In The Passage and The Twelve, Justin Cronin brilliantly imagined the fall of civilization and humanity’s desperate fight to survive. Now all is quiet on the horizon—but does silence promise the nightmare’s end or the second coming of unspeakable darkness? At last, this bestselling epic races to its breathtaking finale.
The world we knew is gone. What world will rise in its place?
The Twelve have been destroyed and the hundred-year reign of darkness that descended upon the world has ended. The survivors are stepping outside their walls, determined to build society anew—and daring to dream of a hopeful future.
But far from them, in a dead metropolis, he waits: Zero. The First. Father of the Twelve. The anguish that shattered his human life haunts him, and the hatred spawned by his transformation burns bright. His fury will be quenched only when he destroys Amy—humanity’s only hope, the Girl from Nowhere who grew up to rise against him.
One last time light and dark will clash, and at last Amy and her friends will know their fate.
About Justin Cronin
Justin Cronin is the New York Times bestselling author of The Passage, The Twelve, The City of Mirrors (coming May 2016), Mary and O’Neil (which won the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Stephen Crane Prize), and The Summer Guest. Other honors for his writing include a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Whiting Writers’ Award. A Distinguished Faculty Fellow at Rice University, he divides his time between Houston, Texas, and Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
I feel like I’ve been waiting my entire life for this book. And even better, the release date has been pushed up to May! At one point, it had a late December 2016 release date so this is most exciting. If you haven’t picked up this fantastic series, get on it. You’ve got until May to catch up and trust me, you’ll need all that time. Have you seen the page count? It’s worth it though.
The highly anticipated finale to the #1 New York Times bestselling trilogy that began with A Discovery of Witches
After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s enchanting series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they reunite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches—with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency. In the trilogy’s final volume, Harkness deepens her themes of power and passion, family and caring, past deeds and their present consequences. In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowledge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.
With more than one million copies sold in the United States and appearing in thirty-eight foreign editions, A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night have landed on all of the major bestseller lists and garnered rave reviews from countless publications. Eagerly awaited by Harkness’s legion of fans, The Book of Life brings this superbly written series to a deeply satisfying close.
Since the beginning, we’ve followed in the steps of Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont as they seek out a lost manuscript called Ashmole 782, otherwise known as The Book of Life. In A Discovery of Witches, we watch the duo fall in love and setting aside Matthew’s exceedingly over-protectiveness we’re introduced to a most interesting world where vampires, witches, and daemons manage to exist in our modern world. In Shadow of Night, we’re taken back through time to 1590 Elizabethan London to continue the search for Ashmole 782 and for an individual to help Diana control the plethora of power she now possesses. And with this installment, the All Souls Trilogy finally comes to a close. Diana and Matthew are back in the present day, continuing the seemingly endless search for the book that has become key to unlocking the mystery of the supernatural races and also ensuring the futures of Diana and Matthews unborn children.
While the plot was far easier to follow than Shadow of Night, where there were so many characters (and many historically accurate figures) that it required a glossary for them alone, The Book of Life was still convoluted and overly verbose. We have the continued search for Ashmole 782, much scientific research occurs in hopes of finding a cure for Matthew’s blood rage which he hopes was not passed down to the twins, an incredible amount of supernatural politics headed by the group known as the Congregation, and to make it even more labyrinthine we have a rogue vampire on the lose who is raping witches in the hopes of impregnating them. Oh, he’s also Matthew’s son. I honestly felt as if that whole “bad seed” storyline could have been dropped completely. I didn’t feel the addition of some supremely evil character had to be included to up the ante; it would have been just fine without.
What I did enjoy though is that this isn’t your typical fantasy taking place on some made up world. This is right here on Earth and the way in which it’s written makes the possibility of magic and supernatural beings all the more plausible, mlike how Harry Potter made me want to believe in magic. I’ve always appreciated how Harkness was able to incorporate so many supernatural creatures without it sliding into cheesy territory; the historically accurate detailing always made these stories feel of the highest quality. Watching Diana grow into her magic was wonderfully done as well and I loved the detail given to her spellcasting. While I felt the Life was unreasonably elaborate and the ending left little in the way of surprises, it was still satisfying to see Diana and Matthews story come to an end.
