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Eternity Road

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  4,222 ratings  ·  190 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
Mass Market Paperback, 403 pages
Published March 2004 by Eos (first published May 1997)
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3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,222 ratings  ·  190 reviews

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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 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
Mar 19, 2008 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
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
Mary JL
May 04, 2009 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
Stewart Tame
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eternity Road is a post-apocalypse novel. No one knows who the Roadmakers were, but the remnants of their civilization can be seen everywhere in the vast ribbons of concrete that crisscross the countryside, and in the crumbling towers along the banks of the Mississippi. Legend has it that they were decimated by a great pague. Whispers also speak of a place called Haven, a stronghold where the ancients preserved the secrets of their civilization.

Chaka’s brother died years ago on on an expedition
Sep 06, 2011 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
Sep 17, 2015 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.

Addendum 6/10/2018: I just realized that the cover illustration of the paperback was probably inspired by the cover of the Doobie Brothers’ album “The Captain and Me”. Check it out.
D.D. Syrdal
Apr 18, 2012 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 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
Jul 16, 2008 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 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 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
Fredrick Danysh
Jan 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Mankind was decimated in almost three centuries ago and most technology was lost and books are rare. A decade ago an expedition set out to find the mythical city of Haven. Only one returned. Now a new group sets out on the same mission but with different individual goals.
Thomas Loney
Jun 01, 2015 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
James Mourgos
Nov 27, 2013 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 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 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.
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nice read...

This is my first time reading this author's work. I am impressed. The clarity of his storyline, his characters are well written & the flow of the story is tight.
Evidently we are in a future earth. Most of the artifacts found are not known by this generation. There are stories of a place called Haven where the last of humanity was supposedly saved from destruction. The answers to many of their questions can be found here.
The first expedition failed with almost a complete loss of
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this years ago, but kinda forgot it. So I picked it up again.

A fine look at a post-apocalyptic world, a century or so removed from current time. Although I wouldn't think that everything was lost in that time span.

I liked the characters, with strong women as well as men. A bit of romance, but not overpowering. Characters were lost, which surprised me, and a few found as well.

I just wondered why (view spoiler)
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
While the general concept of this book (a journey through a post-apocalyptic world) has been used many times before, it's how it is told that counts. McDevitt describes each part of the journey with wonderful detail, and many of the best parts of the book are encounters with objects completely incomprehensible and foreign to the group.
Philip Hollenback
Feb 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, sci-fi
This was a decent take on the post-apocalypse novel. Some of it was really a remake of the Gunslinger series, really, but in a decent way. I enjoyed this as much as I've enjoyed other McDevitt novels - he's a solid and enjoyable writer.
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
If you love fantasy worlds . This is really good read.
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the best post-apocalyptic books I've read.
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good story arc, continues the saga.
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I liked this one so much that I had to read it a second time, several years later. It leaves a jarring impression.
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Published 1997. Yes, I like Jack McDevitt and this one is one of his best.
Count Boxer
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
The worst ending ever! I can't believe I read 300+ pages for that ending.
Paul Sedlock
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Probably closer to 3 1/2 stars. Not sure the searchers could have found their way. Disappointed when the character died on the boat. But still a very inventive novel with a nice twist.
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books
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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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