I have just finished reading this book for the 4th time. It is my all time favourite book. I am a big fan of all of Robert McCammon's books and I am surprised that he is not more popular in Australia. He is just the best storyteller and anybody buying Swan Song will not regret it. I look forward to reading it again in a few years time. I have all his books in paperback (which I will never part with) and now kindle.
I write this review in the knowledge that probably no one will read it - there are already over 700 reviews and almost all of them are five star. This review is part of that legion and that's fine by me.
So given I am writing this review for me - I will take some licence. Firstly I have read loads of PA ficton ( favorite so far is The Old Man and the Wasteland), but I hesitated with my purchase of Swan Song. I kept coming across references and praise of Swan Song. At $10 is was a lot more than many Kindle reads I buy. Then I thought, the last few books I read were only a couple of bucks - but they were c#%^ and pretty short too. So I thought, Swan Song is over 800 pages - so even if it is just okay it is still better value. So I bought it and have not experienced buyers remorse.
Swan Song draws you in. It is a different type of PA novel as it as a mystical undertone. Not in the kind of 'roll your eyes, give me a break' way - but a spiritual side to the story that adds to its depth and humanity. There are several concurrent plots which weave together as the story unfolds. Each sub plot is interesting. What surprised me was that I became so engrossed with one story line, I literally forgot about some other characters and was surprised when they reappeared. It was ' oh of course, I had completly forgotten about you guys'. That is a really good thing showing just how easy it is to become lost in the story.
If I was being ultra critical I would say that there was a certain 'convenience' of events towards the end. Also - and yes this is just a personal bugbear, the author has obviously had limited exposure to horses. Horses do not lap water like a dog - they suck it. They also really don't behave in the way Mule did. Yes, yes I know it is a minor point - but it was one of the few times in the story where an inaccuracy brought me out of the story and back to reality.
I see many reviewers have compared this to other books ( and no I am not going to reference the books). This really gets my goat. Swan Song is an original work that stands high in its own right. It is , in my opinion, almost insulting to say 'its just like xyz', 'it's as good as xyz'. Swan Song is a great read - enough said.