Introducing the Custard Protocol series, in which Alexia Maccon's daughter Prudence travels to India on behalf of Queen, country...and the perfect pot of tea.
When Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama ("Rue" to her friends) is bequeathed an unexpected dirigible, she does what any sensible female under similar circumstances would do -- she christens it the Spotted Custard and floats off to India.
Soon, she stumbles upon a plot involving local dissidents, a kidnapped brigadier's wife, and some awfully familiar Scottish werewolves. Faced with a dire crisis (and an embarrassing lack of bloomers), Rue must rely on her good breeding -- and her metanatural abilities -- to get to the bottom of it all...
Ah, the first not fabulous review of this book. Well. Isn’t this awkward?
Having read (and loved) Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series I’ve been dying for this new spin-off series. Prudence! Their metanatural daughter all grown up, wreaking all sorts of havoc on London! How freaking fun is this going to be?!?! For me? Not so much. Not so much at all. This was such a chore for me to read and took me a whopping 25 days to get through. 25 days!!! I can’t even begin to explain how sad this makes me.
The first installment in The Custard Protocol series has Prudence acquiring a dirigible that she proceeds to paint to look like a ladybug and she takes off in it on an adventure to India to acquire some rare tea blend for her adopted father Dama. Here lies my first issue with this story: where the hell is the plot? Wait, that’s it? Based on the writing style you’ll know first-off that this is not one to be taken seriously, but it all felt a bit too willy nilly. But hold up, let’s back up a touch to the writing style. Now I read the Parasol Protectorate series so I have already been introduced to Carriger’s floral writing style but holy hell, she cranked it up in Prudence to the point where it was all just so absurd. Like here:
‘One could not blame people for disliking vampires. Vampires were like Brussels sprouts – not for everyone and impossible to improve upon with sauce. There were even those in London who disapproved of Dama, and he was very saucy indeed.’
And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this one:
“Rue was further delighted. She twirled. She’d even left her hair down. It felt very wicked. “Is it possible I have a bad case of the spotted crumpet?”
And there were several times when she would refer to facial hair as facial “topiary” and she officially lost me. Add to that was the constant focus on dressing properly and reputations. Prim’s involvement in the story consisted solely of her constant complaining. “Oh! I wore a walking dress, not a carriage dress!” Then there was the time when she wore a traveling dress instead of a visiting dress and they had to leave for India earlier than intended because what a travesty. Stop the presses. I know you don’t have to tell me this is meant to be set in Victorian times and these were very serious issues but it felt so overly focused on that dresses and styles and changing and matching hats all became the entirety of the story. A plot did actually end up appearing, a very serious one actually that not only came out of nowhere but just felt out of place. Also out of place was the odd attempt at a romance that fell completely flat due to absolutely no chemistry.
I’ve wrestled with the inability to describe how and why this story went wrong for me. I found it all a bit pretentious, trifling and frivolous. But there was one particular line uttered by Prudence that completely summed this book up for me:
“When all else failed – overwhelm with inanities.”
Because that’s exactly what this book felt like it did; it completely overwhelmed me with inanities.
Filled with characters as menacing as they are memorable, this chilling twist on vampire fiction packs a punch in the bestselling tradition of ’Salem’s Lot by Stephen King.
Asmodeus “Sax” Saxon-Tang, a vainglorious and well-established antiques dealer, has made a fortune over many years by globetrotting for the finest lost objects in the world. Only Sax knows the true secret to his success: at certain points of his life, he’s killed vampires for their priceless hoards of treasure.
But now Sax’s past actions are quite literally coming back to haunt him, and the lives of those he holds most dear are in mortal danger. To counter this unnatural threat, and with the blessing of the Holy Roman Church, a cowardly but cunning Sax must travel across Europe in pursuit of incalculable evil—and immeasurable wealth—with a ragtag team of mercenaries and vampire killers to hunt a terrifying, ageless monster…one who is hunting Sax in turn.
