Swan Song by Robert McCammon


Swan Song
Title : Swan Song
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0671741039
Language : English
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 956

In a wasteland born of rage and fear, populated by monstrous creatures and marauding armies, earth s last survivors have been drawn into the final battle between good and evil, that will decide the fate of humanity Sister, who discovers a strange and transformative glass artifact in the destroyed Manhattan streets Joshua Hutchins, the pro wrestler who takes refuge from the nuclear fallout at a Nebraska gas station and Swan, a young girl possessing special powers, who travels alongside Josh to a Missouri town where healing and recovery can begin with Swan s gifts But the ancient force behind earth s devastation is scouring the walking wounded for recruits for its relentless army, beginning with Swan herself.


Swan Song Reviews


  • Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin

    1.99 on Kindle today 6 10 17Once again, thank you to goodreads friends for finding me another book to love There are so many people I fell in love with in the book Also, Mule and Killer Let s just begin The book is about us stupid humans trying to bomb each other into extinction, but I digress I fell in love with Sister Creep, Swan and Josh I also loved Artie and Paul and Mule and Killer and there are so many We start out with each person s story, where they are in the world 1.99 on Kindle today 6 10 17Once again, thank you to goodreads friends for finding me another book to love There are so many people I fell in love with in the book Also, Mule and Killer Let s just begin The book is about us stupid humans trying to bomb each other into extinction, but I digress I fell in love with Sister Creep, Swan and Josh I also loved Artie and Paul and Mule and Killer and there are so many We start out with each person s story, where they are in the world and what is going on when the shite hits the fan And how they all come together at some point in the book Swan is living with her mom and the latest boyfriend when they leave and decide to go to another state for reasons Josh is a gynormous wrestler that is finished with his latest match and is traveling to the next state Sister Creep is just preaching and wandering around doing her thing she s homelesss The people I was the least interested in, were Macklin and Roland, they were doing their military stuff and they were pretty much evil The devil demon man thing is watching a movie about death and destruction over and over at the theater The story then takes us to what happens after everything hits and what every one is doing after the fact Sister meets up with Artie who was at a shoe convention Artie and Sister decide to travel together and on their way out of town, Sister finds this piece of glass with diamonds and stuff in it outside of Tiffany s Correction what used to be Tiffany s She finds some other stuff too but this is a magical ring crown thing The ring can make you see things when you hold it This is what sets Sister on a goal, she sees something inside every time she touches it She being led somewhere Other people can touch it and see different things, like food or water and they feel better It s like it really happened And of course the evil man wants it for himself He knows what the ring, Sister and Swan can do with it Meanwhile, Josh stops at a gas station and ends up meeting Swan and her mom there They all end up buried underground in PawPaw s little home below the ground There is a reason why he lives under his store and it will tell you in the book They stay down there for quite some time before a little gopher shows them a way out The main thing is that Sister and Artie and Swan and Josh all meet new people on their travels Some are not very nice of course and others are great Some that you love part ways and others take their places People are killed, I mean you know that s going to happen Swan and Josh pick up Killer and Mule along the way They are the horse and the dog Sister is out to find Swan, but she s not sure for years who or what it is she s actually supposed to find I mean seven years traveling across the country trying to find one person with the demon on your tail Swan, Josh, Mule and Killer actually start traveling with an old clown named Rusty There are just so many things to the story that you can t even imagine or even talk about in a review I can tell you that this story made me cry and it didn t get boring to me accept when ole Roland and Macklin came into it I don t know, it was just me I didn t like them I would read it and want to hurry to the better parts of the book If your worried about reading a tome like this one then don t The chapters are short and they move from person to person, but it s not confusing in the least One chapter will leave you on a cliffhanger and change to something else going on in the world Lol It doesn t matter, I loved it and I hope anyone else that reads it loves it too For Mule and Killer, you were around for many years you sweet babies, in the middle of a war to boot The second part of the book takes place 7 years later and there is all kinds of weird stuff going on with Swan and Sister I can t tell you what all, just read it READ IT MY BLOG Melissa Martin s Reading List

