I've come to the conclusion that Jack McDevitt's strength really lies with his space mysteries - the Chase Kolpath/Alex Benedict books, and the Priscilla "Hutch" Hutchison/The Academy series. I've now read two of his stand-alone novels, and while they're head and shoulders above most of the dreck
out there, they're really not his best work. Eternity Road
is post-post apocalyptic - well after whatever disaster destroyed the technological civilization that was, a new society has been established and its members are no longer scrabbling to survive, but have not yet returned to anything like the level of development of the previous age. The artifacts of the old world are avidly sought, and are used or repurposed if possible, while the current users speculate on their past application. Books are almost unknown objects, their materials having disintegrated over time. A traveler's returns to his home in possession of such a rare item prompts another group to set off in search of Haven, a legendary repository of pre-disaster knowledge.
McDevitt does a better job of character development elsewhere, but in truth it's never his primary focus. Eternity Road
is more about the journey, the landscapes through which the mission passes, and the mystery of whether Haven really exists, or whether they will all have risked their lives for nothing.
Not really much suspense here, and I didn't feel much of a connection with the characters. I would recommend this as a good book for the doctor's waiting room, airport, or other dull setting where nonetheless you don't want to be so engrossed that you miss it when they call your name or your flight.