Tag Archive: the twelve


After much deliberation and consideration, I have picked out my top 10 books of 2012.  The five best and the five worst.  It wasn’t as easy as I expected it to be.  Only two or three books jumped out at me as belonging on these lists and the rest were all most equal and needed to be thought over very carefully.  Finally, I reached a consensus.

The Five Best

 

renegade1. Renegade by J.A. Souders.

This book stood out to me by a mile when I considered my best books of the year.  I read it a little over a month ago and I still catch myself thinking about it and pondering over it.  I have recommended it to every person I know and will await the next book with bated breath.  It was a creepy and amazing book that was so much more than I ever expected it to be and created a fan out of me.

daughter of smoke & bone2. Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor.

This is another book that swept me off my feet and enticed me into its world and didn’t want to let me go.  It is a beautifully written book and I expect a lot of great things for the author in the future.  A masterfully woven tale that I couldn’t put down.

nocturnal3. Noturnal by Scott Sigler

While I may not have reviewed this on the blog, it was one of my favorites all the same.  For anyone who doesn’t know, I am a gigantic fan of Scott Sigler.  I can only think of one thing I have read by him that I didn’t absolutely love.  Now this book does have a few moments where even a die-hard junkie like me rolled my eyes, but the overarching story was spectacular.  It was creepy, fun, and interesting for all the right reasons.  Sigler’s horror novels aren’t the kind that will scare you and make you check under the bed, that’s not his style of horror.  His style of horror is the kind that has you wrinkling your nose and thinking, “Oh my God!”

and all the stars4. And All the Stars  by Andrea K Host

This book was a surprise.  I had seen a lot of good reviews for it but wasn’t sure what to expect.  But it was a joy and a pleasure to read.  The characters were real, the story was interesting, and I couldn’t put it down.  Without a doubt one of the best books I picked up this year.

the lost prince5. The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

Before last year I had never read a Julie Kagawa book.  I had heard a lot of great things and when I got offered the chance to read this beginning of a new series, I jumped at it to see what all the fuss was about.  The fuss was well deserved because this book was fantastic.  The world building was some of the best I have read and the characters were well-developed and rounded.  I will be reading from his author again and hope to be just as pleased.

 

 

The Five Worst

the rook

1. The Rook by Daniel O’Malley

This book earned its place as the worst book of the year.  It was boring and amateurish.  The interest premise it established was squandered at every opportunity with boring nonsense.  I wanted to quit on this book so many times and probably would have if it wasn’t a book club read.  The long swathes of gibberish that had nothing to do with the plot made this the most annoying book I read all year.

the twelve2. The Twelve by Justin Cronin

POVs that switched and swapped every few pages and a convoluted plot that made everything about as clear as mud are the primary reason this book sucked.  Add in religious references being shoved in your face as nauseum and in the most annoying way possible and I wanted it to be over.  560 pages of purple prose later this book succeeded in making me fall asleep repeatedly and made my eyeballs shoot blood spontaneously to prevent any more pain.

ScarletUS.indd3. Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

This book made me angry.  It has such a great story and it just pissed it away with typical boring YA garbage.  The heroine was embarrassing to all young girls on the planet and the heroes should be locked up to protect the women of the world.  I didn’t find a single redeeming quality about this book.

immortal city4. Immortal City by Scott Speer

If ever there was a book that should be destroyed for the protection of humanity, it’s this one.  Yet again, another fascinating premise that they author mutilated and destroyed until it was unrecognizable.  I hated the characters, the plot, the villain, and everything in between.  I sincerely hope Mr. Speer goes back to screenwriting, it’s a certainty that he’s more talented at that than novels.

breed5. Breed by Chase Novak

Ugh, what a waste of a tree.  The characters were so irritating that I really didn’t care if awful things happened to them.  The plot dragged on and on and on but yet we never got anywhere.  There was no point to any of it and no resolution in the end.

 

So that’s it ladies and gents.  These are my favorite and most hated books of 2012.  I’m interested in knowing what yours are.  Add a comment and tell me!

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Review: The Twelve by Justin Cronin

the twelveThe Twelve by Justin Cronin

Published October 16th, 2012 by Random House

Picture and synopsis from the Goodreads book page

Buy this book at: Book Depository / Amazon / B&N

Synopsis:

At the end of The Passage, the great viral plague had left a small group of survivors clinging to life amidst a world transformed into a nightmare. In the second volume of this epic trilogy, this same group of survivors, led by the mysterious, charismatic Amy, go on the attack, leading an insurrection against the virals: the first offensives of the Second Viral War.

To do this, they must infiltrate a dozen hives, each presided over by one of the original Twelve. Their secret weapon: Alicia, transformed at the end of book one into a half human, half viral—but whose side, in the end, is she really on?