  • Dan Schwent

    What if the apocalypse that befell the poor souls in The Stand was nuclear instead of viral in nature and the whole thing was written in a style like Richard Matheson s than Stephen King s Well, you d probably have Swan Song.Comparisons with the Stand are inevitable Both are about the survivors of an apocalyptic event and both have a devil type figure walking around stirring things up Swan Song doesn t have that final battle between good and evil thing going like the Stand did, although What if the apocalypse that befell the poor souls in The Stand was nuclear instead of viral in nature and the whole thing was written in a style like Richard Matheson s than Stephen King s Well, you d probably have Swan Song.Comparisons with the Stand are inevitable Both are about the survivors of an apocalyptic event and both have a devil type figure walking around stirring things up Swan Song doesn t have that final battle between good and evil thing going like the Stand did, although some of the events could be interpreted as such.Swan, the title character, starts off as a little girl who s strangely good with plants before the bombs drop As the story unfolds, she s joined by Black Frankenstein, aka Josh Hutchins, a professional wrestler They re wandering, looking for other survivors Josh has been tasked with protecting Swan and does his best The other main protagonist is a former homeless woman called Sister, who has a glass ring with unusual abilities Their paths eventually cross with the Army of Excellence, led by Colonel Macklin, an unhinged Vietnam war hero, and Roland Croninger, a young millitary enthusiast caught up in playing soldier for real Throw in crazies like Lord Alvin and the ever present Man with Many Faces and you ve got a winner on your hands.I ll just come out and say it This book held my interest than the Stand did The style was much gripping and I got attached to Sister, Josh, and Swan I almost let a tear escape my eye at the end but fought it back.I d recommend this book to anyone who liked the Stand and other post apocalypic stories

  • Emily (Books with Emily Fox)

    This is one of the darkest post apocalyptic books I ve read in a while totally satisfied that craving I may have had a few bad dreams about it What I would have liked knowing beforehand Nuclear war with Russia There are fantasy elements in here Yes, it s long There s a war going on so if you re not really into military fiction won t be for you Overall it was almost too realistic Did I say it was really dark I would recommend it

  • Stephen

    4.5 to 5.0 stars I am a big fan of The Stand by Stephen King and I thought it was the standard in apocalyptic fictionUNTIL NOW Swan Song is THE BEST apocalyptic science fiction book I have ever read At over 950 pages, this book could have been a chore to get through but that was not the case at all I flew through it and never found my attention wandering or my interest waning A truly spectacular novel with a superb cast of really good peeople and REALLY BAD PEOPLE Highest possible re 4.5 to 5.0 stars I am a big fan of The Stand by Stephen King and I thought it was the standard in apocalyptic fictionUNTIL NOW Swan Song is THE BEST apocalyptic science fiction book I have ever read At over 950 pages, this book could have been a chore to get through but that was not the case at all I flew through it and never found my attention wandering or my interest waning A truly spectacular novel with a superb cast of really good peeople and REALLY BAD PEOPLE Highest possible recommendation Winner Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel 1988 Nominee World Fantasy Award for best Novel 1988 Nominee Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel 1988

