The City of Mirrors is the thrilling final installment of Justin Cronin’s The Passage trilogy. The day that I finished reading The Twelve I immediately requested the third installment from the library as I was that excited to continue on in this world (and I refuse to purchase my own copy until I can buy one that matches the size of my first two books). After finishing this epic trilogy I’m left with an opinion that some people may not appreciate, however, stay with me on this one. I feel as though this trilogy is almost this generations The Lord of The Rings. This series really has it all, the world has been overcome by a great evil and a group of people must band together to save the human race in a journey set over many years. This version, just has a modern inflection with a current day/future setting with a horror twist. It has the multi-level layers to the story and characters dealing with many overarching themes that TLOR series also has. Most defining I love that even within this evil destroying humanity that not all of the bad guys are wholly bad. The reader is given insight into their motivations and backgrounds to help understand their actions, something that I fully appreciate.
This book picks up with some of our favourite characters sometime in their future and basically follows the final countdown to save the world. I’m not going to describe the plot or provide specific details beyond this as I want to keep this spoiler-free, as I do with all my reviews. I do want to encourage you to give this series a go. The characters are rich, realistic and fascinating. The interactions between them are memorable and do not contain the usual cliches. For example, romantic interactions are not used to increase your connection to the story. There are hints of it and even nods to a potential love-triangle but these are quite understated and rather than leaving your rolling your eyes at it you are left wanting more, which is a rarity in fantasy novels.
This book touches on many themes: humanity, ethics and morality, the organisation of society, good versus evil, military and government. Each other these gives the story much more depth than you average fantasy/horror series. In fact much of the motivations can be easily used in a real world context, particularly if we continue down this path of damaging our environment and using nuclear and chemical warfare. There is much to ponder beyond the immediate quest of the characters, another aspect of this series I immensely enjoyed.
Overall this series is a solid five starts for me (I know I originally gave the first two books four, however, after reading this as a whole I have decided to upgrade). While the books are long, there are many strings to the story and the format may not be to everyone’s taste, I would strongly urge you to give these books a go, have some patience and give the story time to develop. You won’t be disappointed! My favourite series of the year by far.