The Problem with The City of Mirrors (The Passage, #3): A Mathematical Review

Title: The City of Mirrors (The Passage #3)

Author: Justin Cronin

Publisher: Ballantine

Published: May 2016

Genre(s): horror, sci-fi, fantasy, apocalypse
Recommended for: masochists?

Synopsis (via goodreads.com):  
In The Passage and The Twelve, Justin Cronin brilliantly imagined the fall of civilization and humanity's desperate fight to survive. Now all is quiet on the horizon, but does silence promise the nightmare's end or the second coming of unspeakable darkness?

City of Mirrors? More Like, City of... Errors!

(It's the best rhyme I could drop...)

Sheeeeee's baaaaack!! So I've had a bit of writer's block for writing reviews over the summer. And maybe that's the answer right there: SUMMER. How is it so busy?! There's weddings, stagettes, showers, family... when are we supposed to squirrel away and write book reviews in a cold dark room, with only the dim glow of our laptops for company??? (The introvert in me just sighed wistfully at the idea of spending the entire summer in just such a fashion... double sigh...)

For those of you who don't know me, you should really know how much I love math. I eat, sleep, and breathe it! It got to the point where, as a child, my parents called my sister "Kathleen" and me MATHLEEN because I was just mathing all over the place. What does this have to do with City of Mirrors? EV-ER-Y-THING. Because the entire time I was reading this finale in Justin Cronin's trilogy, I couldn't stop hashing and rehashing all the MATH that went into finally being able to read this book!!!!!!!!! (If you're not so Mathy [hey! Another childhood nickname!], don't worry, I'll go slow. Cronin-slow, if you will.)

Let's see.
~784 - Pages of 1st book, The Passage. Which, when memory served, was a fine, if not highly enjoyable, read! Summary: the world ends because in our godlike egotism humanity tried to find the cure for death and instead released a vampire-like virus, thus killing almost everyone and destroying the entire WORLD. [Also: probably $10 for the paperback.]

2 years: Length of time until The Twelve (The Passage, #2) was released. A little long, but much of The Passage had stuck with me (a sign of a good book, if I do say so myself!), so I remembered the characters, and was pleased at the different direction Cronin went with the book --->

~576. Pages of #2. Reasonable length. We get to know some people not directly tied to the release of the virus, and how the apocalypse was very sad. And gross. And yet humanity still prevails, and manages to yet AGAIN mess with Mother Nature and shit gets real. Wins Goodreads Choice Award for Best Horror 2012. [Knowing me, I bought the hardcover, as I'm not a big library person, but for arguments sake lets say I bought the paperback for another $10.]

~ 3.5 years:

"I am distraught, as I thought this came out July 1, 2015. I guess they're really giving me time to re-read the 1st 2 before the 3rd comes out. :'( "

- Sweet Unsuspecting Reader, Fan of Series, and All-Around Swell Cat,  June 11, 2015

~ 4.4 years later, May 24th, 2016 The City of Mirrors (The Passage #3) is released.

38: The age I had turned one month earlier. Apparently one's memory goes to sh*t from age 32 to age 38, who knew? I had almost (almost) forgotten about #3. To the point where I had no idea what I had done with the first 2 books! What I DID forget was THE ENTIRE PLOT-LINE OF THE FIRST 2 BOOKS. (Bonus math-points if you see where this is going...)

Math Problem:
If a second-hand book is $10.50, but you as an employee of the used bookstore get 25% off your purchase, and not forgetting our Canadian Federal General Sales Tax of 5%, what is the final cost of the book? Post your answer below! X= ?

775 pages + 784 [I'm guessing as I gave my paperback away a few years back] = 1559 pages from re-reading #1. And let me tell you, memory maketh the heart grow fonder! While still a great story, there was definitely some lagging points that took some work to get through. And I'm seriously goldfish-like with my memory these days. Almost EVERYTHING was new to me.

Hang on, there's more! Book #2: 576 + 564 = 1140 pages (And of COURSE I bought it again, I thought I'd be displaying my all-time-favourite-trilogy in shelfies* for years to come!) So (X)2.
My goodreads review: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13281368-the-twelve
[I just re-read my review and found me goddamn hilarious. If you missed it, click HERE!)

And finally! I am prepared. I am ready. The epic battle of SOMETHING is going to happen.
Bring. It. On.

$37.00 Canadian (which is like, $15 American, no matter what the state of their economy for some reason...) minus 40% for a best-seller hardcover [at the time] at www.chapters.indigo.ca + 5% GST + (X)2 =


extreme sadness, periods of delusion, disillusion, dashed hopes for ever reading anything good ever again in my entire life

And that, my friends, is how you do The Spinning Jenny Math Dance!!!! Good for you if you are still reading this! Some of you may be thinking there is some Alanis-type irony in the fact that it took so long for me to finish this series and yet am writing a super-long review that hasn't technically even started reviewing the actual book I'm supposed to be reviewing. I take your irony, and raise you a middle finger, because I deserve this rant. This rant was 6 years plus thousands of pages plus money's in the making.

AND I didn't even post this review in a timely fashion!! I think I wrote this in August and it's NOVEMBER! Trump was just elected PRESIDENT, August-Jenny!! How do you like THEM apples??!!

And all this mathiness to tell you that IT WASN'T WORTH IT. I am a firm believer in finishing a series (unless it's like the C.S.I. of series: never-ending, with cross-overs and BS prequels and 1.2's etc.) and I just told a customer TO NOT READ THIS BOOK. You will just hate yourself in the morning. Better to just eat an entire chocolate cake to yourself; more calories, less physical pain and feelings of low self-worth. (And all the while you have stacks - STACKS - of awesome books surrounding you, with the unspoken, "you could be reading US, the GOOD books" and you develop semi-permanent puppy-dog eyes because you know you need to go back and finish THAT BOOK.)

I'm giving it 3 stars just because a) I finished it, and b) Cronin finished it. It's the equivalent of a participation ribbon but I don't care. 

Thanks for reading!!

~ Negative Nancy (a.k.a. Spinning Jenny)

* shelfies: people taking pics of their books/ bookcases and posting on Instagram. Seriously a thing.


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