  • Becky

    Taking a quick glance through reviews of this book, they seem to have two things in common One, they all start with a reference to the book s size And two, they all remark about the comparisons to The Stand And now mine is no different Holy SHIT, this was a long ass book but it doesn t at all compare to The Stand, in my opinion Was it good Yeah, good, but for a book this ambitious and huge, I expect than just good Part of that is that I think I d have appreciated it a lot had Taking a quick glance through reviews of this book, they seem to have two things in common One, they all start with a reference to the book s size And two, they all remark about the comparisons to The Stand And now mine is no different Holy SHIT, this was a long ass book but it doesn t at all compare to The Stand, in my opinion Was it good Yeah, good, but for a book this ambitious and huge, I expect than just good Part of that is that I think I d have appreciated it a lot had I read it before reading The Stand, because I just couldn t quite manage to not compare them, and that did not end up favoring Swan Song The characters, the plot, the characters connected by dreams or visions thing, the Walkin Dude King did it first, and better Sorry to all the McCammon fans out there but it s true I liked the story enough to finish it, but for so very freaking much of it, it felt like nothing was happening If there s going to be a huge amount of time in between little pockets of tension and excitement, then that time should be spent making me fall in love with the characters It should be spent making me dread the possibility of their untimely demise Or it should be spent making me feel like I m really living in a nuclear winter And shit, that wouldn t even be hard, considering this winter has been like Snowpocalypse So Tired Of Winter sob What that time should not be used for is repetitive scenes only included in the book to show us Swan s ability which we had learned about and understood from like page two How many times do I need to be shown that Swan holds life inside her Because going through it every time we hop back over to a Swan chapter felt like maybe one or two times too many Although, maybe it wasn t me that McCammon was trying to fill in maybe it was Swan herself Not exactly the brightest bulb there, considering how long it took her to figure out that she d be key in healing the damage that humanity brought upon itself To be perfectly honest, I didn t really care about any of these characters except Josh, and I m not sure if that s due to the book, or the reading I loved the way the reader did his voice , or because I just love big cuddly bearlike men, or even that I just needed SOMEONE to like in this book Maybe a little bit of all of those But the rest of the characters I disliked in varying degrees Evil Dude was Evil shrug What is there to say Sister felt wooden to me It was only rarely that she displayed any personality at all, and I just couldn t warm up to her Besides finding and carrying the glass a ma jig, I am still trying to figure out what her role was in the book Swan Well, I already talked about her Roland should die in a fire and then be reincarnated only to die in a fire and be reincarnated only to die in a fire again and so on, forever Macklin was just crazy and I kinda felt bad for him, but he was piece of shit crazy, not sympathetic human crazy, so he can die in Roland s fire too He doesn t have to be reincarnated than oh, two or three times El Presidente You know, I kinda felt bad for him In the beginning when we meet him, you can tell he s not prepared for what s happening, he s shit scared of the events that are outside of his control, and he s just trying to cope But then, all that sympathy that I had for him just evaporated toward the end Crazy or not FUCK HIM, man Who gets to decide to do THAT Why is that even a thing that would ever, EVER, EVEREVEREVER be developed and actually put in place Shameful and disgusting The mere concept of THAT is worse to me than anything else in this book By far He should have died in the fire However, as much as I loathed El Pres at the end, he s the only character that I felt actually wrestled with their humanity at all He wasn t a Good character or an Evil character He was flawed and conflicted and just doing what he thought was right for the good of all Still should have died in a fire though Coming back to the concept of Good and Evil, I have to say that there was never even a hint of a flicker of gray in any of these characters, with the exception I mentioned above They were either all GOOD, or all EVIL The chasm between the two would have to be traveled by goat, three mules, and a barge, and you better pack a lunch because it s a fucking hike to the other side The fact that McCammon THEN needed to literally show people s true faces , as if we were unclear which side they were on, was again, overkill All the GOOD people are so beautiful, and all the EVIL people are hideously deformed Because that s original One last thing before I wrap this up I really expected the glass a ma jig to have a vital purpose in the book, and I was very disappointed to learn that I was mistaken in this, especially after ALLLLLLL of the build up I trudged through, including the 10 minute long at 3x speed crowning scene For the thing to be relegated to be nothing than a Rosetta Stone after all of that kind of makes me incredibly angry So, so very mad Oooh wonder what this big red button does

  • Fabian

    Percentage composition of previous or later works of postapocalypse of a sort in the DNA of R McCammon s enormous horror epic Swan Song 41% The Stand novel10% The Road novel which is actually, in itself, like 7% Mad Max a source which must NOT go completely ignored 10% Blood Meridian novel so about 60% of S.S can be found in King and McCarthy alone 10% Lord of the Rings 6% Two Towers battle 4% magic ring emblem 5% Lonesome Dove novel5% Dawn of the Dead films mall battleground, motor Percentage composition of previous or later works of postapocalypse of a sort in the DNA of R McCammon s enormous horror epic Swan Song 41% The Stand novel10% The Road novel which is actually, in itself, like 7% Mad Max a source which must NOT go completely ignored 10% Blood Meridian novel so about 60% of S.S can be found in King and McCarthy alone 10% Lord of the Rings 6% Two Towers battle 4% magic ring emblem 5% Lonesome Dove novel5% Dawn of the Dead films mall battleground, motorcycle gangs 4% Cold Mountain novel film3% Death Race Death Race 2000 film2% Battle Royale film3% Hunger Games duh franchise3% Silvester Stallone s Daylight1% Poseidon Adventure1% Pocahontas the colonization tale in the new Wild West 1% Sleeping Beauty kiss of maiden 1% Snow White apple symbol love s kiss Yeah, the whole country s been nuked 130 by them lethal Russians We all knew it would happen, and do it does After everything is dead and gone, the unlucky remnants begin to establish feudal groups and erect new structures of power and control Evil forces unite, heroes are made, and characters are killed off in that adorably Walking Dead fashion The vigilantes suffer greatly, and its a true blast to read about dead babies crushed miners, about the annihilation of all humanity I m kidding The gruesome factor is quite high Superbly, the violence is violent the blood and gore is supreme.It is too long It begins to steadily lose steam to a tepid conclusion, something the reader had already expected would occur, but does only at an even later stage.Monoliths of horror Gotta love em

