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Born and raised in New England, Justin Cronin is a multi-award-winning writer. He is Professor of English at Rice University, and lives with his family in Houston, Texas.
Author photo © Julie Soefer
The epic doomsday scenario trilogy comes to a triumphant conclusion after ten years or so with this final and much-expected volume, following the visceral impact of The Passage and The Twelve. Set many years after the heartwrenching battle which concluded the previous instalment, we follow the journeys of the survivors and their descendants through a bleak and devastated world and Cronin brings all the unanswered threads together with dread and compassion as the menace of the virals which had been thought extinct reappears on an even more lethal scale, and Amy's true role is unveiled. Flashing back in time to the origins of the catastrophe and the significance of Fanning, the Zero, this also becomes a meditation on the nature of evil as much of the action is set in a transformed New York where past and present collide with both touching and gripping effect. Alongside, the saga of the boat which might hold the future of mankind unfolds and evokes hope after all the horrors the many unforgettable characters have endured. Lyrical, towering, a worthy conclusion to what will quickly become a classic of fantasy and horror literature. ~ Maxim Jakubowski Maxim Jakubowski's June 2016 Book of the Month. Simon Spanton's view... This is the completion of Justin Cronin’s apocalyptic tale of a world brought to ruin by the outbreak of a deadly virus and the emergence of the Virals; people turned into vampire like creatures. If you’ve read the first two books, The Passage and The Twelve you will need no further prompting to pick this book up. If you haven’t Cronin is adept at filling in some of what has gone before but this is very much a trilogy. But The City of Mirrors confirms that Cronin is very much up to the task of marshalling his massive story and keeping you engaged with the characters. If you’ve been wondering whether it was worth diving in to this massive sequence be reassured – it never runs out of steam. Far from it. Cronin has resisted the supernatural origin of vampires – his monsters are the product of nature and he provides a pretty convincing scientific rationale both for his Virals and for the cause and the horrifying progress of the virus that ends one future and heralds another. But as with all horror novels it is the characters that keep you in the story – it is their fates that scare you, their struggles to survive that provide the thrills. All three books use narratives that jump around across many years, both forward and back so we need strong personal stories to thread these years together and Cronin handles these stories brilliantly. And with City he takes things right back to the beginning and we discover that his trilogy is as much a story about love as it is the end of the world. If you like Crichton and King, Cronin is a likely winner for you but there is an almost biblical feel to these books combined with often poetic descriptive writing that is all his own. ~ Simon Spanton
May 2013 Book of the Month and eBook of the Month. The Passage was a huge and sweeping thriller telling the story of the end of civilisation and what happened to the survivors. This excellent sequel goes back to tell a different side of the titanic struggle as vampires take over the USA, then tells the continuation of The Passage, picking up the lives of characters we had come to love. A highly enjoyable and engrossing read with a bit more substance than your average monster apocalypse story. The Lovereading view... When the dystopian vampire epic The Passage came out in 2010 it was, deservedly, incredibly well reviewed and The Twelve is the eagerly awaited sequel. A military experiment to create humans with superior fighting capabilities goes horrifically wrong and the fate of the human race hangs in the balance. Can the remaining humans fight back? The compulsive sequel shifts back and forward in time building on the first book but also adding new characters and depth to the story. In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for The Twelve a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - 'What can I say about The Twelve except Magnificent...Justin Cronin you have one very happy new fan.' Glynis Elliott - Scroll down to read more reviews.
It’s the end of the world, but not as we know it. The rise of a zombie plague, and life in the aftermath, but a real cut above the usual hack-slash thrillers of the genre. In fact I think it should have been three volumes. It is enormous, but worth it. A moving and involving story charting the fall of civilisation, then chronicling life in the new world a few generations later. Really powerful stuff. One of our Great Reads you may have missed in 2011. STOP PRESS – The eagerly awaited sequel to The Passage is out at the end of October 2012. It’s called The Twelve and you can read an exclusive extract right now here on Lovereading. In addition to our expert opinion above and below for The Passage, we’ve also managed to secure a few copies so that Lovereading members can review it for us. Just scroll down this page to see what they think. May 2011 Mega Book of the Month. Maxim Jakubowski's view... A truly epic masterpiece that will have you hanging on for dear life for both its conclusion and the next volume. It's a chilling end of the world as we know it saga, this first volume of a trilogy has all the impact of Stephen King’s THE STAND in breadth of vision and length. Following a failed military experiment, America falls to a zombie/vampire epidemic and only a curious little girl and a group of doughty survivors hold the key to survival. 'Read 15 pages, and you will find yourself captivated; read 30 and you will find yourself taken prisoner and reading late into the night. It had the vividness that only epic works of fantasy and imagination can achieve. What else can I say? This: read this book and the ordinary world disappears.' Stephen King Why I Wrote The Passage by Justin Cronin... You write the book that asks to be written, and THE PASSAGE asked me to write it on a seriesof long jogs in the fall of 2005, taken in the company of my daughter, Iris, age eight, who rodebeside me on her bicycle. Click here to read more...
