The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin – A Book Review

17059277._SY540_The Twelve are no more and Amy is gone.

Peter feels as if a part of him is missing. Though he never said it out loud, Peter loves Amy. With her gone, he feels at wits end. Without her, he is lost. He can’t shake the feeling that the virals aren’t gone, that they might all be living in a dream.  He has his plate full, protecting the people of the Texas Republic.

Alicia has gone off on her own. She is desperate to kill Fanning, called Zero. With him gone, the virus that has ruined their world will cease to exist. However, Alicia didn’t expect Fanning to be so…human. He is not like the other virals, wearing what looks like a human skin. However, she knows that underneath is the soul of a monster. Yet she can’t help but be taken in by him and his promise of a better life together.

Michael is aimless. He spends his time removed from everyone. He rides a boat along the water, going further and further out each time. He knows that the supposed barrier, the mines and explosives said to be placed there to protect humanity when the virus first began, is a myth. What he doesn’t expect is to find a boat that has been sailing for one hundred years with a secret waiting to be found inside of it.

And Lucius? Lucius Greer, ever the believer of the group that fought amongst Hollis, Sara, Peter, Alicia and Amy? He has his own secret and it’s waiting for him in the belly of another boat off the cost, sitting in the water. She is waiting for the right time to gather he strength and come to their aid.

Because she knows: the virals aren’t gone and never were. They are merely waiting and, when the time is right, they will strike…

There is no possible way that I could summarize the entire plot of this book. In fact, before I started writing this review, I sat and flicked through the book. I was stymied by the sheer amount of story, the amount of life, that is packed into six hundred pages.

While The Passage was a wild ride and The Twelve, was wicked adventure, The City of Mirrors is a wondrous journey. We’ve come to know these characters (a cast of over fifty). We’ve watched them grow, watched them prosper and fight against what would surely kill them. To say that my heart and mind were invested in these characters would be an understatement.

The City of Mirrors is a quieter book that its predecessors. There is an undercurrent of unease and dread that fills the pages until the world just explodes and there is only one brief foray into the past. For ninety-nine present of the novel, it in told in the now. Make no mistake, the book is stronger for all of this. There is no more story from the past to tell and we are living along with the people that fill the entirety of this novel.

That is the novel’s main strength. By the time people start dying (and they do), we ache for them. For all of the virals, horror and supernatural elements that fill The City of Mirrors, this novel is surprisingly human. You don’t merely read this novel, you live it right along with all of the people within the story.

While reading The City of Mirrors, I gripped the book in terror and fright, I laughed, I cheered and I cried. I was touched by every single emotion. In the end, The City of Mirrors and Justin Cronin reminded me how vey human I am. That is how wonderful this book is.

I had the pleasure of reading The Passage and The Twelve before I read The City of Mirrors, but you don’t have to. Cronin reminds you of the important details before he launches into the story. So for new fans and old alike, come along to The City of Mirrors won’t you?

It’s quite the journey.

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