  • The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon)

    Swan Song by Robert McCammon Every now and then, you come across a book where it seems that the complexities of life have been disassembled from reality and reformed within the pages and text A story that, sometimes in its simplicity, captures the moving parts and varying angles of spirituality, psychology, physiology and sociology like a prism, separates them by colour, strength and depth Then uses the differing colours to paint a kaleidoscopic tableau that opens our minds to that which is kn Swan Song by Robert McCammon Every now and then, you come across a book where it seems that the complexities of life have been disassembled from reality and reformed within the pages and text A story that, sometimes in its simplicity, captures the moving parts and varying angles of spirituality, psychology, physiology and sociology like a prism, separates them by colour, strength and depth Then uses the differing colours to paint a kaleidoscopic tableau that opens our minds to that which is known to be there, but can hardly be seen or touched or felt An hourglass where all the strength and beauty of humanity dances on fine white sand as it slips slowly from underfoot How do you describe courage How do you describe tenacity Fear Or desperation What does hope feel like Or Evil It never fails to surprise me how these things sprout out of a fertile imagination in the most unlikely of places It s a pleasant surprise For me, Swan Song, by Robert McCammon is one of these books This is a tale of survival and desperation, conquest and freedom, kindness and brutalities, good versus evil, and hope versus despair Now, I know that finding philosophic, symbolic or coded messages in text is a lot like seeing images in clouds No two people look at clouds the same A storm arises and the golfer is angry because he can t play while the farmer is pleased because it will slake the thirst of his crops Sometimes only a very few people are able to hear the message that lies beneath the text, like my son seeing ice cream scoops in the bloom of fireworks while I only see sparkling lights in the night sky The ability of a person to perceive a wonderful gift of understanding wrapped in a dark, but powerful story does not prove the author s intent to put it there It s like the crabs off the coast of Japan that Carl Sagan spoke about while cruising the universe in his spaceship of the mind s eye Crabs with faces on their carapace that resemble the face of a samurai put there by semi natural selection because of superstitions sailors who did not want to anger the gods A practice of tossing back any crab that seemed to resemble a face over the centuries produced an entire sub species of marine life that now, as a biological marker in its gene pool grows something resembling the face of a samurai warrior on its carapace The warriors did not intend to create a species of face bearing crabs They only wanted to appease angry gods Yet, the faces are there Like the crabs, some stories take on a second life that their author never intended, and, over time, the meanings are formed held for a while, and then lost within the pages and lines of type that a writer had never intended So let it be with Swan Song I don t know if McCammon intended to write a spiritually conscious story, or not I do know that the characters were rich It was as if the players were tuning forks and with minimal effort but exquisite precision McCammon found perfect pitch in only a few words Break this story down and you will find nothing complex The characters are rich but there are many and each one fits into the tableau like the tiny cogs and gears of a precision watch Some so tiny as to be insignificant on their own, almost invisible, yet, together they mark the passage of time I d liken this story to a post apocalyptic Crash Oscar wining Movie where nobody could see the entire picture until the end The characters were gritty, hungry and so desperate I felt like weeping at the horrors that befell them, and feared the villains at their heels The meek shall inherit the earth Not on your life, they ll have to take it The strong want everything Most walks of life were represented here and no group or social standing too the burden of the heat McCammon left the earth so scorched and dark that I felt pangs of regret, then, at the last moment, there would be a single ray of hope, or blossom of sunshine Admirable people that started the story as we are, simple humanity, then they became champions of heaven to lead the rest from purgatory or trying to swallow their souls and condemn to burning black of hell , Josh s strength, Swan s Hope, Sister s faith, Rusty s Kindness, Rolland s crazed loyalty, Macklin s black heart with the Shadow Soldier looking over his shoulder I even liked the wickedness of the villainy Yet, amid the spectrum of humanity, broken down into its rainbow form through the characters, McCammon wove a tail of good versus evil Faith versus the devil with mankind as the tools of righteousness and destruction, weakened by the same free will that is both a blessing and a curse I haven t gone into detail about the plot or story because I don t want to spoil it for you Surprise is much of the fun in this story I will say, McCammon gave the most mind blowing ground zero view of the apocalypse I ve ever read FANTASTIC This is down as one of my five star reads The story is long, but you ll be on the edge of your seat from cover to cover Where the action isn t whipping at your soul like a riding crop, it s playing your heart like a harp It s recommended.WarningsShort this time There is every kind of violence you can imagine in this book I believe it s well written, but, I have to concede that it is gritty, and realistic There is gore in this book It s not for the faint of stomach any than the faint of heart However, like other reads, there is hope which, for me, overcame the horror and made it all worthwhile I probably need to add a statement about some of the background characters I listened to an audio book I thought the Narrator was very good However, some of the ethnically black characters spoke in what, as a young man born and raised in the south in the 1970s, remember to be ethnic accents that I heard every day as I m sure Robert McCammon did, growing up in the Alabama Now days, these are the voices and words that are used to ridicule those of African heritage I found these characters to be courageous, dignified and human than most others In fact, the ethically black supporting cast, is where McCammon went to show that Humanity still lived, and there were people who cared about others left in the world He does not belittle these people but, as I understood it, put them ahead of the Caucasian America on the road to regaining humanity Don t let the dialect of our rich cultural south mislead you These are wonderful characters who are well cared for and respected I would add, that where there is such obvious distinction as a dialect makes in a book, the enemy uses those phrases and words that are intended to incite hatred and anger in People of African decent Their bad guys, just let em be bad and the story will be wonderful If you are sensitive to words, and some people have legitimate reasons for that, then, as this book gets towards the end, you will hear some of the uglier side of our cultural rich southern heritage Do not be discouraged If you see these racially charged words, don t let them blind you like the man with the red eye, follow them and you ll see hope and strength in those voices than anywhere else in the book I say this because, as I listened to the Narrator, who was wonderful with voices, my head almost snapped around when I heard these patches of ugly dialog Either the Narrator, or McCammon or both dragged these out of memory with an authenticity that could only come from a person who had actually heard these words and phrases in person For the record I believe the Narrator is also black Trust methe audiobook is very good also as audiobooks go Five stars

