The Ferryman
Momma Leighellen's Book Review

“You know a lot of things, but you believe almost nothing. Life is more than just the grimy details. Otherwise, what would be the point.” – The Ferryman, by Justin Cronin.

WOW!! The Ferryman is definitely going to be one of my Books of The Year for 2023. This is an epic science fiction masterpiece, with nods to both the Matrix and Lost combined with a touch of Project Hail Mary. Basically, all the mind bendy good things I love!


The story begins on a secluded island of perfection called Prospera. There is no disease, everyone is beautiful, everyone is happy. Life begins at 16 years old (so women don’t have to decline from the burden of childhood). Marriages are arranged and set up with 15 year contracts. Everyone is a musician, a scholar, an artist. Everyone regenerates when the time comes to a place off island called the Nursery.

One day, the man who is responsible for taking those who age out of the system (The Ferryman, named Proctor) is tasked with taking his own father away. As he does, his father panics and says a final word “Oranios”. This one moment changes the course of Proctor’s life forever.

As Proctor looks into the word and it’s meaning, he finds an underground system. He sees more of the truth behind his idealic island and it’s secrets. The book then takes on bit of social commentary on the state of our world. Our obsession with youth and good looks and feeling good. It looks at our lack of depth and questioning. Even our reliance on technology. But it also looks at how even though computers can do so much but can’t replace human intuition, compassion, or subtlety. Or can they?

“Words just get in the way. You have to see through it to find what’s really there underneath.”

I was completely immersed in this world and it’s storytelling. Nothing is as it seems. Or where it seems. Or who it seems. Just when I thought I had it figured out, the book takes a unique turn and becomes an intergalactic story of cataclysmic events. I was spellbound. It’s the type of book that as soon as I finished, I wanted to read again because now I know what I know. Would I see things differently?

Next Steps

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