Justin Cronin: The City of Mirrors

*Disclaimer: With this being the final book within a trilogy, there is a potential for spoilers for previous books. Please read at your own discretion.

The City of Mirrors Featured Image

Rating: 4/5
Publication Date: June 16th 2016
Publisher: Orion Books


The plague that almost ended humanity is finally over. For a new generation of children, the once-feared virals have begun to seem almost like imaginary monsters, creatures from a fairy tale they no longer believe in.

For Alicia, however, the bad dreams can never be forgotten. And the voice in those dreams is leading her towards one of the great cities of The Time Before. The ruined city of New York.

But what she finds is not what she’s expecting.

An opponent at once deadlier and more human than she could ever have imagined, who takes her on a terrifying journey into the past to learn how it all began.

And to find out how it must end.


It’s been five long and wondrous years since the first book in Justin Cronin’s The Passage trilogy was originally published, with this year winding up the series with the final book published earlier this month. For those die-hard Passage fans, now is the moment when all the questions are answered and the future of the human race is determined. It has been a satisfying experience reading this series, experiencing the emotional trauma of each of the individual characters, being fearful for my life every time I put down the book, and getting to know the characters so intimately that I felt that they were real.

The City of Mirrors is no different to any of the other books within the series, with the exception of a more chunkier portion of the novel being predominantly exposition in regards to Zero, a.k.a Timothy Fanning, the first and original viral. This takes up quite a few chapters bringing together the backstory of Fanning’s life and how he became a viral, merging the two together to explain his intentions within this post-apocalyptic world. Though I enjoyed finding out all this information, I did find that it dragged on a bit and didn’t hold my attention as much as the more life-threatening action scenes that are fundamental within the series. It is purely for this that the novel did not achieve a full 5 stars as the majority of the book did provide exposition rather than action, however, these scenes did answer a lot of my questions that had arisen and gone unanswered from the two previous books.

The story line of the third and final book is set 20+ years after the action that occurred in the second book, The Twelve, bringing with it new characters, altered and different relationships, and a world that has altered drastically since the time of the Homeland. It was interesting to see the various new characters and how they were integrated into the original group as well as seeing previous characters grow up and evolve. A lot changes in that short space of time and it is presented naturally, the changes fitting each individual character and presenting new and exciting challenges that lead to questions of loyalty and friendship. It is this final novel that truly tests the characters we have followed since the beginning and truly begins to define them within this ever-changing world.

I am proud to say that I have read this series, and have recommended it to many people with it holding one of the top spots in my favourite books/series of all time. The City of Mirrors was a perfect round up to an altogether refreshing and different take on a theme/genre that is scene frequently in different ways. It is realistic, scientific, and emotional. I was satisfied with the overall ending, and I think you will be too.


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