Book 1 of 2012: Swan Song

Finished my first book of the year tonight: Swan Song by Robert McCammon. I’m kind of torn about it. It was a real page-turner, and I loved the characters, but at the same time, there was often a little voice in the back of my head complaining about how predictable it was.

This is a post-apocalyptic tale about what happens after an enormous nuclear war, and it initially seemed like there was a lot of research and realism in it, but it pretty quickly turned into the kind of story where everyone is Christian and a side effect of nuclear radiation makes your face show who you really are inside (ie, good = pretty, evil = ugly and scary).

Plus, the central conflict is between a young girl with the power to bring plants back from the dead and a shapeshifting baddies who may or may not be Satan, along with his recruited army of evil men who love looting and pillaging and war.

I have reached a point where that kind of thing both irritates and bores me. And yet, I couldn’t put the damn book down. The heroine is a well-rounded Chosen One, and I liked her. The rag-tag group of good guys who help and protect her are all believable people, and I liked them, too. So what’s my problem? I guess it bugged me to see people I liked railroaded into a plot that was such a mishmash of good sci-fi and cheesy-as-shit fantasy. 80% of my brain loved it. 20% of my brain was kind of disgusted by the twee simplicity of it.

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