Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The City of Mirrors (The Passage #3) by Justin Cronin

Title: The City of Mirrors: A Novel (Book Three of The Passage Trilogy)
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Science Fiction/Horror
Series: Passage Trilogy (Book 3)
Format: Hardcover; 624 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books; First Edition/First Printing edition (May 24, 2016)
ISBN-10: 034550500X
ISBN-13: 978-0345505002
Author's Website:
Notes: I received an ARC at BEA (Book Expo America) for review purposes. This was one of my top takeaways from the convention. 

'He turned to look out over the city. Nearly a hundred thousand souls:there was a time when this number would have knocked him flat. He had grown up in a town--a world--of fewer than a hundred people. (...) The age of the viral was over; humankind was finally on the upswing. A continent stood for the taking, and Kerrville was the place where this new age would begin. So why did it seem so meager to him, so frail? Why, standing on the dam on an otherwise encouraging summer morning, did he feel this inward shiver of misgiving?'

For a hundred years the world was plagued by Virals. Then after a violent showdown, there were none. It's been 3 years since any Virals have been sighted. Amy and Alicia vanished with them, but is it the end of an era or could they merely be residing in the eye of the storm? Have they been slowly lulled into a false sense of security only to have it snatched out from under them when their guard is totally down? After all, Zero did not make an appearance at the liberation of the Homeland. Is the war truly over?

'Sitting motionless, his legs folded under him and his rifle resting on his lap, Lucius lay in wait. He had no double that his quarry would make an appearance (...)

To pass the time, he offered a simple prayer: My God, Lord of the Universe, be my guide and solace, give me the strength and wisdom to do Your will in the days ahead, to know what is required of me, to be worthy of the charge You have placed in my care. Amen.

Because something was coming; Lucius could feel it.  He knew it the same as he knew his own heartbeat, the wind of breath in his chest, the carriage of his bones. The long arc of human history was headed toward the hour of its final test. When this hour would come there was no knowing, but come it surely would and it would be a time for warriors.' 

This was a fun series that I enjoyed reading. I have to say, however, I liked the first book much more than the second. I thought 'The Twelve', while still good, got a little confusing and hard to follow at times. I am pleased to say, this book, the third and final in the series, reminded me of why I fell in love with the series in the first place.

The book takes place three years from where 'The Twelve' left off and we quickly find out what happened to Alicia and Amy while the survivors are still wondering. First, let me start off by saying the end is the beginning in more ways than one. We finally find out more about the mysterious Zero and how everything went awry. A section of the book reveals Zero's story. Zero, if you remember, is the first person to contract the virus that created Virals. He takes a trip down memory lane, one we were never before privy to, and gives us an idea how everything played out. Let me just say, it didn't endear the man to me, nor did I sympathize with his plight. He seemed like a full blown psychopath who felt justified in just about all he did--always putting the blame on the "other" guy. If you don't recall very clearly what happened in the previous two books, don't worry. The first section is devoted to refreshing your memory and is done in the same sort of biblical fashion Cronin used in 'The Twelve' for some of the section headers. It's a documented account of what happened during the age of Virals.

Overall, this was a very satisfying ending to the series. While it didn't have a fairy tale ending, it had a realistic one. Not everyone lives and happy endings are not easily found, but when Virals are involved, you'd be a fool to think it would end any other way than with bloodshed. While I did have some lingering questions upon finishing the novel, I'm not haunted for not knowing the answers. I gave this one 4 out 5 roses. It held my attention, kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next, and, most importantly, kept me entertained. I'll definitely be reading more of Justin Cronin's books in the future. 

The Order of the series:

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