Rating (out of 5): 1 star

Review:

***Warning: Spoiler alert!  Consider yourself duly warned!***

It is with great sadness that I give this book one single star, and even that might be more than it deserves.  The Twelve is the sequel to 2010’s The Passage and is the second book in the trilogy.  I read The Passage and I absolutely loved it.  I admit that there was a large section of the middle that was horribly boring and tedious, but overall I thought the book was one of the best I had read.  I looked forward to The Twelve with much fervor and excitement.  I pre-ordered it almost a year in advance and tapped my foot impatiently that the release date wouldn’t get here any quicker.  When the book arrived at my house I tore open the packaging and spent a lot of time just starting at it in wonder.  It was finally here!  Then I plunged into it and was stopped dead in my tracks.  This book that I had looked forward to for over a year was just not good!  It took everything I didn’t like about The Passage and amplified it a hundred times.  I was so distraught that I thought perhaps it was my fault and I should put the book down for awhile and come back to it.  So I took a month long break, and it still wasn’t any good when I came back.

My first irritation with this book was something I noticed in The Passage but it was much much worse in this one.  Cronin has a tendency to use really weird word choices sometimes.  And he falls into purple prose constantly.  No, scratch that, he doesn’t fall into purple prose, all he writes is purple prose.  I got really sick of hearing about the undulating crimson waves of light shimmering across the cerulean sky as the sun peeked it’s head just over the dusky horizon as if afraid to make any further appearance.  It got really old and I just wanted SOMETHING to happen already. Stop describing everything in such an unnecessary way and give me some plot, please!  And the word choices were just strange at times.  It would completely pull me out of the story as I stopped short and thought, “What?”  For example he described Amy as “meager”.  Okay, I know what meager means, but he is using it to describe her as humble and that is not a very common usage of that word.  Or describing a rape as “peculiar ministrations.”  At first I wasn’t even sure what the hell he was talking about.  It took me almost five pages to realize that was a rape scene.

My next problem was how often we jump around to different characters.  Literally every two or three pages we jumped to a completely different plot and a different narrating character and then a few pages later it was something else.  This made it really hard to track what was going on or whether we were even in the same time period.  Were we at directly after the virus or a hundred years later, I often didn’t know.  Then you add in that certain characters were present in both time periods, with no real explanation of how that happened, so that made it extra confusing about where we were.  Then you have a huge cast of characters that is impossible to keep track of on top of the confusing narration.  At one point I had to put the book down to scratch my head because I know for a fact that X character died in The Passage (I read it 3 times, he died, we buried him!), yet all of a sudden he’s back and a viral.  I think the author confused himself with the multitude of characters.

I’m also still not sure exactly what the plot was.  When I finished The Passage, I was fairly certain that we were going to be hunting down the eleven remaining virals out of the original Twelve.  But, 95% of the book was spent NOT doing that, so I have no idea just what the hell we did for nearly 600 pages.  Instead we jumped around from character to character and had a character making the virals into some kind of deity and enslaving people.  Because the plot was so vast and confused, we missed out on some great opportunities.  At one point, a young boy wants to run into a stadium after the virus is released and they don’t want him to see the horror.  What horror?  I still don’t know.  They may have wanted to protect the boy but, I wanted to see it!  I wanted to know what was going on there!  The boy escaped the adults and managed to see it, but I still didn’t.  This trend continued throughout the book.  At another point Peter is fighting a viral while locked in a cage.  We get a whole two paragraphs before we get a narrative AFTER it’s over and find out it lasted a total of 27 seconds.  I felt so incredibly ripped off.  All of the potentially good horror or action scenes were skipped over like they didn’t matter so we could spend 10 more pages on purple prose that made my eyes want to explode.

Finally, I got sick and tired of the religious references.  I had the inkling that we were going down that road from The Passage and I didn’t mind it.  But the author just tried too hard to make the connections.  I started trying to predict what the next religious reference would be.  Oh, is he the new God?  Yep, he proclaimed himself to be.  Is she going to die and then get resurrected?  Yep, she did…oh look twice.  It was pathetic that trying to predict the absurd religious references was more entertaining to me than the book itself.  It almost felt like the author was standing and looking over my shoulder saying, “See, do you get it?  Twelve Apostles and Jesus?  I’m clever huh, don’t you get it?”  Yes I get it and it’s fucking stupid!

In the end I cared about this book so little that I honestly didn’t even want to finish it.  The only reason I did finish was to see if there would be ANYTHING that would spark my interest in the third book.  I couldn’t even care that my favorite character got raped, because I had no idea that’s what happened until long after it happened.  Then I couldn’t even care that she got revenge on her rapist because it was just glossed over like it wasn’t important…like everything else that was good in this book.  At this point, I will not be reading the last book.  I loathed every page of this book and I hate the direction this plot is taking.  I don’t care how it ends anymore, this book killed any enthusiasm I had for this story.  I keep trying to figure out where all these good reviews are coming from because I am not even sure we read the same book.

To end, I want to add a personal note to Mr. Cronin:  Yes, we realize that you are a highly literary, intelligent individual who has a degree and can write literary works of genius.  But, guess what, you are writing a horror trilogy.  I know you feel guilty about “selling out” for a big paycheck and being in that dreaded mass market category, but that’s no excuse to bastardize your own work.  You have destroyed this story by trying to make it highbrow and literary.  Assuage your guilt about selling out some other way.  I swear you are on some personal mission to make me hate your book, congratulations I did.