On the edge of a barren Kansas landscape, an ex-wrestler called Black Frankenstein hears the cry…”Protect the Child!”—In the wasteland of New York City, a bag lady clutches a strange glass ring and feels magic coursing through her—Within an Idaho mountain, a survivalist compound lies in ruins, and a young boy learns how to kill.
In a wasteland born of nuclear rage, in a world of mutant animals and marauding armies, the last people on earth are now the first. Three bands of survivors journey toward destiny—drawn into the final struggle between annihilation and life!
They have survived the unsurvivable. Now the ultimate terror begins.
My first Robert McCammon book was THE WOLF’S HOUR. When I reached the end, I was thinking what a great Spielberg finale it had and how much I’d love to see it onscreen. (I actually thought the same of Dan Brown’s ANGELS & DEMONS, which I read years before THE DAVINCI CODE was ever written.) If you love werewolves – real horrific werewolves, not romance werewolves *g* – hunt this one down now.
I don’t know why I never got around to SWAN SONG. I bought it, my son read it, and I know I started it. I think the first chapter dragged for me then, as it did for me now, but this time I was determined to stick with it. (I read it right after finishing up THE ICING ON THE CAKE, as I needed a break from sweet cupcakes!) Once past that, I barely put it down to sleep. In trade, it’s 864 pages long, but I read it on my iPod Touch with the Kindle app. Can’t even imagine how many page turns I made, but it was worth every one. I love books with multiple ongoing stories that converge at the end, and this one did not let me down.
SWAN SONG does feel a bit dated, the plot taking place in the devastating aftermath of a US / Soviet nuclear war. But settling into that mindset didn’t take long at all. I will say McCammon’s point of view flips make me nuts, but that’s the case with anyone’s point of view flips. He can also wax poetic with too long descriptions (::raising hand, guilty of same::), but the story of Swan (the Child), Josh (the Black Frankenstein), Sister (the bag lady) and the others is so compelling, I read every word.
The fact that the “good guys” have to face physical bad guys as well as unexplainable evil forces keeps the reader rooting for them to the very end. There are many many poignant scenes (loved Swan and the apple tree and the corn) but those are balanced by much grit and gore and spookiness. Bottom line, McCammon is an incredible storyteller. There’s a reason this book is still in print twenty-five years later. I loved it!