Monday, October 22, 2012
The Twelve: A Novel by Justin Cronin
I'm not even going to write a full post on this book, because I'm just too disappointed with it. I think I'm going to just share what my cons were with The Twelve. Here goes:
Writing: Where did all the good writing go? Did Cronin put too much pressure on himself to produce another bestseller, that he forgot how to simply tell a good tale? He must have, because the book I just finished reading lacked a feeling of cohesion to his previous novel; it lacked depth and complexity; it was overly written and filled with horrible characters and shock-value story lines; it made me wish I hadn't been so excited for its release, because then I wouldn't have been so disappointed. The writing was just not good. I felt it lacked the suspense and anticipatory sense that something exciting/dangerous was about to happen, that the first novel displayed perfectly throughout. This story felt rather thrown together - like, Cronin had so many ideas that he just wanted to smash them all together, regardless of how well they went together. The way one story line would begin and then the next moment another one would begin, made for rather disruptive reading. I found the whole book to feel rather chaotic, and truthfully, I felt rather lost at times when I was reading it.
Characters: I have to admit that one of the reasons I loved The Passage, was due to the fact that I loved the characters. They were memorable and very relatable. They were characters you rooted for. I was eager to find out what had happened to Sarah, Peter, Amy and Alicia; and even though I did find out what had happened to them, I found out that I really didn't care (that's how bad the writing was). As for the new characters - ugh! They were just awful. There were ones you were supposed to care about, but they died too quickly or their stories ended too abruptly; and then the ones that you were supposed to hate, well, you disliked them so much that you didn't want to read about them at all. They were just too despicable and I felt that that Cronin went a bit over the top with them. I realize every book needs its villain, but isn't that why we had the remaining eleven of the twelve for?
Story: Where was the story? What happened to the fascinating, adventure story Cronin created in The Passage? Why didn't he bring that feeling of suspense/thriller back? What was he thinking about when he came up with some of these story lines? Did there have to be sanctioned rape? Did April and Bernard have to share that night together (that scene skeeved me out - isn't she really only 17? ) Why did it seem like is was mainly the female characters who had to endure the short end of the stick all the time? What about the male characters? And, seriously, what was up with all the melodrama and predictability? Tifty was Nina's dad - really? Lila's daughter was really Sarah's? And, Peter and Amy are supposed to be together - what about Lish? I don't know, it all seemed a bit convoluted at times to me. Not sure, that Cronin realized how scatterbrained the story lines were once they were all put together. I actually found myself skipping ahead at times, just so I could get to the end already.
Overall, The Twelve was not what I had hoped it would be - another great read like, The Passage. I was left disappointed and wishing I had just watched Downton Abbey or Homeland instead. Ugh! What a bummer! Oh well, the only positive is that I can now cross off one more book off my list for RIP VII - which means, I am done! Hurrah!