The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin concludes The Passage trilogy. If you've read the previous books in the series, you realize that the books are very long and that there are a great many characters. The Passage was published in 2010, The Twelve was published in 2012, and this final book will be available May 24, 2016.
So...I wish I had reread the series from the beginning before starting The City of Mirrors; there are so many characters and so many years pass between books. (A suggestion to those of you who are hooked on the series, at least review the first two books before reading the final installment. :) Another tip: it is still offered on NetGalley and there is a give-away on Goodreads.) If you haven't read the earlier books, read them and save this last one for later.
Fortunately, I remembered enough scenes so vividly that the characters and events came back pretty quickly, but I still wished I'd reread the previous books, especially The Passage, which remains my favorite.
OK--The Twelve have been vanquished, and for years, nothing has been heard from Zero. The author brings the reader (not the characters) up-to-date about Zero, devoting nearly 200 pages to filling in his backstory. Does it evoke empathy? Is/was Zero an evil monster?
The beginning is a little slow, partly because the reader has to re-acclimate to characters and events, but eventually all of the familiar characters' lives are fleshed out.
Alicia of the Blades and Amy have disappeared and life in Kerrville has gone on without them. While the other characters wait and wonder what happened to them, the reader is much more informed. Years pass; the lives of characters change with the times. Kerrville grows, then depletes, as years go by without viral activity and people form new settlements and townships, moving outside the walls.
Peter, Michael, Hollis, Sarah, and Greer's roles also change over the years, and a few new characters are introduced. People eventually begin to believe/hope the world is safe again.
Lucas Greer has a vision, and he and Michael work to make it happen. Peter Jaxon continues his role as leader, but in a different capacity. Children grow up.
Time, however, is growing short. Something is coming....
It is easy to become involved with the characters, especially those who have been there since the beginning. We already feel as if we know these people, and we certainly care what happens to them.
The premise of a military experiment gone wrong (as explained in the first book) is believable and frightening. The perversion of science to the point of threatening humanity is certainly not a new theme, and yet Cronin's world-building and character development can place the reader firmly in this dystopian framework.
I'm happy to have this epic trilogy completed and to have the details of so many characters wrapped up. There were a few things that bothered me, but I'll omit them for now; I'd like to see how others feel about the novel. Overall, I'm satisfied.
Read in April; blog post scheduled for May 2
Dystopian/Post-apocalyptic. May 24, 2016. Print length: 624 pages.