As with the book prior, I'm going to be one of the few people who wasn't a huge fan of this addition and the series in general. I actually decided toAs with the book prior, I'm going to be one of the few people who wasn't a huge fan of this addition and the series in general. I actually decided to re-read the first two back-to-back the month this one was released so I had a very clear memory of the characters and overall plot. What I came away with in no particular order was:
1. Oh my god, PLEASE stop talking about God!
I get it Cronin, you were raised Catholic and then were sort of born-again about 8-10 years ago because your wife and daughter were in an accident they shouldn't have survived, but did (which is really fortunate), but not every single character needs to believe in God. Good job for representing another faith finally with the original (and conveniently dead) captain of the ship, but are you so unable to imagine another point of view that you have to assign the same arbitrary belief system to nearly every living character? It doesn't make any sense that everyone would believe in God because everyone's experience is going to be different, and the fact that you go out of your way (even in the final few sentences of the epilogue! Jesus!) to make it abundantly clear that every character, no matter how out of character it is has an epiphany that everything is connected by a celestial hand is really off-putting. It's distracting from the narrative, it makes your voice for characters sound one-note, and it's just not realistic. STOP.
2. Alicia and her baby.
Just, what the fuck were you thinking? Now Alicia, who has mentioned kids in passing only once and idly at the First Colony, appears to be shocker-treated yet again like every female character prior to her by becoming instantly attached and destroyed by the stillbirth of a baby conceived by rape. I'm not saying it wouldn't be upsetting on some level or even that babies that come from rape should all be universally despised, but given what you've shown us of Alicia prior to this it makes no sense that she would suddenly be devastated by this event. Not only that, but you make sure the reader is reminded over and over how destroyed she is that her baby didn't survive, and much like the obsession with religion you prove your inability again to imagine anything more than a narrow view of character voice and women in general. Which brings me to my next point-
3. I don't know if it's because of his personal faith or just being very conservative in gender roles (or both!) but Cronin continues to write all but a few female characters as being universally obsessed with babies, nursing, and pretty much any other sexist cliche you could assign them. It's so fucking boring and completely unoriginal, and much like the other things he chooses to do in the book, repetitive. Cronin seems genuinely incapable or unwilling to differentiate between his characters on matters of religion, voice, and gender roles, which makes for a very tedious book.
4. Alicia understanding Fanning's life story makes no sense because she has never lived in a world where most of the things he takes for granted exist. This is never explained, which comes off as lazy and unbelievable to me.
5. Everyone shares a HEA in what is presumably, Heaven, even the dude who wiped out millions of people- which, given that Cronin does the same thing to every character, is probably not surprising at this point.
6. The epilogue was stupidly long and took away from the story overall. I don't care about these new characters and I'm sure Amy could have been revealed in a much quicker and less tedious way.
There's probably more but that's all I feel like writing about this book, honestly....more
My first review got eaten by the internet, so I apologize if this one is less solid. Having recently re-read The Passage in anticipation of the compleMy first review got eaten by the internet, so I apologize if this one is less solid. Having recently re-read The Passage in anticipation of the completion of the trilogy, I finished The Twelve feeling less certain about how much I would enjoy the conclusion considering how deeply annoyed this sequel made me.
In no particular order, here are the things that ruined this book for me:
1. The insane amount of religiosity in this and the former book was the absolute worst. When I'm so distracted by the universal acceptance of a Christian god for practically every character that I have to stop reading the book and read the author's bio to see how religious he is, that's too much. Lacey kind of bugged me in the prior book, but whatever, she had a purpose, whereas this constant referencing of God in this book seems unrealistic and heavy-handed, especially with Greer seeming to take up the Lacey mantle as God's chosen voice after she's gone. Maybe I'm just cynical, but if death was only a swift dismemberment away and pretty much everyone I loved was dying all the time, I don't know how inclined I would be to praise God for every little thing. The other thing that was pointed out by another reviewer about how Christianity seems to be the only remaining religion is super weird too- what, every religion besides that one vanished? It's almost like Cronin is writing his own version of the Rapture disguised in a horror novel, where at least one person who hears the voice of God exists to shepard the rest of them like some kind of creepy cult. No thank you.
