[639]: The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin


The City of Mirrors

by Justin Cronin

I’ve only recently discovered this series – in February to be exact. I found a hardback at a flea market last summer, but I didn’t really pick it up until the audiobook went on sale in February of this year. It was the kind of book that had me instantly hooked. So of course, I had to listen to the next one soon after. My feelings didn’t change. In fact, I think I was even more in love with the second one. The third and final book took four years to write so if you’ve been a fan since the first book came out, I can only sympathize. But I can tell you that I can relate if you’re having a hard time writing what you felt after everything is said and done.

the story

Years after The Twelve has been destroyed, humanity attempts to build a life outside the walls that had protected them from the virals. There’d been no signs of them, no attacks since The Twelve has been killed. Complacent, but otherwise determined, the humans decided to test the waters outside the walls.

In New York, Zero’s plans once again rid the world of humanity begins with someone who had helped defeat The Twelve. This time, he’s driven by revenge. Amy and Carter lay in wait while a pocket of humans prepares for war once again. This is the last stand; the war that could definitively end a century of darkness. Or the war that could start it all over again.

the burden of reviewing the passage series

And so we come to the end of this wonderful series. An end that was daunting, breath-taking, and bittersweet. A story spanning a century and generations of survivors but with one common denominator: the one that saved humanity from complete annihilation. Reading these books truly is a labor of love. You need patience because the books are heavier than your average novel. Shedding all your presumptions about the vampire lore is also a requirement. There are no coffins, and no crosses to save your soul. In a way that the vampire lore has been romanticized over the years, Justin Cronin’s The Passage trilogy reinvented the myth and gave it a biological origin with a bit of theology thrown into the mix.  It’s the ultimate good vs. evil; angels and demons. But prayers can’t save you in this dimension.

This book was everything I hoped for, but somehow not enough. The ending should’ve given me a sense of resolution and acceptance but it didn’t. That’s not to say it was a bad series-ender. It isn’t. That’s not even possible, in my opinion. Justin Cronin is a master story teller. Each book was perfectly conceptualized and intricately plotted. It’s been a while since I’ve been awed by a series with this caliber. And I tell you, I’ve read quite a few 5-star reads in the past.  As I sit here and try to put my thoughts into words, I’ve been thinking about how vastly unfair my book rating has been. Because there are 5-star reads, and then there’s Justin Cronin’s books. It’s a whole another level of greatness.




  • Wait. Did I know it had vampires? I have read so many reviews on this series and that’s the first time that stood out for me. And a different spin on them? Okay, I am officially intrigued! Glad it was 5 stars for you but sorry you didn’t get as much resolution as you needed

  • “there are 5-star reads, and then there’s Justin Cronin’s books. It’s a whole another level of greatness”

    That. Spot freaking on! This series is so… so … just …. amazing! I’m so glad you read it

  • I am so determined to knock this series out Joy! I discovered this series on GR just a couple of weeks ago, and just by the synopsis alone, I knew it would be different from anything I’ve ever read. The length of the first book is quite intimidating, so I’m going to do what you suggested and listen to the audiobook. Maybe I’ll even do both! I definitely want to receive the best experience I can say, so reading while listening may be my best option.

  • I’m glad that you enjoyed this one Joy, even though you wanted more from this final book. It is great to see you so engrossed in a series. I might have to look into this one!

  • This is a new to me series, but I have a feeling I would LOVE it.

  • Someday I want to tackle this series, but man the books are looonnngg! I didn’t know there was a vampire aspect. I can’t wait! 🙂

  • I’ve heard so many good things about these books, and the vampire aspect intrigues me. Glad you loved it!

  • I haven’t read a good vampire series in a long time. I want to but I don’t want a PNR one. I just saw this at my library today, maybe they have the first two books. I should give it a try, sounds very unique and smart

  • Aw 😀 So happy that you are loving this series sweet girl. <3 So glad this book was amazing for you. Yesss. You are making me pretty curious, though. Hmph 🙂 Thank you for sharing your thoughts about it Joy. <3

  • Jazmen

    Everyone and I mean everyone says these books are great. Their massiveness scares me. Maybe one day. Great review, Joy!

  • Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings

    I seriously need to get on the Cronin bandwagon! It’s about time I picked up one of his books so hopefully it’ll happen this summer! *fingers crossed* Great review, Joy!

  • Everyone seems to really be loving this book a whole lot lately! I know it’s the finale to the series but not a single person seems to be disappointed with it… which makes me think I am seriously missing out by not having started in on this series yet. I know that’s the next thing I will be doing sometime soon.

  • shootingstarsmag

    Well, sounds like a fantastic series! I really do want to try these books. I’m just so bad with series – I guess it’s good all the books are out now, so maybe soon!

    Wonderful review


  • RO

    I’ve heard great things about this author, and your review is amazing, but for the life of me, I cannot get into his work. Hugs…

  • Jenny @ Supernatural Snark

    I’m so glad this series was so outstanding for you Joy! I love when I find books where a 5 star rating simply doesn’t do them justice, it’s the best feeling. I’m going to try and get to these one day, I’m a little intimidated by the size of them I have to admit, but I don’t want to miss out!

  • Melliane

    Love the end of your review. I haven’t tried the books but you made me curious to understand what you’re saying

  • Alas Cronin, you are not for me

  • kindlemom1

    He really is a master at what he does and even though I loved this I know what you mean about the ending. I don’t know if it was the shock that it was all over or something else but I felt a bit sad as well.

  • I’m glad you enjoyed this series so much! One of these days I’m going to get the courage to tackle these long books. I know I’m missing out on something great.

  • I’ve been hearing so many great things about this series lately! With all the praise, I can’t ignore it. I’m glad to hear that this series wrapped up well for you, especially with all that wait. I would be frustrated if it didn’t live up to my expectations.
    Great review, Joy!

  • Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    You too? I’ve seen nothing, really nothing but endless praise for this series. I think it’s time to finally give it a try. Perhaps I’ll have an easier time now that they’re all out and I don’t have to wait years to find out how it ends.
    I know what you mean about the finale, though. Somehow the more we love a series, the harder it is to be satisfied.

  • I love the sound of this series Joy and bought book one not too long ago actually. There’s been so many authors who have written similar storylines, but nothing to this caliber. I’m so excited to give this series a read, I don’t tend to come across many engaging paranormal books outside of YA. Wonderful review Joy and so glad you enjoyed this one even if wasn’t as satisfying as you expected <3