The author of two early, well-received, award-winning (PEN/Hemingway, Stephen Crane Prize) novels, Justin Cronin vaulted into the realm of both critical and popular acclaim two years ago when his vampire novel, The Passage, made its auspicious way into the world. Tonight, he is here with the much-anticipated second volume of the projected Passage Trilogy, The Twelve (Ballantine). The narrativeand actionmostly shifts back in time from The Passage's settingto Year Zerobefore scoping a century ahead. Three primary characters, survivors, make their way through a shattered, post-apocalyptic time and place. Of The Passage, Time wrote, "Magnificent ... Cronin has take his literary gifts, and he has weaponized them ... The Passage can stand proudly next to Stephen King's apocalyptic masterpiece The Stand, but a closer match would be Cormac McCarthy's The Road."