From author Ben Tripp, whose first horror novel Rise Again “raises the stakes so high that the book becomes nearly impossible to put down” (Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother), The Fifth House of the Heart is a powerful story that will haunt you long after its final pages.
About Ben Tripp
BEN TRIPP is the author of Rise Again and Rise Again: Below Zero, a two-part apocalyptic zombie saga for Gallery.
He has an upcoming trilogy of rollicking young adult novels in the historical fantasy genre for Tor, the first of which is The Accidental Highwayman. In addition, Gallery has secured rights to his first foray into the vampire genre, The Fifth House of the Heart.
Tripp is an artist, writer, and designer who has worked with major entertainment companies and motion picture studios for more than two decades. He was for many years one of the world's leading conceptualists of public experiences, with a global portfolio of projects ranging from urban masterplanning to theme parks. Now he writes novels full-time.
He lives with his wife (Academy Award-winning writer/ producer Corinne Marrinan) in Los Angeles and London.
I have yet to actually read a Ben Tripp book (I know, what the hell) but here’s another one add to my list to read. First he does zombies and now… vampires. The Fifth House sounds nothing short of incredible though and I cannot wait to get my hands on this one.
What are you waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me a link to your post and I’ll be sure to stop by!
Fifteen-year-old Izzy Brannick was trained to fight monsters. For centuries, her family has hunted magical creatures. But when Izzy’s older sister vanishes without a trace while on a job, Izzy's mom decides they need to take a break.
Izzy and her mom move to a new town, but they soon discover it’s not as normal as it appears. A series of hauntings has been plaguing the local high school, and Izzy is determined to prove her worth and investigate. But assuming the guise of an average teenager is easier said than done. For a tough girl who's always been on her own, it’s strange to suddenly make friends and maybe even have a crush.
Can Izzy trust her new friends to help find the secret behind the hauntings before more people get hurt?
Rachel Hawkins' delightful spin-off brings the same wit and charm as the New York Times best-selling Hex Hall series. Get ready for more magic, mystery and romance!
Izzy Brannick comes from a long line of monster hunters. Her family hunts them all for the Prodigium, the council that governs them all. The council that her cousin Sophie Mercer is in charge of. Izzy hasn’t been the same since her sister went missing on a job both of them were supposed to be working on. She blames herself since she was supposed to be with her but ended up letting her go off by herself. Add to that, she just screwed up her last solo job and her mom has given her a lame assignment. It involves a ghost. And a high school. Which she has to personally attend.
I was a bit undecided when I heard about this spin-off series but when I got my hands on it my love of Hex Hall that had lay dormant sudden came alive again and I had to read this immediately. And in a single day. Hex Hall fans will love this spin-off, I have no doubt.
Izzy is such a charming yet completely clueless girl when it comes to the normal lives of teenagers. She considers black a satisfactory color for her entire wardrobe and she lacks any sort of social skills considering she’s never been social and has never attended public school. So when she finds out she’s going to have to actually attend a high school in order to get the necessary information to bring down the ghost that’s currently haunting its halls, she’s at a loss on how to acclimate. She buys all the teen magazines and the goofy teen TV shows in order to ‘understand’ more and… suffice it to say, it’s hilarious.
Despite her lack of social skills, there still manages to be a completely adorable romance. Izzy and Dex are hilarious and awkward and it was completely endearing. It totally gave the warm fuzzies, I only wish it had gone on for more pages (this was an extremely quick read!) but fortunately this is the first in a new series so I look forward to seeing more Dex and Izzy time. Dex was definitely my favorite character with his peppy one-liners, but there were tons of characters to love in these pages. Torin, the 400-year old warlock currently trapped in Izzy’s bedroom mirror, was a runner-up favorite.
Despite my gushing, I wasn’t completely content with the ending. It wasn’t so off-putting that I won’t be continuing this series, but it’ll be interesting to see where the story leads.
School Spirits is a delightful paranormal series with an unforgettable set of characters. Fun and full of witty banter, this is the perfect read for anyone looking for some quick mystical entertainment.
