An ancient evil roams the blasted, nightmare country, an evil as old as time. He is the Man with the Scarlet Eye, the Man of Many Faces, gathering under his power the forces of human greed and madness. He is seeking to destroy a child, the one called Swan.
From Robert R. McCammon, one of the living masters of horror, comes a stunning tale of sheer fright and power where the end of the world is just the beginning of mankind’s ultimate struggle. – Goodreads Synopsis
Swan Song Review
If you ask readers to name the most definitive post-apocalyptic books out there, two are definitely going to be on the list. One is The Stand by Stephen King. The other, of course, is Swan Song by Robert McCammon. The Stand and Swan Song both have their fans. For the record, I fall firmly on Team Swan Song.
Unlike in Seveneves and many other popular scifi novels, when the end of the world hits in McCammon’s world, there is no leaving the earth behind. So when buttons get pushed that shouldn’t get pushed, and the nuclear holocaust hits, the people of earth must struggle to survive. As with all great journey fics, some special people emerge, and end up banding together in a team whose goal is to bring hope. The main character, Swan, can do something no one else can do, but she’s just a young girl and needs a family to support and guide her path to its Epic Conclusion. What a family it is.
Excellent book. I always like the idea of The Stand, by Stephen King, but never could get in to the book…or the movie, for that matter. Swan Song, however, blew The Stand right out of the water, almost from the get-go. Nuclear war over some mysterious virus. Language that MOVED rather than plodded along. Characters that, whilst they might have been the expected cliches in some ways, were very well executed!
There is Evil. There is Good. The earth is the ultimate battlefield. The interactions between the two Powers are unique and interesting, and McCammon is good as steadily weaving the story and building tension throughout all parts with no particular weak points.
This is a long, long book, but I would highly recommend it (and listening to it on Audible, as I did.)