In “The Passage,” the first volume of Justin Cronin’s dystopian trilogy, a government plan to infect 12 death-row inmates with a virus to turn them into super soldiers has backfired, and the group escapes and infects all in its path. The country becomes a wasteland teeming with undead predators called “virals.” In book two, “The Twelve,” Cronin picks up the story, interweaving characters from “year zero” (when the infection hit the fan) with flashes forward to 79 and 97 years hence.
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