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Eternity Road

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  3,836 Ratings  ·  175 Reviews

The Roadmakers left only ruins behind -- but what magnificent ruins! Their concrete highways still cross the continent. Their cups, combs and jewelry are found in every Illyrian home. They left behind a legend,too -- a hidden sanctuary called Haven, where even now the secrets of their civilization might still be found.

Chaka's brother was one of those who sought to find

Mass Market Paperback, 403 pages
Published March 2004 by Eos (first published May 1997)
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Mike (the Paladin)
Well we have a sort of "here we go again" in this one. When I read books that some of my friends here like and then don't really care for them I often feel as if I should apologize. That's the case here. I see a lot of people really like this one. As I've said before, great. To each their own in literary taste...otherwise there'd be a lot fewer writers.

For me the book falls into the I don't hate it but don't really care for it category. As I've said about other books (notably many of those by Ph
Mar 30, 2010 Jocelyn rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010
This felt like reading a Lonely Planet guide to the northeast United States many centuries in the future. McDevitt's tour centers on a post-apocalyptic world where so many centuries have past that the character’s in the novel view their world similarly to how we view mysterious ancient civilizations like the Incas—there’s enough information passed down that we can catch glimpses of what might have been, but we have very little or conflicting proof of what actually was, and yet massive monuments ...more
I've had very limited experience with Jack McDevitt's books. My daughter has tried lending them to me, but they just don't drag me in. I did kind of like Polaris, but I really hated the way the female POV character was written. After that experience, I was ready to write off McDevitt altogether. However, I'm going through a post-apocalyptic literature period and Eternity Road is a fairly famous example of the genre.

I really liked the book, but it felt like I had read it before. I know that the
Mar 19, 2008 Werner rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Science-fiction fans, and fans of post-apocalyptic tales
I'm taking a break from my current kick of retrospectively reviewing the classics to focus on this much more recent title, inspired by the recent review by my Goodreads friend Mike. He did his usual excellent job, but since my perspective is a bit different (he rated the book only "okay"), I thought it might be opportune to throw in my two cents worth. :-) It's only fair to note at the outset, though, that my more favorable rating is colored by the facts that I'm more of a sucker for post-apocal ...more
Sep 06, 2011 Johnny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Anyone who has ever studied archaeology has to wonder what the modern world would look like if a cataclysm (say, a plague) was to wipe out virtually the entire population of the world and the small group of survivors had to attempt to repopulate it. After centuries, what would these survivors make of freeways, skyscrapers, railroad tracks, automobile hulks, amusement parks, churches, data centers, rail stations, radar dishes, cellular towers, and the like? In Eternity Road, Jack McDevitt does ju ...more
Mary JL
May 04, 2009 Mary JL rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Any SF fan
Shelves: main-sf-fantasy
Our civilization has vanished. Only the concrete highways survive--and there are only legends about the "Roadmakers".

Civilization has survived; and recovered to a level of about what we had in 1800. Boats; guns; horses; even a few books. No steam engines or other power sources. There are even a few Universities.

A previous expedition east of the Mississippi learned nothing and there was only one survivor. Chaka Milana's brother was one of the fatalities. Now, nine years later, she is planning ano
D.D. Syrdal
Apr 18, 2012 D.D. Syrdal rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
An interesting post-apocalyptic story that paints a less-bleak view of the future than more recent books of this type (The Road, for instance). Pockets of humanity continue to exist after an unknown cataclysm in the distant past, but many are isolated from eachother, and civilization for the most part is at a pre-industrial, agricultural level. Superstition replaces science: belief in demons, ghosts, gods has supplanted most scientific knowledge which has been lost. No one even knows how long ag ...more
Jordan Anderson
Sep 09, 2011 Jordan Anderson rated it really liked it
I am not a sci-fi fan. I never have been and probably never will be. Weird names, exotic locales and technology that just doesn’t make sense have never appealed to me. However, there are a few bright spots in this genre and Jack McDevitt is one of those.

True, “Eternity Road” is not exactly a true science fiction novel. Yes, a story set 1,000 years in the future isn’t what you would call “contemporary” but that’s easy to overlook because this story is so much more than just some predicted fantasy
Sep 17, 2015 Jay rated it liked it
Shelves: apocalypse-now
Easy, beach or airplane reading. Interesting premise, but somewhat contrived plot that seemed wagged by the dog of a pre-ordained and not-too-convincing ending. There were many missed opportunities for this book to soar. Fun read though in places.
Dec 14, 2010 Yvette rated it really liked it
At first, this book seemed a bit.....younger grade to me. Or something. But having read one of his other books, "Seeker," and knowing that this is a definite change from the SFR I had been reading, (in other words, he doesn't exactly write "hot"), I knew that it wasn't a teenage book, it was just my brain adjusting!

Power down the hormones, girl!

