The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin

26891429Published: May 24th, 2016 by: Ballantine Books

Series: The Passage #3

Genres: Adult Fiction, Post Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Horror

Format: e-ARC Source: Publisher via Netgalley

My Rating: 3.5 Stars 3-5-stars (1)

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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.


My Thoughts

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*


I’m fairly certain that if Tamara from Shelf Addiction hadn’t raved about The Passage a few years ago, I would have never even started this journey. I’m not big on “horror” anything, whether books or movies. She explained to me how the different genres mashed up, so I took a chance. Yup, I fell head over heals and immediately read the sequel, The Twelve. Here we are, FINALLY, and I had been itching to read this. For all the 624 pages, I didn’t like this one nearly as much as the first two. I’m pretty sure this is a case of it’s-me-not-the-book. Maybe if I had reread the others right before this one, then maybe I could have appreciated what Cronin gave here. Still, I can’t deny this trilogy is one of the best, so I’ll recommend it to all. I am just not as satisfied with this finale as others are. Again, I was a little overwhelmed when I read this, so that may have contributed to my less than 4 star rating. 

I strongly suggest reading these books in order. The timeline is rather intricate and detailed, and when something doesn’t fit in the first book, it fits in the last. So no, do not read these out of order. In this installment we learn all about Fanning (Zero). This is where I had a hard time really focusing because it was very detailing. I found myself putting it down a lot. Still, I know that it was crucial to the overall story so I kept at it, learning about the origin of the virus and all the history thereafter. It’s been decades since the last book, so these characters are older and everyone seems to be moving on with there lives. So many lives to get through, so I did enjoy a lot of their histories. It was wonderful getting back with Amy, Peter, and everyone else. Then the shit hits the fan and it’s a lot happening. It would have been so easy to imagine a different outcome, but this is Cronin. Of course he has to tear his readers to itty bits before he ends it all. 

I’m still trying to figure out if I need to read this trilogy again, now that the final book is here, but that is nearly 2000 pages all together. I’ll wait. This book is well written, but I just found myself not as invested as the other books. The horror of this world is truly amazing. I have no idea how horror and amazing can be delivered in the same sentence. That’s just how great a writer Cronin is, and I am absolutely down for reading any and all of his books. Even though this one sloped for me, I still highly recommend this trilogy. It’ll be like nothing you’ve ever read before. 


18 thoughts on “The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin

  1. Fantastic review! I can’t wait to read this one. I LOOOOOVED the first one, but the second was only okay for me. I’m really hoping I love the ending. 😀


  2. Great review! I’ve pretty much given up on trilogies for now… I seem to lose interest by the time the 3rd book comes out :/ Sorry you didn’t love this one!


  3. Wow, good job on completing this series! 2000 pages…having read the first two tomes, I know I probably shouldn’t be surprised at the page count, but thinking about it still boggles my mind. I’ll have to pick this one up soon, though I have no idea when I’ll be able to fit it in. And after the long wait, all those pages, I don’t know how much 3.5 is going to motivate me, but I still want to finish this trilogy!


  4. I’ve heard great things about The Passage. I really need to get around to reading it soon. Maybe this October. Sorry you weren’t as invested in this installment in the series as the others.


  5. Oh, the horror aspect would have held me off, too. But there are times if it is milder than other elements; I can take it.
    These sound very intricate and complex. I can see why reading them as all one book might be a good idea. I’ll have to consider that after reading your thoughts.

    Nice review, Lekeisha!


  6. Glad you enjoyed the trilogy overall. Honestly, read it again sometime. I had to push myself so much through the first book when I read it years ago. Then a few months ago Ali was reading them for the first time, so I reread with her. It was totally different experience. I was also able to catch stuff that I hadn’t before because I knew what was coming. There are so many threads that was … just wow. I have like 10+ pages of notes for the trilogy. lol!


  7. I think series like this are better when you can read them close together just because of all the details. I don’t know if this might be too much for me. But I’ve heard good things so maybe one day I’ll read the trilogy.


  8. Great review! I’ve been wanting to start this series! Too bad this installment wasn’t as good as previous but glad it was still well written


  9. It seems like despite this one being a book where you hadn’t read the prior books for a while, you did manage to still enjoy it. Perhaps you may have indeed appreciated it more if you recalled them somewhat more. And it does sound like the details could get a little tedious but they sound necessary to the understanding the novel.


    • It was totally my mindset while reading that had me feeling all “woe is me”, so I def plan to revisit the trilogy in the future. I just remember devouring the first 2 books, but this one kind of dragged.


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