NOW A MAJOR TV SERIES! 'THE STAND meets THE ROAD' Entertainment Weekly 'Enthralling ... richly imagined. Above all, Amy is a superb creation, believably human yet beguilingly enigmatic' Sunday Times Amy Harper Bellafonte is six years old and her mother thinks she's the most important person in the whole world. She is. Anthony Carter doesn't think he could ever be in a worse place than Death Row. He's wrong. FBI agent Brad Wolgast thinks something beyond imagination is coming. It is. 'Read 15 pages, and you will find yourself captivated; read 30 and you will find yourself taken prisoner and reading late into the night. It had the vividness that only epic works of fantasy and imagination can achieve. What else can I say? This: read this book and the ordinary world disappears' Stephen King
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER *;';A thrilling finale to a trilogy that will stand as one of the great achievements in American fantasy fiction.'Stephen King You followed The Passage. You faced The Twelve. Now enter The City of Mirrors for the final reckoning. As the bestselling epic races to its breathtaking finale, Justin Cronin's band of hardened survivors await the second coming of unspeakable darkness. The world we knew is gone. What world will rise in its place? The Twelve have been destroyed and the terrifying hundred-year reign of darkness that descended upon the world has ended. The survivors are stepping outside their walls, determined to build society anewand daring to dream of a hopeful future. But far from them, in a dead metropolis, he waits: Zero. The First. Father of the Twelve. The anguish that shattered his human life haunts him, and the hatred spawned by his transformation burns bright. His fury will be quenched only when he destroys Amyhumanity's only hope, the Girl from Nowhere who grew up to rise against him. One last time light and dark will clash, and at last Amy and her friends will know their fate.Look for the entire Passage trilogy:THE PASSAGE | THE TWELVE | THE CITY OF MIRRORSPraise for The City of Mirrors';Compulsively readable.'The New York Times Book Review ';The City of Mirrors is poetry. Thrilling in every way it has to be, but poetry just the same . . . The writing is sumptuous, the language lovely, even when the action itself is dark and violent.'The Huffington Post ';This really is the big event you've been waiting for . . . A true last stand that builds and comes with a bloody, roaring payoff you won't see coming, then builds again to the big face off you've been waiting for.'NPR ';A masterpiece . . . with The City of Mirrors, the third volume in The Passage trilogy, Justin Cronin puts paid to what may well be the finest post-apocalyptic epic in our dystopian-glutted times. A stunning achievement by virtually every measure.'The National Post ';Justin Cronin's Passage trilogy is remarkable for the unremitting drive of its narrative, for the breathtaking sweep of its imagined future, and for the clear lucidity of its language.'Stephen King
Winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award for his radiant novel in stories, Mary and ONeil, Justin Cronin has already been hailed as a writer of astonishing gifts. Now Cronins new novel, The Summer Guest, fulfills that promiseand more. With a rare combination of emotional insight, narrative power, and lyrical grace, Cronin transforms the simple story of a dying mans last wish into a rich tapestry of family love. On an evening in late summer, the great financier Harry Wainwright, nearing the end of his life, arrives at a rustic fishing camp in a remote area of Maine. He comes bearing two things: his wish for a day of fishing in a place that has brought him solace for thirty years, and an astonishing bequest that will forever change the lives of those around him.From the battlefields of Italy to the turbulence of the Vietnam era, to the private battles of love and family, The Summer Guest reveals the full history of this final pilgrimage and its meaning for four people: Jordan Patterson, the haunted young man who will guide Harry on his last voyage out; the camps owner Joe Crosby, a Vietnam draft evader who has spent a lifetime trying to learn what it means to be brave; Joes wife, Lucy, the woman Harry has loved for three decades; and Joe and Lucys daughter Katethe spirited young woman who holds the key to the last unopened door to the past.As their stories unfold, secrets are revealed, courage is tested, and the bonds of love are strengthened. And always center stage is the place itselfa magical, forgotten corner of New England where the longings of the human heart are mirrored in the wild beauty of the landscape. Intimate, powerful, and profound, The Summer Guest reveals Justin Cronin as a storyteller of unique and marvelous talent. It is a book to treasure.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER *; The end of the world was only the beginning.In his internationally bestselling and critically acclaimed novel The Passage, Justin Cronin constructed an unforgettable world transformed by a government experiment gone horribly wrong. Now the scope widens and the intensity deepens as the epic story surges forward . . . In the present day, as the man-made apocalypse unfolds, three strangers navigate the chaos. Lila, a doctor and an expectant mother, is so shattered by the spread of violence and infection that she continues to plan for her child's arrival even as society dissolves around her. Kittridge, known to the world as ';Last Stand in Denver,' has been forced to flee his stronghold and is now on the road, dodging the infected, armed but alone and well aware that a tank of gas will get him only so far. April is a teenager fighting to guide her little brother safely through a landscape of death and ruin. These three will learn that they have not been fully abandonedand that in connection lies hope, even on the darkest of nights. One hundred years in the future, Amy and the others fight on for humankind's salvation . . . unaware that the rules have changed. The enemy has evolved, and a dark new order has arisen with a vision of the future infinitely more horrifying than man's extinction. If the Twelve are to fall, one of those united to vanquish them will have to pay the ultimate price. A heart-stopping thriller rendered with masterful literary skill, The Twelve is a grand and gripping tale of sacrifice and survival.Look for the entire Passage trilogy:THE PASSAGE | THE TWELVE | THE CITY OF MIRRORSPraise for The Twelve ';[A] literary superthriller.'The New York Times Book Review ';An undeniable and compelling epic . . . a complex narrative of flight and forgiveness, of great suffering and staggering loss, of terrible betrayals and incredible hope.'Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ';The Twelve is even better than The Passage.'The Plain Dealer ';A compulsive read.'San Francisco Chronicle ';Gripping . . . Cronin [introduces] eerie new elements to his masterful mythology. . . . Enthralling, emotional and entertaining.'The San Diego Union-Tribune ';Fine storytelling.'Associated Press ';Cronin is one of those rare authors who works on two different levels, blending elegantly crafted literary fiction with cliff-hanging thrills.'Fort Worth Star-Telegram
November 2010 Book of the Month. A chilling end of the world as we know it saga, this first volume of a trilogy has all the impact of Stephen King’s THE STAND in breadth of vision and length. Following a failed military experiment, America falls to a zombie/vampire epidemic and only a curious little girl and a group of doughty survivors hold the key to survival. A truly epic masterpiece that will have you hanging on for dear life for both its conclusion and the next volume. Lovereading comment: More than just a supreme thrill-ride, but something with the resonance and power of myth, The Passage is epic storytelling at its very best. A story that powerfully articulates our deepest fears and hopes, The Passage will move, captivate and be impossible to forget. From Bill Massey, the publisher who found The Passage: What could an innocent child and a psychotic killer have in common? One of them could destroy us all; one could save us, But which is which? It takes a special book to pose such dark and deep questions. A very special one to answer them. And a great one to weave them into a hypnotically powerful piece of storytelling that will take over your waking hours and invade your dreams. Welcome to the world of the Passage. It's your world - our world. But change is on its way. And not all change is good. Turn the page and be among the first to take the journey. Here are a few comments from staff at the Publishing House, Orion: I was so obsessed with it... a towering work... one of the most amazing books I've read... an extraordinary novel... the most exciting book I've read for a decade... I couldn't put it down and its size became a virtue... an epic and vivid masterpiece of suspense and adventure... Genius, there is no other word for it... read it and you will not be disappointed.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER *;SOON TO BE A FOX TV SERIES *;This thrilling novel kicks off what Stephen King calls ';a trilogy that will stand as one of the great achievements in American fantasy fiction.'NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST NOVELS OF THE YEAR BYTIMEAND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BYThe Washington Post *; Esquire *; U.S. News & World Report *;NPR/On Point *; St. Louis Post-Dispatch *; BookPage *; Library Journal ';It happened fast. Thirty-two minutes for one world to die, another to be born.' An epic and gripping tale of catastrophe and survival,The Passage is the story of Amyabandoned by her mother at the age of six, pursued and then imprisoned by the shadowy figures behind a government experiment of apocalyptic proportions. But Special Agent Brad Wolgast, the lawman sent to track her down, is disarmed by the curiously quiet girl and risks everything to save her. As the experiment goes nightmarishly wrong, Wolgast secures her escapebut he can't stop society's collapse. And as Amy walks alone, across miles and decades, into a future dark with violence and despair, she is filled with the mysterious and terrifying knowledge that only she has the power to save the ruined world. Look for the entire Passage trilogy: THE PASSAGE | THE TWELVE | THE CITY OF MIRRORS Praise for The Passage ';[A] blockbuster.'The New York Times Book Review ';Mythic storytelling.'San Francisco Chronicle ';Magnificent . . . Cronin has taken his literary gifts, and he has weaponized them. . . . The Passage can stand proudly next to Stephen King's apocalyptic masterpiece The Stand, but a closer match would be Cormac McCarthy's The Road: a story about human beings trying to generate new hope in a world from which all hope has long since been burnt.'Time ';The type of big, engrossing read that will have you leaving the lights on late into the night.'The Dallas Morning News ';Addictive.'Men's Journal ';Cronin's unguessable plot and appealing characters will seize your heart and mind.'Parade
Arthur wakes to a grey November dawn. He lies in the dark of the bedroom he shares with his wife waiting for his dream to fade. He is fifty-six, he loves his wife and the unspoken rhythms of married life. He has a grown son, O'Neil, and a daughter, Kay, and he has a secret. His wife, Miriam, has a secret too. When the morning comes they will set out to visit O'Neil at college. This day will change the lives of their family forever. We follow Kay and O'Neil through the years (seeing their marriages unfold and their children born) as they learn to live with the events of that fateful day. In this wonderful debut, Justin Cronin examines the fragility of good fortune and the accidental ways of finding happiness, in a world where grace and joy exist alongside tragedy. Filled with tenderness and hope, Mary & O'Neil is a lyrical portrait of our innermost selves.