Okay, so it does move a little slowly at the start, and there is a romance in it that takes a while to develop, but along the way you get some terrific w
Jul 16, 2008 Bobby rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Anyone playing Fallout 3
Shelves: 2009
I've been trying to figure out just what it was about this book that left me wanting and it boils down to there being a severe lack of characters in this book. The people in the book, as they exist are nothing more than placeholders. They're cardboard cutouts meant to stand in place and die on cue when it serves the plot. When the first death occurred, it took a page or two before I realized that they weren't coming back. The event was so sudden and random that I didn't think the character would ...more
Jul 14, 2012 Judy rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
This is an excellent story, one of McDevitt's best, which is saying a lot. The story takes place in a far-future America, long after some disaster that destroyed most of the technology and left the world in a must less sophisticated state. In fact, the people of Earth's past are called "The Roadmakers" because of the highway systems that still exist. These are magnificent ruins that crisscross the continent. Other artifacts of the former civilizations like jewelry and combs are considered precio ...more
Aug 27, 2013 Squee rated it liked it
This is really 3 1/2 stars. I can't bring myself to give it a four due to its flaws, but I did enjoy it for the most part.

"Eternity Road" follows the journey of a small group of people from the post-apocalyptic Mississippi area several centuries after the world we know ends. They are searching for Haven, a town that stories tell was set up after the catastrophic event that killed off the Roadbuilders (us), and that may have historical and scientific information that has otherwise been lost. A m
Thomas Loney
Jun 01, 2015 Thomas Loney rated it liked it
This is a difficult book to review, as it contains a great deal of aspects I like in fiction, such as a post apocalyptic setting and exploration of societies that would exist in such an age. The story involves a group of people living in the Mississippi valley several centuries after a plague wipes out the majority of humanity, and follows the group as they trek across the continent in search of Haven, a place they believe contains remnants of the lost civilization. A previous expedition Haven r ...more
Nov 27, 2013 James rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Eternity Road

First Impressions:

I love Jack McDevitt’s space opera series such as his Priscilla Hutchins books (about a woman space pilot and her adventures – a comment on the space program) and Infinity Beach (a warp to another planet but on Native American property).

This one is different! Not to belabor the plot since other reviewers did a better job, but the story centers around a dystopian society, about a thousand years after ours bit the dust in “The Plague.” It’s a vague plague (yeah, sor
Feb 01, 2013 Space rated it liked it
Shelves: e-books
I quickly got into the storyline of this book. It was a new, fresh take on the old world-is-dead idea. The far future is running around checking out the old technology. But in this book, they don't have new tech to replace it. They are mystified by the cars they see alongside all the roads. They call them hojjies. They don't have any use for our buildings either. It's a pretty neat concept, and real easy to get lost in the world he creates for you.

The story is mainly hinged on the group of chara
C.M. Muller
Jun 01, 2013 C.M. Muller rated it really liked it
A wonderful piece of storytelling, filled with memorable characters and fascinating locales. I picked this up on a whim, half-expecting to abandon it after reading a chapter or two (which happens all-too-frequently when I succumb to “popular fiction”), but quite frankly I found myself loving nearly every page of this post-apocalyptic tale. I shall definitely be reading more of Mr. McDevitt’s work in the years to come.
Mar 22, 2016 Indrek rated it liked it
Pärast "Coming Home" lugemist oli piisav hoog sees, et proovida kätt mõne McDevitti loomingu stand-alone teosega. Tutvustuste sirvimise järel oli valikuks "Eternity Road", mille tegevustik toimub post-apo Põhja-Ameerikas.

Päris head hinnet ei luba sellele teosele panna tüüpilised mäkdevitlikud omadused: aeglane tempo, pisidetailide äärmuslik rohkus ja võibolla ka muidu väga korrektselt teaduspõhise autori puhul üllatavad kohatised ebaveenvused. Aga kokkuvõtteks on tegemist päris hea raamatuga. Ke
Ray Pezzi
Mar 24, 2016 Ray Pezzi rated it did not like it
Well, I have just decided to abandon this book, something I rarely do. Looking at all the positive reviews here it appears that I may well be in the minority, but this one was just too poorly written for me to devote any more time to - particularly when I have so many more books from my favorite authors waiting for me.

The author's writing style itself, although clear and comprehensible, is clunky, stilted and mechanical. Nothing flows smoothly. It's safe to say that McDevitt's abilities with the
Jul 27, 2008 David rated it it was ok
Shelves: completed
I tend to enjoy post-apocalyptic type novels. How mankind manages to survive and view the past after such trauma intrigues me-- This is why films and books about this subject intrigue me--

Stephen King's "The Stand" is a classic masterpiece in this regard. Despite the critics opinion, I enjoyed the film version of "The Postman" though I recognize that the writers/producers took great liberty with David Brin's book.
Logan's Run is another such film, though without the technological loss.