  • Mike (the Paladin)

    Well, I approach this review with some trepidation A large number of readers here love this book, including a Goodreads friend whom I usually agree with sorry Stephen, Stephanie, Rose But I just didn t care for it I found it a poor man s The Stand The book is full of stereotypes, cliches and tropes There are old hackneyed ideas guns are BAD , if you look nonthreatening your less likely to be threatened, war is evilon and on Some of the story telling put me in mind of the old w Well, I approach this review with some trepidation A large number of readers here love this book, including a Goodreads friend whom I usually agree with sorry Stephen, Stephanie, Rose But I just didn t care for it I found it a poor man s The Stand The book is full of stereotypes, cliches and tropes There are old hackneyed ideas guns are BAD , if you look nonthreatening your less likely to be threatened, war is evilon and on Some of the story telling put me in mind of the old what would happen if they gave a war and nobody came idea spouted back in the wonderful late 60s and 70s Nobody ever seems to answer that, well I will What happens They bring the war to youWe start out with ANOTHER wipe the world out to tell the story scenario, only this is one where we use nukes rather than a germ The people characters other than Swan, Josh, and poor crazed broken Sister are hard to identify with, the story doesn t really hang together within it s own boundsit just seems to fail on so many levels The Bad Guys are basically the remnants of the military military baaaaaad The good guys kids and a crazy lady crazy, but of course innocent and nice it goes on and onthe characters and plot show the marks of a cookie cutter I m sorry all you who love this book, I just don t.I want to interject here that McCammon wrote one of my all time favorite books, Boy s Life Boy s Lifeand I ve read others by him I liked a lot, so when I saw the glowing reports on this one I searched it out But I just found it not nearly up to his standards or to the standards of other post apocalyptic novels Read The Stand, Alas Babylon, Earth Abides of a downer , this one for me just doesn t measure upthat s in my opinion of course Sorry.I will be reading other books by Mr McCammon, as I ve read good books by him, books I really like, but this one goes on my to be sold, traded, or whatever pile

