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The City of Mirrors | Justin Cronin | Review

“All stories end when they have returned to their beginnings.” 

It's okay if you haven't read The Passage or The Twelve - there are no spoilers. 

The Story

Where to start, where to start. Phoar what a book. What a long, character-filled, in the end pretty good book. The City of Mirrors takes this huge jump into the future for the majority of the book, and suddenly all the main characters have these long lives of days gone by, and they're getting on with life. Peter is the President, Sara and Hollis are happy together doing their Doctor-Librarian thing respectively, the next generation even has children. Caleb is grown up, married, and that generation even has children.

But along with the future jump, we are taken back to Year Zero, and Zero's story, and how it all came into being, how the virals happened in the first place. For over half the book, it's this mix of the future story lines and this jump back to Zero. It took me so long to really get into this book. It wasn't until about the last third that I really actually wanted to pick up the book. This is probably one of the reasons it took me nearly a month to read it. Unlike The Passage, I felt The City of Mirrors was incredibly slow going at the beginning. I did like reading about the new generation, but again, there were characters I just didn't care about and story lines I didn't enjoy reading. It did pick up towards the end of the book, thankfully, and I was able to power through.

In The Twelve (book two) Amy magically becomes older over night - something which I'm very glad is definitely not the way things work in real life - which meant she and Peter were finally actually a similar age. In The Passage and in The Twelve for the most part, they had this sort of odd relationship. They were very close, and were good friends, and I remember thinking 'if only Amy wasn't a child'. And then boom. She's not. Happy days. Or is it? I won't say.

My Thoughts

The writing is excellent, but the paragraphs are long. Like, really long. Cronin writes fantastically, and it always draws you into in the story more (even if it took a while in this book's case), but I found that sometimes my eyes glazed skimmed a page-long paragraph in order to get to the dialogue or the shorter paragraphs. But that's just me. You can decide what you think if you read it.

One of the things that I don't like about The Passage series is the amount of characters in them. I always find when new characters are introduced that I couldn't care less about them. They don't really interest me that much, and I'd much rather just follow Amy and Peter the entire time. I'm far more interested in the main characters than all the chapters about some guy in some place who saw something one time. Sure, those details might be important to the story on a whole, but they're just not that great or entertaining to read.

The ending was pretty good, and I think I was fine with it. It was a nice way to end a great series, though I do think that the last chapter could have been a lot shorter. It was sort of - without giving anything away - in the future, after the main events and happenings, but it was a bit long winded for my liking.

Seriously, guys, though, this is a big book. Big, but overall pretty good.

If you're unsure about diving into this series, then do give it a go. I've found that I definitely enjoyed The Passage more than the other two, but perhaps that's because of the sheer size of the journey you're taken on. I'm glad I read it, but I don't think I'll bother reading it again. To be completely honest, I'm really excited to read something other than this story.

Have you read The City of Mirrors? Or The Passage? The Twelve? 
What did you think? Without giving away too many spoilers for others, did you think it ended well? 

I received this book for free from Hachette Publishing NZ in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this post.
Image from GoodReads

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