“It happened fast. Thirty-two minutes for one world to die, another to be born.”Synopsis from Goodreads
First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear—of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.
As civilization swiftly crumbles into a primal landscape of predators and prey, two people flee in search of sanctuary. FBI agent Brad Wolgast is a good man haunted by what he’s done in the line of duty. Six-year-old orphan Amy Harper Bellafonte is a refugee from the doomed scientific project that has triggered apocalypse. He is determined to protect her from the horror set loose by her captors. But for Amy, escaping the bloody fallout is only the beginning of a much longer odyssey—spanning miles and decades—towards the time and place where she must finish what should never have begun.
I read this for a bookclub, and I wasn't sure what to expect. To be honest, I hadn't even heard of this book until The Twelve was nominated in the 2012 Goodreads awards. Now that I've read it, I can actually say... WOW!
A word of warning: DO NOT pick up this book unless you are ready for it. It is a monster of a monster book. The paperback is roughly 900 pages of tiny print, with zero margins. And once you start it, there's no way you'll be able to stop. So be prepared for the long haul! Fluff your pillow, turn off your phone, stoke the coffee pot and call in sick to work.
Once you've cleared your calendar for the next week, you're ready to begin. You may notice that within the first chapter, you've started to cry. Get used to it. Did I forget to mention that you need a box of kleenex?
Now that you have your kleenex, you're ready for chapter 2. It starts off a little slow, but don't worry. Once the pace picks up, it won't stop until page 865. Hmm. On second thought, maybe I should have listed defibrillator as part of your necessities. Oh well. Too late now. You'll have to settle for breathing into a paper bag.
You want to know the worst part of this book? The characters. And I don't mean that the characters are boring, or annoying. The problem is that I got attached to them far too easily. This just made it harder to say goodbye to them, when they inevitably die. Because you have to know that they're all going to die, right? No, not really. But some of them will, because it's not a true horror book without a little death and gore.
And now, about that horror. These creatures live forever, are nearly indestructible, and drink blood. Sunlight can give them a fatal case of sunburn. Sounds like vampires to me! Although, there are some extra creepy twists, which I will hesitate from telling you. I want you to be just as freaked as I was, learning it all along the way.
The morning after finishing this book, I walked downstairs, predawn, and looked out the window. I actually stopped in my tracks, and got goosebumps! Wouldn't you say that this view looks a little like the book cover?
Coincidence? It damn well better be!! If a vampire apocalypse wipes out the human species, it better not start in my front yard!