having an "event" with the virals, and then we jump to another time.

I think that the premise of this book is to destroy The Twelve. But, at 40% in, we've learned a lot of names, discovered several ways people are coping and surviving (and dying), but haven't encountered even one of The Twelve.

I want to know what scientists are doing to fix this. Why is Amy just off in a convent somewhere? Why don't scientists want to know why some people get the virus but aren't affected the same way? Come on. It's been 100 years -- surely they are doing something to find a cure.

We learned a lot about survival in The Passage. I need more than 200+ pages of survival stories. I also want to know more about what technology is available after 100 years (and maybe he's going to get to that) but all I know is that they have fuel. How do they communicate? Do they have telephones? Are they printing newspapers or broadcasting on the radio or TV? Who and what is the government? What are they doing? I felt like I read 200 pages and got no new information (except some more details about the original event and its effect.)

There is a list of characters at the end of the book. It's four pages long. If you are going to try this one, I would not recommend the eBook or audio format unless you are a note taker -- because you will definitely need to flip back and forth to remember settings and characters.

I love the world that Cronin has created. His writing is interesting, and other than too many characters, easy to follow. However, I felt like the plot for 40% of this book didn't move. The Twelve is the worst example of "second book syndrome" that I've ever encountered. I can't tell you how disappointed I am. I just can't ask you to make the investment this time.

So, if you've read The Twelve, could you comment (or email me if you want to discuss spoilery things.) I would like to know if they indeed do go after The Twelve. Is that what happens? Are any of my other questions answered later in the book? Thanks for any information.

Published by Ballentine, October 16, 2012
Copy obtained from the library (after a long wait!)
568 pages

Rating: DNF

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  1. I did finish The Twelve, and I actually liked it slightly more than The Passage. The time jump actually filled in parts that I missed from The Passage.

    They do go after The Twelve, but not until quite late in the book, and there is some more information on the science, and the virus itself.

    Having said all of that, these books are all huge time investments, but The Twelve is some 200-ish pages shorter than The Passage which made it a much faster read for me.

  2. It's a shame this book wasn't what you wanted it to be. My husband is reading it (slowly) at the moment and on the whole really enjoying it. I'm not sure if it will be a book for me (I had mixed feelings about The Passage) but I'm going to give it a go.

  3. Sounds like way too much info for me. Sorry you didn't like it.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  4. Great review Annette! Now, I can hardly bear the wait. I do plan to reread The Passage before I read The Twelve, when I get a copy. Gotta find my copy of The Passage first, though! LOL It's in one of those boxes.

    Rowena Hailey (Kent WA SEO)


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