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Eternity Road

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,681 Ratings  ·  172 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 Hav
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ebook, 416 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published May 1997)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
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Jocelyn
Apr 01, 2010 Jocelyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sandi
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
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Mary JL
Sep 26, 2014 Mary JL rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Werner
Sep 21, 2012 Werner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jordan Anderson
Sep 09, 2011 Jordan Anderson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Johnny
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
D.D. Syrdal
Apr 18, 2012 D.D. Syrdal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Yvette
Dec 19, 2010 Yvette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Bobby
Jan 19, 2009 Bobby rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Judy
Jul 14, 2012 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Thomas Loney
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
Aaron
Feb 10, 2014 Aaron rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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James
Jan 24, 2014 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Space
Apr 10, 2013 Space rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Squee
Aug 27, 2013 Squee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Locked Out
Feb 13, 2010 Locked Out rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The pacing of this story is just like what the title reads. It takes a eternity to read because you constantly do NOT want to continue reading this book. From the start it takes to long to finally get going, and even when it does, its painfully slow as it moves along. The characters felt dull and I found myslef not really caring about what happened to them. Even the scens of action feel dull and lack luster. If you like really slow paced book's then this one is for you, if you dont liek slow boo ...more
Mark Stahl
Feb 28, 2015 Mark Stahl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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)
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Cheryl
Dec 29, 2014 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Indrek
Mar 25, 2016 Indrek rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Linda
Imagine a future world as far removed from us today as we are from the Roman Empire. The relics of our civilization litter the landscape providing evidence of a vast, advanced civilization. However, that civilization fell and most of the people died because of a plague that wiped out most, but not all, of humanity.

The story centers on a group of people from a city in the Mississippi League who are in search of relics from that past society.

Overall the story is interesting and is a fairly quick r
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Martin Blandy
May 26, 2014 Martin Blandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Geoff
Dec 28, 2014 Geoff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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C.M. Muller
Jun 21, 2013 C.M. Muller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Ray Pezzi
Apr 09, 2016 Ray Pezzi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Jeff Rowe
Mar 11, 2013 Jeff Rowe rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: post-apocalyptic
Well, that sucked. The 9th in my post-apocalyptic fiction series. After some unspecified plague, they still have guns but nothing else. And all the computers in the dead cities they visit are still working? I kept reading because I figured one of the main characters would die and I wanted to see if I called it. Didn't happen. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
Marc
Feb 06, 2016 Marc rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was absolutely unimpressed with this book. I'm still not sure how I finished this thing; now I love post-apocolyptic America just as much as the next sci-fi fan, but the characters were shallow, the journey was strange, and the climax was a reading list. I'm certainly turned off to any more of Jack McDevitt's books.
Barry Pomeroy
Dec 02, 2015 Barry Pomeroy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jack McDevitt’s Eternity Road kills a few people on a relatively harrowing journey, but that is not the main concern of the plot. Instead, it is used to ensure that the characters rethink the purpose of their quest so that we as readers are reminded that civilization and scientific thought are inherently worthwhile projects. Also, the deaths provide a reason for the characters to express sentiments that have slowly developed over the journey—and thus become a driver for character development. Mc ...more
Jay
Oct 13, 2015 Jay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Rich Brown
I took 3 books from the library in late March. I was on a post-apocalypse kick. Eternity Road, from the 1990s, was recommended by some online list, and Alas, Babylon is a early classic of the genre I've been meaning to read since A2 told me about it 15 years ago.

Alas, Babylon blew me away, maybe because it fictionally blew away most of the cities I've lived in. I knew it was based in Florida, but for a 1959 novel it felt surprisingly modern. I didn't know that Eternity Road begins in post-apocal
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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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