The Twelve : A Post-Apocalyptic Tale of Dystopian Vampire Controlled Society Featuring Horror and Action
The Twelve by Justin Crown
Okay. Let’s say recently I had a few books that have been bummers. And this has been an incredibly dense year, so time has been so incredibly limited. Therefore, my scouting at community book sales has been pretty much none existent. Of my unread books, I found old battered mysteries that had dull written on top of them and I just wanted to read something exciting. So I went to the bargain shelf at my local Hastings to quench my thirst and I found one about the apocalypse. That should be exciting, right? It’s called the Twelve and is written by Justin Crown.
So what is it? Well this book, “The Twelve” is actually the second book in the Passage Trilogy. I did not know this when I started reading it, but felt thankful it was easy to jump into. The book focuses on an apocalypse triggered by the experimentation on twelve death row inmates in an attempt to create longevity. What was the result? They turned these guys into vampires and that leads to a vampire disease that infects everyone they feed on. Though the twelve can still function with some humanity, the virals, those who are bit are animalistic, devouring everything in their path.
The book can be separated into two parts. The first part happens during the mid-apocalypse where some resemblance of the government still exist and the US still has a chance of gaining control over the situation. This follows a bus load of survivors, one of the twelve who creates a unlikely friendship with a crazy lady named Lila, and a power obsessed military man named Guilder who will do anything in his power to capture one of the twelve. Least to say everyone’s fates intertwine.
The other part of the book is a hundred years in the future focusing on a dystopian city called the Homeland. It is ran by of a number of super human officials called red eyes, who have captured one of the twelve and is feeding off of him for substance. They abuse their power and people. And they are kidnapping survivors to bring them to the homeland to make their empire grow. This is a tale of rebellion focusing on a ragtag group featuring military vampires hunters, thieves, oil workers, survivors and a couple who have been tainted with virus, who bond together to tear down the empire.
So wow! That was a lot of explanation. But now you’re wondering is it any good? Well let’s break it down.
The good? The book is incredibly imaginative and fun. Also if you haven’t read the first book, it is still fairly easy to jump into, unlike other book series. The story is wonderful, and you’ll end up caring about the characters, especially Lila. She is one of the most unusual characters I’ve read in a while. I was glad to see how much depth the author gave her.
The bad? Though it does fit together in hind sight, I did not enjoy the bait and switch. The first almost two hundred pages I spent getting to know characters such as Danny and April. And like any movie or TV show I want to follow them to the end. But after they drive away from a torn apart town, the book jumps a hundred years into the future to give us a whole new world and set of characters. My typically reaction to this is, “No. I want the first cast back!.” I just don’t like having to learn this whole world and new set of characters with the same book. It’s disjointed as hell. The terminology for types of vamps are thrown out there without warning. There were red eyes, dracs, dopes, virals, and then those tainted with the virus like Alicia who’s turning very slowly and then Peter who isn’t turning but can look into vampire’s minds. Then there’s the twelve. But there was actually a thirteenth who was a homeless girl tested on in the same experiment. Yet she doesn’t count because she’s good. Then one is killed and they become eleven (even though they are technically twelve at that point) so they are trying to find someone to replace the fallen member. But they hint couple times some vampire lord like character who was not part of the twelve. And the red eyes aren’t part of the twelve for some reason. It can get very confusing when you're actually thinking about it. The book is pretty fun with no thinking, but it will make your head hurt otherwise. And one last thing. Toward the end, the book broke the rules of physics. There’s a scene where a woman swings a chain like a lasso over her head so fast, she gains lift. I’m sorry. That doesn’t work. I just had to throw that out there.
Overall, the book is dumb fun. It was surprising enjoyable and was just what I needed after a couple dull books. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys an action horror cocktail. The only recommendation would be to read book one first. I was still a little confused at the Amy prodigy thing that came up often in the book, and I think that was because I didn’t read the first book. But yeah, it’s pretty good.
3 smoothies out of Four.
Overall Rating: A Post-apocalyptic Tale of Dystopian Vampire Controlled Society Featuring Horror and Action.