2. The obsession of nearly every female character was babies (except Alicia, though the first chapter of Book 3 remedies that) and it was super gross, not to mention the very cliche gender roles they all go back to inhabiting. Granted, it makes a certain amount of sense that people would want to have children to keep the species alive, and there isn't exactly an overabundance of birth control to be found, but why do they all have to feel that way? I'd like some variety in the motivations of my female characters, thank you very much; reducing them to maternal stereotypes is really insulting and frankly, ignorant. Also, how the hell does Sara just magically know that "Eva" is her child? It's also awfully convenient that somehow the kid lived and just instantly bonds with Sara as if it's some preordained destiny for the both of them merely because they're related. What makes it offensive is this concept being pushed that all women have a maternal instinct and regardless of personality or motivation, will always be reduced to the same boring desire to be a mother, something which is similar to the book's repetition of religious belief. Not everyone needs to or should be the same- it shows an utter lack of imagination and an inability to differentiate the voice of your characters, making for dull reading.
3. The rape of Alicia. Of course she had to be subjected to this stupid trope because God forbid a strong female character would be allowed to exist without being knocked down a peg. It's misogynistic, it's been done a million times, and it didn't need to be used to justify why Alicia is now more bloodthirsty as there were multiple other ways to convey that. Also, the first chapter of the final book (minor spoiler) regarding Alicia and motherhood was really fucking aggravating, but that's a whole other review.
4. Lila Kyle was so badly done, my god. Again, here's a female character with agency- she's a doctor and super intelligent, but no, she has to be traumatized so badly by things every character has seen up to this point that she is unable to connect to reality and instead is written as an entitled shrew who, you guessed it!- is obsessed with babies. To be fair, her fixation on kids makes more sense because of her first child's sudden death (which Wolgast was also really preoccupied with, so that's good at least) but the obsession goes on waaay too long and makes her pretty much unbearable for the rest of the book, which is a shame because the idea of her controlling virals was kind of interesting.
Honestly, there's probably more irritants I can't recall, but these were the major ones that made the prospect of reading the last book much less enticing since history shows I'm likely to be bludgeoned over the head with more of the same....more
The problems I have with this book in no particular order are:
-It's pretentious (which I think is supposed to be an inside joke with the reader, but tThe problems I have with this book in no particular order are:
-It's pretentious (which I think is supposed to be an inside joke with the reader, but that still wasn't enough to make me like it) -How cliche the story is- Wow, some girl from the middle of nowhere moves to New York because New York, obviously, and falls into some weird love triangle with a couple of elitist douchebags that treat her like shit, but she can't help but like them anyway -Restaurant/food/wine jargon- Yes, we're all very impressed with your knowledge of everything and you should totally keep name-dropping things with no explanation because only the people who get it already are your intended audience -How boring it is- There's just not a whole lot going on in this book; I made it about 2/3rds in and I'm still not that sure what the point of this book is and why I should keep reading it. -The love interest(s)- Again, really boring and cliche; I especially disliked how they were meant to be these mysterious people the main character couldn't help but be obsessed with. I just found both Jake and Simone really fucking annoying, in particular Simone, who wouldn't stop talking in this vague stupid way that was meant to be profound and just ended up sounding ridiculous. If someone talked to me like that I would run very fast the other way.
Honestly, I wanted to know why a debut novel got a 2 million dollar book deal and whether the hype was warranted, which is why I checked it out from the library. In all fairness, Danler does know her way around some decent prose, but between the boring and cliche subject matter, how confusingly it was written with way too many characters the reader's expected to remember, and how pretentious it ended up sounding, I just couldn't get into it.
I liked her writing style well enough to continue past the point I would normally give up on a book like this, but it's just not good enough to justify slogging through the rest of it. Maybe I'll give a future novel of hers another try. ...more