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May 11, 2023

The Ferryman by Justin Cronin ~ a Review

by MK French


The archipelago of Prospera is hidden from the horrors of a deteriorating outside world. Citizens enjoy long, fulfilling lives until monitors embedded in their forearms fall below 10 percent. Then they are ferried to the Nursery, where their failing bodies are renewed, their memories are wiped clean, and they are readied to restart life afresh. Proctor Bennett is one such ferryman, but some things don't add up. He's dreaming, which is supposed to be impossible, his monitor percentage is dropping fast, and he must ferry his own father, who gives him a disturbing and cryptic message before being wrestled onto the ferry. The Support Staff are questioning their place in the social order, and unrest is building. Proctor is questioning everything he once believed, and is desperate to uncover the truth.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of post-apocalyptic novel The Ferryman by Justin Cronin
May 2023; Ballantine Books; 978-0525619475
audio, ebook, print (560 pages); dystopian

Any utopia is someone else's dystopia, and this one is no different. People live charmed lives on Prospera as long as they don't question it or look for more. Once Proctor begins to, he sees how hollow his relationships are, how he has no actual friends, and that his superiors are all too ready to lie and cover up what's really happening. This brings him across different areas of his known world, and more of his life simply doesn't add up. He has few allies in this search, especially with location changes as we continue with the book. The plot twist at the two-thirds mark was fantastic, setting off a number of wrinkles for Proctor to deal with, and I couldn't put the book down. 

The story deals with grief, individuality and after a fashion, the nature of the soul. The people of Prospera have an idyllic life, but often it's passion, pain, and love that drives creativity in the arts or looking for solutions to complex problems. Maintaining the idyll for some means subjecting others to practical servitude, and creating a highly surveilled state to try quashing dissent as soon as possible. Of course, humans would rebel and want the truth, no matter what. I promise that the truth in this one is an interesting twist that makes this more fun to read. 

Buy The Ferryman at Amazon


Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever. 



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