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.
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.