Thursday, July 26, 2012

Swan Song by Robert McCammon Review

The post-apocalypse. What a splendidly morbid setting. So many things can be done in the future wasteland, yet most post-apocalyptic fiction generally feels the same. Not Swan Song.

A nuclear war. Good VS Evil. A young girl named Swan, whose only protection is a worn out wrestler named Josh; who may be the world's only hope. Sister and the glowing ring. The man with the scarlet eye.
Colonel Macklin and the Shadow Soldier, Roland Croninger: the "king's knight". So many great characters. All of which will affect Swan's journey of becoming the last best hope for the human race.

Let me attempt to recite the plot without giving any spoilers: After a nuclear attack; the United States, and presumably the rest of the world, has become a wasteland. Humanity's only hope is a young girl named Swan who may be able to breath life into the dead Earth. Along people will try to protect her from those who wish to harm her.

That is about all I can say without giving too much away, but there is so much more to story than what  I just wrote. This is a book about hope in a world where there is none. About how humanity might be worth saving after it nearly destroyed itself.

There is a small detail that a lot of post-apocalyptic fiction forget about. Hope. Pelting the reader with death and despair. Only to show us a sliver of hope, and hinting that possibly; the world might be saveable. Or even better; worth Saving. This is something that Swan Song exceeds in. You feel how important Swan is, and realize why people would give their lives to protect her. The giant battered wrestler, Josh; and the tough stubborn Sister.

One thing that surprised me about the book is that there are certain parts which genuinely scared me. I'll just write the name of the character(Or at least the name that the characters gave him; his actually name is never revealed; though I'm fairly certain it rhymes with the level.) The man with the Scarlet eye, the man who likes movies, and the most disturbing in context; Friend. He is the head antagonist, and does whatever he can do strip all the hope out of the hopeless wasteland of that nuclear war left the human race.

The two other antagonists are also great. Their story is just as interesting as the other characters without interacting with the protagonists until two thirds into the book. This may sound strange, but it gives the characters time to grow and change. The story keeps you hooked. It constantly keeps the tension up while you are wondering when they are going to meet. I can tell you; when they do, you will not be let down. 

This story is so much different than I thought: in so many great ways. Robert Mccammon is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. He knows how to shape a truly original story that is difficult to predict. I loved this book, It is one of my favorite books of all time,  and recommend it to anyone who loves post-apocalyptic fiction. Or books that are just plain great.

I have heard this book compared to Stephen King's The Stand. I have never read the stand, but from what I've heard; they sound similar plot wise. One thing I would love to see is Swan Song made into a miniseries. The book is around 900 pages, so I don't think a movie could fit in all the important details. Sadly, Robert Mccammon has been ignored when it comes to Hollywood. I don't know why, but there a lot of things about Hollywood that I will never understand. Anyway, Swan Song is terrific. Go buy it.

1 comment:

  1. I discovered "Swan Song" around the time I was reading all of Stephen King's work for the first time. So naturally, I'd already read "The Stand."

    There are similarities between the two novels, as I recall, but not to any sort of extent that would make you think McCammon put them there with King's novel in mind. And heck, even if he did, the result was a great novel, one that honestly isn't considerably less good than "The Stand."