Out here in the Fringes, there is only one rule: Blood calls to blood. She has done the unthinkable: died so she might continue to live. Now Allie, the reluctant teenage vampire who was cast out of Eden, and Zeke, the human boy who loves her, must attempt to save the world from a deadly new strain of plague. In order to do so, they must first hunt down the monster who holds the promise of the cure—and Allie’s beloved mentor—in his sadistic grip…. Joined by Allie’s blood brother, Jackal, this unlikely posse of companions will brave a landscape stalked by raiders, rabids, and rogue vampires. But even if they survive, they’re bound for the Inner city, and a vicious showdown that will test their bonds in ways they never expected. It may just be that becoming undead was the easy part. Confronting the horrors of Allie’s awakening hunger, her growing feelings for Zeke, and the uncertainties of their future is going to be the ultimate challenge.
*spoilers from Immortal Rules. Please don’t read if you haven’t read the first installment!*
Admittedly, Eternity Cure was not a planned read for me. I wasn’t a big fan of Immortal Rules, I gave it 3 stars but it was a reluctant 3 stars because when I think back it was deserving of less because it was dreadfully dull at times and took me forever to get through. There was so much potential but it was severely lacking… in what? I can’t quite put my finger on it but it could have been much better. The outpouring of immense love for Eternity Cure started rolling in and as soon as I read those magical words “even better than the first” I knew I had to give this one more chance. For those of you, like me, who weren’t in complete love with Immortal Rules I suggest you check this installment out. It’s not perfect but it’s immensely more exciting.
The story picks up right where Immortal Rules left off: Allison has continued her quest to free Kanin after leaving Zeke and the rest of the human group in their new home, Eden. After teaming up to save their master, Jackal and Allison set aside their differences and join forces against the much imbalanced Sarren who has captured Kanin after a many years long grudge.
Jackal and Allison were quite the pair. Definitely entertaining, these two together really added some much needed humor to the story that made me love it infinitely more than the first. And I can’t even begin to explain to you the excitement. This for me, was the best part of the whole thing. My biggest complaint about Immortal Rules was the parts that dragged on for far too long. With Eternity Cure, it was non-stop excitement and there was always something going on. This was truly an edge of your seat thriller and there were twists you will not see coming and turns that will leave your jaw on the ground.
The relationships… for me this was a huge flaw in Immortal Rules. I never quite understood Allison’s need or desire to continue staying with the human party despite their ongoing terrible treatment towards her (despite even knowing she’s a vampire) and her ongoing blood lust which made it extremely hard to travel with them. The relationship with Zeke was so touching and sweet and really made Allison’s ongoing desire to remain human make complete and utter sense. To me, this is what truly sets this series apart from the rest of the ‘typical’ vampire stories. Allison has constantly struggled to retain her sense of humanity and still has a desire to remain a ‘decent human being’ minus all the feelings of entitlement like her brother Jackal has. She doesn’t feel she’s better in any ways to the humans and wishes to be like them but has no way of ever making this a reality. Her feelings were true and something that I could completely understand and empathize with.
Yeah, seriously. That ending?
I have to wait how long to find out what happens?
Cliffhanger… yes. Mind blown… yes. Well worth it… definitely yes. This is one thrill-ride of an installment you won’t want to miss.
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?
I felt like I waited half a lifetime for this to be released and I’ll admit, I’m pretty damn disappointed. The Passage blew me away and is one of my all-time favorites/ The Passage really took some patience and focus because Justin Cronin’s writing is so intricately detailed that it’s incredibly easy to miss something important but it was SO worth it. It all began with several individual story lines that had no apparent relation with one another but as time progressed they started to intersect with one another to form one hugely multi-faceted story. The Twelve brings that writing style back into the spotlight with a new array of characters and new storylines.
There were such an immense amount of characters and intersecting storylines from The Passage that I was more than a bit worried that I wouldn’t be able to understand what was going on in The Twelve. Fortunately, we’re given a refresher in the form of biblical writings from “The Book of Twelves”. I thought that the way it was done in the prologue was sheer genius. (Admittedly, I was a bit skeptical at first by the biblical approach he took and continued to take throughout the extent of the book. It threw me a bit but Justin Cronin is a genius and it managed to work out.)
