People, I have thoughts. Mostly thoughts about the coda, but that's at the end and we'll get there. Let's start at the beginning.
After the big battle at the end of The Twelve, the humans move back to the city of Kerrville. Twenty years go by without any sign of the virals. Life goes on and people start moving outside the city to homesteads and the beginning of some sort of normal civilization. The people who were young during the time of the virals don't remember how bad things were. The older people are nervously accepting that things are going to be okay.
But things are not okay.
Michael and Greer know the virals are coming back. They are preparing for the worst by repairing an old ship for a great expedition to an unknown land. Meanwhile, Alicia, the human-viral hybrid, is being called by Zero to New York City where he waits, ready to tell her his Tale of Woe. Amy and Carter sleep in Houston waiting for the time when they will have to defend the human race once again.
The City of Mirrors is the final book in The Passage trilogy. By the end, we will know if the humans will prevail or be wiped out forever. (Not really a secret that we win, since there is a history written of this time by future humans in the previous books.) We find out how it all shakes out.
It's been six years since The Passage began. I was floored by how good The Passage was. I was less enamoured with The Twelve. My feelings for City of Mirrors are complicated. That killer suspense is still there. The battles between the humans and virals are wild and pulse pounding. There are heartbreaking moments.
It's not all great news though. Zero, Dr Timothy Fanning, tells his life story to Alicia and I don't know how she sat there and listened to it. He was a very privileged guy. He had money and power, and a life Alicia probably couldn't half understand. How could anyone from this world understand Harvard and these pampered people? She's spent her whole life running from danger! I am supposed to feel bad for this guy and understand why he wants to destroy humanity? Not really.
The world that Cronin created is just as real as it ever was. I always feel a bit dazed by it. I find I have a hard time sleeping while immersed in it. Which is why the coda felt so out of place and strange. I would have been happy with a couple of pages to wrap things up, like the one in The Handmaid's Tale, not this drawn out story with a character I did not care anything about.
I'm going to get Spoilery.
If you've read City of Mirrors, highlight the text between the two lines. If not, zoom on past.
So the coda. It's 1000 years in the future and we have another professor. An older professor who gets a woman 20 years younger than himself, for some reason. If you were worried an old guy couldn't attract a young woman a thousand years from now, you'll be relieved to know that hasn't changed. Good going, future!
Why is the future, which has to be built from the ground up with very little knowledge of the world 100 years before the people arrived on the island and must evolve into a civilization over 1000 years, so similar to the late 20th Century? Like weirdly similar to the 20th Century. The man wears a suit and a tie. A suit and a tie! Why not a toga, or neck ruffles, or a jumpsuit, or a cravat?! Blaaaaaaargh!
Wasn't there a better way to get to see Amy again, than all that male angst?
If I had one of those memory erasers from Men In Black, I'd zap the coda from my mind. I was fine without it.
I was satisfied with some of the answers to the questions I had, but some things I didn't get (or buy). There were a number of little things that bothered me. Overall, the series is good. It starts out strong, but loses some of its bite by the third installment.
So yes, mixed feelings.
About the Audio: Scott Brick is the narrator as he was for the other books in the series. This was my first audiobook for this series. He has a deep, masculine voice which he reduces to a growl for any dialogue spoken by Zero. Creepy.
Thanks to Penguin Random House Audio for the chance to review this audiobook. All opinions are my own.