The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin
A Novel (Book Three of The Passage Trilogy)

71%

16 Critic Reviews

Although its plot is understandably heavily dependent on events in the first two books, this novel is a superb capstone to a modern horror thriller epic.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

#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 anew—and 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 Amy—humanity’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.

Praise 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

“Superb . . . This conclusion to bestseller Cronin’s apocalyptic thriller trilogy ends with all of the heartbreak, joy, and unexpected twists of fate that events in The Passage and The Twelve foreordained.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Readers who have been patiently awaiting the conclusion to Cronin’s sweeping postapocalyptic trilogy are richly rewarded with this epic, heart-wrenching novel. . . . Not only does this title bring the series to a thrilling and satisfying conclusion, but it also exhibits Cronin’s moving exploration of love as both a destructive force and an elemental need, elevating this work among its dystopian peers.”—Library Journal (starred review)

Praise for Justin Cronin

“One of those rare authors who work on two different levels, blending elegantly crafted literary fiction with cliff-hanging thrills.”—Fort Worth Star-Telegram


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Justin Cronin

See more books from this Author
Born and raised in New England, Justin Cronin is a graduate of Harvard University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Awards for his fiction include the Stephen Crane Prize, a Whiting Writers' Award, and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. He is a professor of English at Rice University and lives with his wife and children in Houston, Texas.From the Hardcover edition.
 
Published May 24, 2016 by Ballantine Books. 624 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Horror, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Jun 12 2016
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Weeks as Bestseller
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for The City of Mirrors
All: 16 | Positive: 11 | Negative: 5

Kirkus

Below average
on Mar 17 2016

Of interest to fans who have followed the story through the first two books, but a bumpy ride without that background.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Aug 07 2016

Although its plot is understandably heavily dependent on events in the first two books, this novel is a superb capstone to a modern horror thriller epic.

Read Full Review of The City of Mirrors: A Novel ... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NPR

Good
Reviewed by Jason Sheehan on May 25 2016

Like me, you're going to feel a great and thrilling sense of dark joy knowing that summer is coming and there are a thousand pages of backstory just waiting for you out there that make this final end to Cronin's awesome experiment in epic horror all the more sweet.

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Book Reporter

Good
Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman on May 26 2016

This is a big, engrossing book. There are slow spots, but the tension builds nicely, the world is finely drawn, and the characters are irresistible. Cronin concludes his epic series masterfully.

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Globe and Mail

Below average
Reviewed by Zsuzsi Gartner on Jun 10 2016

Cronin does do some interesting things with time in the novel...Even The Walking Dead manages to be a little more demographically inclusive...

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Above average
Reviewed by Wendeline O. Wright on May 29 2016

The ending, in particular, seems almost unnecessary since it mainly serves as a confirmation of the author’s themes, which run through the book. Despite these criticisms, Justin Cronin has pulled off a remarkable feat with the final chapter of his trilogy.

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The Sydney Morning Herald

Good
Reviewed by Michaela McGuire on Jun 11 2016

Cronin uses characters like Rambo does bullets, firing them off with rapidity and often without apparent thought, but each and every one finds their mark.

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Patheos

Good
Reviewed by J. Ryan Parker on May 23 2016

City of Mirrors ends in a way that I never expected it to (and I won’t spoil it here), but it blew the whole narrative wide open and added such depth to his reflections on humanity and what makes us human. The trilogy receives a dramatic payoff here that few novels of this genre are lucky enough to have.

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Fantasy Literature

Good
Reviewed by Bill Capossere on May 24 2016

...liked the way Cronin wove several threads throughout the novel. Love and what we do for our children were two of the most obvious and most frequent...The biggest weakness for me was that The City of Mirrors does feel its full length much more than The Passage did...

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New Zealand Listener

Below average
Reviewed by Danyl Mclauchlan on Jul 11 2016

Frustratingly, its two sequels, The Twelve, and now City of Mirrors, are more like pastiches of the great and not-so-great books King actually wrote. Cronin has also acquired King’s weakness for long rambling, barely relevant tangents, squandering much of City of Mirrors’ beginning on a doomed romance...

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Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Stuart Kelly on Jun 16 2016

Certain parts of the story are left infuriatingly unresolved...But then, some of the story arcs are so flagrantly left open, it leaves room for the trilogy to be more than three books. What started as something daring has become frighteningly conservative.

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National Post arts

Excellent
Reviewed by ROBERT J. WIERSEMA on May 24 2016

Any attempt to summarize, or even characterize, the novels of The Passage trilogy is a grave disservice. In The City of Mirrors, as in the previous books, readers are in the hands of a master storyteller...

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https://www.rtbookreviews.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Debbie Haupt on May 24 2016

With love as his polestar, his humanization of Fanning/Zero and the masterful end are but a few things that make this an incredible, one-of-a-kind future classic.

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https://bookpage.com

Good
Reviewed by Amanda Trivett on May 24 2016

Literary fiction fans, fantasy readers and horror aficionados alike will find something that speaks to them, whether it’s the beautiful language, the fascinating logistics behind post-apocalyptic survival or the mercilessness displayed by both humans and virals.

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https://www.washingtonpost.com

Below average
Reviewed by Ron Charles on May 24 2016

before anybody does any leaping, “The City of Mirrors” slows down so much you can barely find a pulse. There’s even a 100-page novella dumped in here about a lonely kid who goes to Harvard...

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https://booksellersnz.wordpress.com

Good
Reviewed by Sarah McMullan on May 24 2016

...while Cronin’s world is set in a plague-ravaged universe, the wisdom throughout holds true today. Human nature and the reasoning of man, God, science and nature are eternal no matter the locale or the time frame. A city of mirrors – reflecting your true self, is not so hard to imagine. I dare you to open the cover and look inside.

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Reader Rating for The City of Mirrors
90%

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