It’s strange though, because if you really think about it the original story line from The Passage was solely focused on government conspiracies and the creation of a virus that went completely wrong and was unleashed on the world after the virus was given to death-row-inmates. In The Twelve, the story is centered around a city where individuals are utilizing vampire blood in order to achieve immortality. A far cry from the original story, which was a bit of a disappointment because I would have loved to find out more about the original Twelve.
The main difference for me between The Passage and The Twelve is how the multiple storylines inevitably intersected. With The Passage it was seamless and once everything came together there was the big ‘Ahhh’ moment where everything was clear and the light bulb went on. For me, I think when the ‘Ahhh’ moment was intended to happen my reaction was more along the lines of ‘Uh… I still don’t get it.’ Completely riveting story lines, complex and detailed to the max, but ultimately lacked in coming full circle and left me with far too many questions than answers.
The City of Mirrors, the final installment, isn’t due out for 2 years but I will of course be reading it. I’m hoping that questions are finally answered and aren’t left as they have been: a bunch of hypothetical possibilities.
Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for magic…
One moment magic dominates, and cars stall and guns fail. The next, technology takes over and the defensive spells no longer protect your house from monsters. Here skyscrapers topple under onslaught of magic; werebears and werehyenas prowl through the ruined streets; and the Masters of the Dead, necromancers driven by their thirst of knowledge and wealth, pilot blood-crazed vampires with their minds.
In this world lives Kate Daniels. Kate likes her sword a little too much and has a hard time controlling her mouth. The magic in her blood makes her a target, and she spent most of her life hiding in plain sight. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, she must choose to do nothing and remain safe or to pursue his preternatural killer. Hiding is easy, but the right choice is rarely easy…
’Magic could not be measured and explained in scientific terms, for magic grew through destroying the very natural principles that made science as people knew it possible.’
So I finally got around to reading about this ‘Kate Daniels’ I’ve heard so much about. I found the world building to be extremely choppy and confusing, but by the end it started coming together and making more sense. I won’t bother trying to explain it to you though; I would only fail miserably so instead I’ll just tell you what I thought about the book.
This story was quite a bit more gruesome than I was expecting! Quite a few eww moments. I’ll share a few with you:
’Garbage fell, revealing yellow bones and shreds of rotting oozing putrid juices.’ ‘The flesh and cartilage parted before the blade and I pulled her rib cage open like a bear trap.’ ‘The vamp must have been turned on its side to allow the stringy clot of its nearly atrophied intestines to fall out.’ And my personal favorite: ‘Slayer sliced through decaying tissue in a spray of putrid sluice.’
I think by now you get the picture.
The author(s) also had an interesting and original take on vampires.
’Homo sapiens immortuus, a vampire. The vampires knew no pity and no fear; they couldn’t be trained; they had no ego. On a developmental level they stood close to insects, possessing a nervous system and yet incapable of forming thoughts.’
Definitely a diversion from the norm, and like Maja stated in her review, it was not one that I particularly enjoyed as I’m quite the vampire lover (the normal vampires that is).
I loved the characters and oh how wonderful it is to find another snarky and spirited female character in the world of Urban Fantasy. Kate is my new best friend; definitely my kinda girl. Despite the fact that ‘snarky’ is slowly becoming commonplace is many novels I read these days, I must say, I’m not getting tired of it at all. Derek was also an enjoyable additional character.
“Derek, never ever tell a woman that someone is prettier than her. You’ll make an enemy for life.” “You’re funnier than she is. And you hit harder.” “Oh, thank you. Please, continue to reinforce the fact that she’s more attractive. If you say that I have a better personality, you’ll find out how hard I can hit.”
And of course I could never forget Curran. 🙂 Rawr. I took an immediate liking to him, despite the fact that he can’t hammer for shit. 😀 I look forward to seeing what happens between the two of them. AND finding out what the hell Kate is! Ack!
I must say I was quite impressed overall and am really looking forward to continuing the series.