At 766 pages, this book sort of fits my Read Loooong Books criteria for my CBR8. The main reason why I chose to read this again is that the third book in this stellar trilogy by Justin Cronin is coming out in May and I wanted to get back up to speed. Diving back into this book has been a great experience, which is kind of odd to say about a world where humanity is on the brink of extinction, but there it is. I fell in love with Cronin’s writing all over again, becoming immersed in this story, which at it’s heart, for me, is about the love of a father for his daughter.
Cronin has stated that this book came to be after his young daughter finished some YA vampire book and asked him to come up with a story where a young girl saves the world. She would ride her bike and her father would run along side her and they would toss out ideas about Amy and the world that came to be after the escape of The Twelve.
So yeah, there are vampires in this book and normally I would just run far and fast from this subject because the aughts have not been an interesting time for me vampire-wise. But this story is so much more. Beautifully written, expertly wrought with a cast of characters so real and full of life. The story begins in our not too distant future and details the cataclysm, then jumps ahead nearly a hundred years. You’ve got your post-apocalyptic imaginings, heart-pounding action and a military experiment gone wrong. And of course there is Amy, the Girl From Nowhere and Brad Wolgast, the FBI agent who essentially becomes her father. Their bond and their journey is what lifts this story beyond the subject itself and stays with me still.