So, when I
Dec 22, 2014 Geoff rated it really liked it
Set in a post-apocalyptic world many hundreds of years in the future, Eternity Road by Jack McDevitt is a fairly conventional story about a small group of adventurers setting out on an epic journey to find long lost knowledge hidden in a mythical land known only as 'Haven'.

All in all this is a pretty typical adventure story and not in any way groundbreaking, however I still thoroughly enjoyed it. Most of the main characters are written well enough for the reader to get to know and more important
Martin Blandy
May 24, 2014 Martin Blandy rated it really liked it
This was the first Jack McDevitt book I've read. I wasn't disappointed.

I liked the concept. It was nice for the (near future) us to be the ones with the god like technology for once (perhaps not so nice us being dead through plague!). But it did make you think about what people would make of our technology now (let alone in the future when the plague hits), if there was that break in knowledge transfer.

The story is based around a quest to a place called Haven (Were the last of us went after the
Mark Stahl
Feb 28, 2015 Mark Stahl rated it really liked it
"Hey Jack, ever heard of a guy named Stephen King?... Yeah?... Even read his novel 'The Waste Lands'?... No? You sure?"

Initially, I was a little put off that McDevitt seemed to have cherry-picked several major plot elements from King's third Dark Tower book, 'The Wastelands'; (view spoiler)
Feb 02, 2014 Aaron rated it liked it
So basically this is the only POST post apocalyptic story I've read. The whole thing centers around the rebuilt US after a plague destroyed the world in the 2070s. It's post apocalyptic in much the same way that contemporary Europe is after the Black Death.

Overall, it was ok. I mean, it was a good three stars. Most of Eternity Road's strength lies in world building. Illyria evokes a sort of cross between ancienct Rome/Greece and 18th century Europe. There some interesting conflicts of interest
Lisa H.
Jul 21, 2009 Lisa H. rated it liked it
Shelves: sf, fantasy
I've come to the conclusion that Jack McDevitt's strength really lies with his space mysteries - the Chase Kolpath/Alex Benedict books, and the Priscilla "Hutch" Hutchison/The Academy series. I've now read two of his stand-alone novels, and while they're head and shoulders above most of the dreck out there, they're really not his best work.

Eternity Road is post-post apocalyptic - well after whatever disaster destroyed the technological civilization that was, a new society has been established a
Jul 23, 2008 Tf3737 rated it really liked it
I had no expectations going into this book and it turned out to be better than I thought it would. I always like it when a book surprises me.

The story takes place about 1000 years in future (no one is really sure how much time has passed) after a plague wiped out most of mankind. The surviving humans have been gathering in pockets across the country and trying to restore some sort of civilized government and way of life. Most are equivalent to the pioneer days of our past except for the fact th
Dec 20, 2012 Tracey rated it really liked it
Full disclosure: I only read this book because my boyfriend asked me to because it's one of his favorites. That being said, i really enjoyed it. No one can be more surprised than me. Science fiction is not a genre I generally like. I usually can't follow the jargon, the names, or any of the science-type stuff. This book is more about the people and the stuff of their past (our current time or our current time about 20 years ago) so I think that appealed to me more.

So the basics are these...the U
Mar 20, 2008 Cutterid rated it it was amazing
Jack McDevitt is one of my favorite current authors. He is a wonderful sci-fi writer who crafts riveting stories with plenty of action and intrigue--each book starts with a mystery which will eventually be solved by the protagonists, but only after pitfalls, dead-ends, reversals, and plenty of hair-raising adventures. The space narrative is only part of the fun.

In this book, Jack takes a break from his usual deep-space setting and returns to good old Earth. The descendants of post-holocaust surv
Trenton Hoffman
Oct 12, 2012 Trenton Hoffman rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-books
Some hundreds of years into the future (about a thousand by my estimation) a group sets out from Memphis to find a place called "Haven" somewhere in the northeast. Allegedly, and according to the mythology of the time, this is a place of great knowledge, presumed to house vast collections of ancient texts. In the years since a devastating plague much of civilization has been reclaimed by the wilderness but some things remain to be discovered by these travelers.
I enjoyed this story but of course
Dec 29, 2014 Cheryl rated it really liked it
Eternity Road by Jack Mcdevitt is a great story. Set 300 years after a plague has decimated the population, there is a small area of the Mississipi that is settled and peaceful, surrounded by wilderness. The settlers marvel at the ruins (and roads) left behind by the "Roadmakers", and study as much as they can to regain lost knowledge. A few traders go into the wilderness to find Roadmaker artifacts, but generally people don't leave the confines of the civilized world much because those who do g ...more
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Jack McDevitt is a former English teacher, naval officer, Philadelphia taxi driver, customs officer and motivational trainer. His work has been on the final ballot for the Nebula Awards for 12 of the past 13 years. His first novel, The Hercules Text, was published in the celebrated Ace Specials series and won the Philip K. Dick Special Award. In 1991, McDevitt won the first $10,000 UPC Internation ...more
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