  • Bradley

    Maybe if I d have read this one before I had read The Stand or Lucifer s Hammer, I might have given this a full five stars, but epic length and nuclear holocaust doesn t automatically make a perfect book.However If you like your dystopias full of a long buildup and full cast and a slow decline into being in the evil camp versus learning you re in the good camp, then I totally recommend this book to you It s the journey than anything else that makes this a good read.And then there s also t Maybe if I d have read this one before I had read The Stand or Lucifer s Hammer, I might have given this a full five stars, but epic length and nuclear holocaust doesn t automatically make a perfect book.However If you like your dystopias full of a long buildup and full cast and a slow decline into being in the evil camp versus learning you re in the good camp, then I totally recommend this book to you It s the journey than anything else that makes this a good read.And then there s also the cool tarot themes and actual inclusion of the tarot reads and other twists as well as a whole Christian metaphor springing up all over the place, including the horsemen of the apocalypse and even a huge dose of the resurrection of life, so we ve got a pretty cool collection of fantastical elements Especially Swan, herself, who s definitely magical She s the Greater Mystery, after all, the renewal, the restoration of life It s kinda sweet.My main problem with this post nuclear wasteland, however, is one that s been explored so very well in practically every other writer or game designer, Thank you, Fallout about the availability of food Aside from a few big nods to farming, later on, I d have thought that the acquisition of food might have taken on a bit of a deadly turn As it was, all these strangers sharing meals kicked me out of the book.This is no The Road It s Road lite With a TON of people and PoVs And a much heavier dose of magic over the realism And yet, it was quite enjoyable and it s long enough to satisfy anyone s craving for an immersive post apocalyptic wasteland Horror writers always make the most interesting SFs, imho

  • Bark

    I read this book back when it was first published in the 80 s I was still in high school, had big frizzy hair, wore too much blue eyeliner and pretty much hated my life I spent most of my free time haunting the local Osco drug for the newest horror paperbacks to escape it all When I saw this huge tome 900 pages I scurried back home with it thinking I had just hit the jackpot And I had It turned out to be one of the best horror novels I d ever read and I was reading a lot back then This I read this book back when it was first published in the 80 s I was still in high school, had big frizzy hair, wore too much blue eyeliner and pretty much hated my life I spent most of my free time haunting the local Osco drug for the newest horror paperbacks to escape it all When I saw this huge tome 900 pages I scurried back home with it thinking I had just hit the jackpot And I had It turned out to be one of the best horror novels I d ever read and I was reading a lot back then This is why I was hesitant to revisit it, some 26 years later, afraid I d tarnish my memory of fiction perfection But I did it anyway I can t read 900 page tomes any because my brain shuts down at the thought but I can read them on unabridged audio Swan Song became my driving companion for over three weeks and now that I m finished I already miss the soothing voice of Tom Stechschulte I ll have to snap up something else he s narrated Maybe The Road if I can bring myself to listen to it.If you ve read this you already know it s one of the best end of the world novels ever written, if you haven t read it yet and you re a fan of the new apocalypse books flooding the shelves, you really need to do yourself a favor and read this one It is set in the 80 s and we are at war with Russia, trigger fingers set off nuclear bombs and kaboom the world as we know it is gone The rest of the book focuses on a cast of characters as they make their way in this entirely new world void of all creature comforts like fresh water, sunshine, and warmth But out of the destruction, a little magic blooms too Two camps basically evolve There are the murdering, raping pillagers and the decent people who want to restore the earth and rebuild The two have an epic, classic collision of good vs evil Those are the bare bones of the story but it s so much than that It s heartbreaking and full of loss as well as hope and it so worth your time.A few notes that you should be aware of before digging in 1 The book doesn t start with a huge bang There s enough setup and character back story here for 3 or 4 modern day books Woo hoo for me because I can never get enough of that stuff when it s good but maybe not for everyone 2 The action takes a little bit to get going but once it starts there is a lot of it and it s described in vivid detail I m not a huge action fan and I admit I did doze off when the military maneuvers went on and on 3 The book skips around from group to group There are a lot of characters to wrap your head around and I was a little confused here and there but eventually you get to know most of them very intimately Many of them are flawed people and they re all changed by their time on the road I think I enjoyed that aspect most of all Be warned though, some of these people who you will grow to love will die and you will probably cry Maybe for a few days.4 This sucker is a 34 hour listen I thought the narrator did a fantastic job with most of the characters For the most part, he gave them distinctive voices with the exception of the villains at the very end to me they all sounded the same screeching out their scratchy voiced commands You may want to find a sample online and give it a listen before committing 34 hours is a long freaking time if the narrator isn t working for you.5 There s a hell of a lot of violence and it s not the prettified, glossy kind Be prepared.6 There is a strong, 50ish female character as a lead Where can you find that nowadays If you find one , tell me so I can buy it.7 There is even a little smidge of a sweet romance amidst all of the chaos See, there s something for everyone Now go read it