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Six Sentence Review: The Twelve

2013-06-01 18.00.29The Twelve Justin Cronin

Like The Passage the first half of The Twelve is significantly better than the second, with compelling portraits of characters and strong ideas. I particularly enjoyed the return of Lawrence Grey and the beautifully painted portrait of life in the immediate aftermath of the outbreak. While the second half was not without merit, there was a level of caricature which was jarring, particularly against the very serious and emotionally compelling depictions of a number of the characters, particularly the ones we had previously met in The Passage. The critques of torture and propaganda were transparent and didn’t really go further than a very crude “these are stupid and ineffective and counterproductive” although I was interested in the use of suicide bombing as a trope. For me, the character of Horace Guilder in the second half of the book did not seem well-formed – someone with his experience and knowledge would surely have been more sensible and sophisticated, and the reasons he wasn’t were not explained. Still worth it, but hoping that the intimated final novel will be a bit tighter and more like The Passage.

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