NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “Next to impossible to put down . . . exciting, mysterious, and totally satisfying.”—STEPHEN KING
From the 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 the mysterious genius known as the Designer, 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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Life ain’t what it used to be in this thought-provoking vision of a postapocalyptic society from bestselling author Justin Cronin. Living in a small colony of climate-change survivors on a remote archipelago, Proctor Bennett enjoys his job ferrying the pampered, aging elite of his community to the place where they get to be miraculously reborn again as teenagers. That is, until something his father says one day suddenly makes him question everything about this supposedly utopian reality. With the mind-bending skill of a science fiction master like Philip K. Dick, Cronin’s richly detailed, action-packed thriller had us glued to every word, desperate to discover if Proctor would get his people to where they needed to be. With clever nods to classics like Logan’s Run and The Matrix, The Ferryman will have you questioning how far humanity might have to go in order to save itself.
Bestseller Cronin's first novel since his Passage trilogy is a fantastic extravaganza all its own, with a plot that hinges on unpredictable twists that run far ahead of reader expectations. Proctor Bennett, an elite resident of the socially regimented archipelago world of Prospera, works as a "ferryman," assisting aging fellow Prosperans to transition peacefully to their next "iteration," the reconstitution of their personalities in younger bodies. Proctor discharges his duties with great professionalism—until the ferrying of his own father goes dramatically awry, exposing cracks in Prospera's edenic veneer. Now a dangerous fugitive on the run from his own forced iteration, Proctor enters an unlikely alliance with rebellious subversives inhabiting the Annex, the island that is home to Prospera's disgruntled working class. Having established the foundations for what appears to be a classic dystopian tale, Cronin then pulls the rug out from under his story, audaciously expanding its scope far beyond the hermetic parameters that have shaped Proctor's account up to that point and pushing it into the realm of provocative conceptual science fiction. Cronin's firm command of the plot's sinuous dynamics, and his creation of believable characters shaped by well-wrought strengths and flaws, make this bold gesture work. The result is a sensational speculative tale that is sure to get people talking.
Great story, writing is a little off
I consider The Passage Trilogy to be in the top tier of sci-fi/horror/dystopian literature. So I came to The Ferryman with very high expectations. I wasn’t disappointed in the story at all. The book is absolutely worth reading for the story. Bu I found his writing to be a little choppy in places, almost as though the book didn’t quite make it through enough editing. Still, a great story.
Phenomenal from the genius mind of Justin Cronin
His best book!
By far an outstanding read.