The Ferryman

Posted May 17, 2023 by Carole in Reviews / 7 Comments

I received this book for free from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The FerrymanThe Ferryman by Justin Cronin
Narrator: Scott Brick, Suzanne Elise Freeman
Published by Ballantine Books, Penguin Random House Audio on May 2, 2023
Genres: Fiction / Science Fiction / Apocalyptic & Post-Apocalyptic
Length: 19 hours 55 minutes
Pages: 558
Format: ARC, Audiobook
Source: Publisher
Amazon | Audible | B&N | Kobo |

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Passage comes a riveting standalone novel about a group of survivors on a hidden island utopia--where the truth isn't what it seems.

Founded by a mysterious genius, the archipelago of Prospera lies hidden from the horrors of a deteriorating outside world. In this island paradise, Prospera's lucky citizens enjoy long, fulfilling lives until the monitors embedded in their forearms, meant to measure their physical health and psychological well-being, fall below 10 percent. Then they retire themselves, embarking on a ferry ride to the island known as the Nursery, where their failing bodies are renewed, their memories are wiped clean, and they are readied to restart life afresh.

Proctor Bennett, of the Department of Social Contracts, has a satisfying career as a ferryman, gently shepherding people through the retirement process--and, when necessary, enforcing it. But all is not well with Proctor. For one thing, he's been dreaming--which is supposed to be impossible in Prospera. For another, his monitor percentage has begun to drop alarmingly fast. And then comes the day he is summoned to retire his own father, who gives him a disturbing and cryptic message before being wrestled onto the ferry.

Meanwhile, something is stirring. The support staff, ordinary men and women who provide the labor to keep Prospera running, have begun to question their place in the social order. Unrest is building, and there are rumors spreading of a resistance group--known as Arrivalists--who may be fomenting revolution.

Soon Proctor finds himself questioning everything he once believed, entangled with a much bigger cause than he realized--and on a desperate mission to uncover the truth.

I liked this book even though I didn’t love it. This is one of those books that leaves you questioning what is real and I would recommend trying to go into this story as blindly as possible. Just when I thought I had things figured out, I would realize that I didn’t understand a thing. Unfortunatly, this often left me feeling confused but that may not be such a bad thing because the story definitely was able to keep me guessing.

Proctor Bennett is a ferryman which means that he helps people on their final journey or retirement. When he is assigned to do this for his own father things take a turn when his father tells him something that leaves him questioning everything. I did not see coming and I was kind of amazed by the direction that the story went and I liked the fact that this book was able to completely surprise me.

I listened to the audiobook and thought that both of the narrators did a great job with their vocal performances. I thought that both of their voices fit the story well and I liked the fact that they were both able to add just the right amount of emotion to their reading. I thought that both of their voices were very pleasant and I had no problem listening for hours at a time.

I do think that a lot of readers will enjoy this one even more than I did. This was a well-done science fiction tale that kept me questioning everything until the very end. I do hope to read more of this author’s work sometime soon.

I received a review copy of this book from Ballantine Books and Penguin Random House Audio.

7 responses to “The Ferryman

  1. Hm, I’m not sure this would be one for me. Being kept guessing is one thing, but at the same time I also don’t want to constantly feel like I don’t know what’s going on for much of a book. I’ve heard great things about Cronin, though.

  2. That can be a mixed bag. I’ve seen a few rave reviews for this so I was glad to see yours. I’m not sure if I would like it or not. It does sound big and ambitious.

  3. This doesn’t sound like a book for me. I’m an escapist reader and books that leave me more confused than when I started just end up frustrating me. I’m glad you enjoyed it even if it was a total win for you.