Justin Cronin achieved international praise after the release of The Passage in 2010. Cronin’s capacity for detailed world-building and meticulous story architecture, not to mention his predilection for exposing some of humanity’s rawest fears, sent the novel straight up the bestseller list, and the second installment, The Twelve, followed in 2012. Now, the conclusion to this epic tale has been delivered in The City of Mirrors.
The novel opens with a studious look back on the time period immediately following The Twelve, through an artifact under study by a future populace (comprised of whom or what is unknown). Next, we enter the heart of the plot: After a significant reprieve from viral attacks, our surviving settlements assume that risk has been eliminated and over time begin branching out. Their assumption is proven gravely inaccurate via the intertwining narratives of our primary players: Peter, Michael, Alicia, Amy and, of course, Zero.
Cronin has a remarkable ability to span a millennium yet still keep his readers’ interest in the ultimate outcome at its peak. He excels at writing characters (human or viral) in such a way that you empathize in their humanity but also their monstrosity. You can’t help but be concerned with their fates, and Cronin fans will be ecstatic to find that the final entry in his trilogy leaves no loose ends. Everyone receives a worthy conclusion to their personal journey in this concluding volume.
The Passage Trilogy, as intimidating in length as it may be, is rewarding that investment with an incredible payoff. This final entry is a grandiose story deserving of an equally grand ending, and Cronin does not disappoint. Literary fiction fans, fantasy readers and horror aficionados alike will find something that speaks to them, whether it’s the beautiful language, the fascinating logistics behind post-apocalyptic survival or the mercilessness displayed by both humans and virals.
RELATED CONTENT: Read a Q&A with Justin Cronin.