Mike (the Paladin)'s Reviews > Eternity Road

Eternity Road by Jack McDevitt
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Sep 13, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: fantasy, science-fiction

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 Philip José Farmer) I like the idea but I don't care for the execution. This is a book of 409 pages, it takes us 150 pages to get past the background, set up, and so on and move into the wilderness. Also as in any book the attitude, prejudices and so on of the writer come into play. here they seem to come in a bit heavily (at least to me) and I got heartily tired of them.

Still the overall idea is a good one (as a matter of fact I hope I'll find another book along these lines, by someone else). I'll not ever be a fan here but many are. This one is simply a matter of taste so...

The idea here is that "some time" in the past society as you and I know it has "ended". There has been a long enough period of time for governments to have grown, fallen and been replaced in small areas. The place we start the story is apparently near what was Memphis. The Mississippi River is still the Mississippi, the Ohio is still the Ohio, but little is known about the time prior to the "fall" of our civilization. "We" or people from the past are called the Road Makers (Roadmakers) because of the well made long lasting roads that still exist and the signs along them that seem to defy time without rust. The old cities (at least nearby) are in ruins and not safe, still everyone seems to have some things from the past, though materials like plastic baffle them.

In the beginning of the book we find that a disastrous trip has been made to find a place called Haven. All but one person on that expedition died, but some things, including a book from the past made it back and raise questions later.

Another expedition is formed.

Sounds like a great idea and many like the book. I'd say try it for yourself.
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04/08/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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Werner I've read this one and liked it, though I've never gotten around to reviewing it. I'll be interested in your review!

Mike (the Paladin) Picked it up last night after I put Gunmetal Magic down. May get into it today. Thanks.

Veeral One of my favorite books! Not anything deep or something like that, but this story has stayed with me somehow. Hope you enjoy it too.

Werner You don't need to apologize, Mike! I'd rate this more highly than you did (I'd probably go with four stars), but I'm a great believer in the idea that comparing our different opinions about books is one of the chief joys of Goodreads (and since we're all individuals, not clones, we're bound to have unique perspectives).

McDevitt is an agnostic, so I don't share his attitude and prejudices on that point any more than you do; and I suspect that you found his literary conceit of the complete disappearance of Christian belief in his post-apocalyptic world, and its replacement by polytheism, as flawed and unrealistic as I did. But though he's writing from within the limits of his own perspective (as all writers do), I felt like he didn't actually attack the legitimacy of belief --he's just not at the point of being able to share it, which isn't the same thing as being a bigoted New Atheist. (I don't know if that distinction makes any sense, but for whatever it's worth, it enabled me to better appreciate some of what I saw as the strong points of the book.)

message 5: by Mike (the Paladin) (last edited Sep 20, 2012 10:11AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mike (the Paladin) There was that and several other things I just found hard to fit into the world he'd constructed. The "plague" wiped out people, some cities were burned and so on but these were descendants of "the Roadmakers". There would have been certain things passed down. For example there are gunsmiths (gun makers). Now he never gives us details but they are apparently cartridge guns not cap and ball or flint. For that there is a certain level of technology, yet even in what is apparently (view spoiler) it's not been exploited. There are just so many gaps that seem to point to almost nothing being passed down, except what is desired in the story.

As you say, it's his and that's great I wouldn't say anything against McDevitt writing the book (or any of his books) as he wants. it just kept bugging me when I'd find seeming misfit incidents and situations. (view spoiler)

As I said my taste.

message 6: by Veeral (last edited Sep 20, 2012 11:57AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Veeral Sorry Mike, I am not going to denounce you just because you don't like one of my favorite books. ;)

If that was the case, there would have been only two star rating system. Zero stars and Five stars. Everyone likes it, or everyone hates it. No other choices.

P.S. - Your argument against the book is well justified.

Mike (the Paladin) I know what you mean and that's why I often try to state things this way. There are friends who who simply don't like (at all) books that I rate as among my favorites. Often it's hard to see how others can't like a book you find great. It just happens.

Thanks for not de-friending or blocking me or anything...

Veeral Mike (the Paladin) wrote: "Thanks for not de-friending or blocking me or anything... "

People do that?!

Mike (the Paladin) Okay, you caught my typo.

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