Publication Date 16th June 2016 from Orion
Source: Netgalley. Also I have the hardback on order ready to complete the collection. One of my most anticipated novels ever.
“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.
City of Mirrors is going to be an incredibly hard book to review with any sense of professionalism, such was its impact and indeed the impact of this entire trilogy on me as a reader. I have loved every moment of it, the writing is truly sublime, the epic and sprawling story utterly convincing and completely addictive every step of the way and probably the most important thing to say is that if you are a fan and have been worried that Justin Cronin could not POSSIBLY pull off a perfect and killer ending then fear not. The man is a genius.
And he made me cry. I was traumatised at the end of this novel, some of it because of what happens which I’m not going to tell you a THING about – sorry, no spoilers here, nothing even close to it. Some of it because now its all over what the HECK am I going to do without those characters in my life and some of it just because I’d been in a little bubble of elsewhere during the entire read and coming up for air was something of a shell shock. Trauma I tell you! Book trauma of the best kind. These are the reads we live for.
Lets go back a little…because Something is coming...
Ok so maybe on a slightly more practical note we’ll see how we go – The Passage was my read of the year in its year – echoes of King when he plots to perfection, a pre apocalyptic post apocalyptic magnum opus in the making, with characters that take up residence inside your head and linger there and a truly magnificent piece of storytelling that was fascinating, horrifying, so strangely possible in a lot of ways that it was scary as all hell. But also beautiful, intriguing, extraordinarily clever and a book that rewarded readers in surprising and unexpected ways. The Passage on its own was epic. A truly remarkable achievement.
Then….Fear the dark…
We moved onto “The Twelve”. Now I think its fair to say that some readers who loved The Passage had issues with The Twelve. Not everyone loved it. Some didn’t think it was as good. I had endless discussions with other readers of this trilogy about how The Twelve took us away from the Passage rather than moving it on, changed things too much – but for me it worked on every level. I could kind of see what the author was up to, the middle novel, the one that is often the “lesser” for me in this case was more than. Much more than.To my mind The Twelve had a gorgeous sense of anticipation to it. That is the best way I can put it. Again, no real detail. You must, simply MUST read these for yourself. Also in defence of The Twelve, to those who were not sure of it, I think that if you reread it in its place, after The Passage, before City of Mirrors it will take on an entirely different sense and an entirely different vibe. I refer you back to Justin Cronin being a genius.
And here we are now then. Its time. The City of Mirrors completes this story, we will have to say goodbye to Amy and Sarah and Peter and Alicia and oh all of them too many to mention, including every one of The Twelve,those stunningly layered and well drawn characters who have captured our imagination, made us root for them, had us holding our breath, or hiding under the duvet or upon reading a particuarly thrilling moment clutching our heads in dismay and concern. The relationships created and lost, the world they live in an ever changing landscape, so intimately imagined you live there with them, time lost, time gained, the whole wonderful, creative, genuinely absorbing, intensely insane reading MADNESS of it, it is done.
And done in such a way that you will absolutely never forget it. This trilogy I will read again, start to finish, many times. Many many times. Justin Cronin has taken hold of my reading soul and won’t let go easily. And at the end of City of Mirrors I realised that even if I read it all 20 times I’m still going to find little nuances, little bits of foreshadowing little moments that I missed in the sheer joy of reading it, this is a trilogy that itself will be an ever changing landscape upon revisiting it.
Be prepared. Expect the unexpected. It will still surprise you. Everything you have read before within this story you will look at very differently when you have finished City of Mirrors. I cannot imagine that it could be better. We had to wait for this and trust me trust me it was worth every MOMENT of that wait. Every chronically impatient moment of it. Ok so I havent been that practical. I can’t tell you about the technical stuff, I CERTAINLY can’t break down the plot and tell you what works and what doesnt and why it should do this and where it falters because for ME it never faltered. Not for one moment. I LIVED it. And Died in it. Then lived in it once more. Every page. Every word.
That is what reading is about. Isnt it?
Do I need to say Highly Recommended? Pfft. You know the score. Justin Cronin I thank you.
And as for Amy, the Girl from Nowhere – I have no words.
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Happy Traumatic Reading to you all!