When I say I've been waiting for this book for the longest time, it's only a slight exaggeration. It feels like a lifetime since I finished reading The Passage, the first novel of Cronin's vampire saga - a lifetime since I said 'see you later' to Amy, Peter, Alicia, Sara and the others.
But now it's here. And it was certainly worth the wait, as Cronin has crafted another devastatingly bleak yet moving novel that manages to combine the best aspects of mainstream fiction with vampire tropes to create something rather powerful.
The novel picks up a few years after the end of The Passage - we're still in a post-apocalyptic America destroyed by some of the most vicious vampires imaginable (Edward Cullen this is not), and our gang are trying to destroy 'The Twelve', a dozen death row inmates who began the spread of the vampire virus following a series of experiments gone wrong.
I would highly recommend you read The Passage before venturing into The Twelve - although it's possible to pick up on the plot quite quickly, the richness of the world and an understanding of the characters' histories are best understood with the memory of the first book in mind.
All in all it was a gripping read that kept me engaged throughout. Now there's the agonising wait until the final installment, The City of Mirrors, is released in two years' time.