Swan Song has been on my to-read list ever since I heard it being compared to Stephen King's The Stand. I read The Stand in high school and loved it, so I wanted to see how Swan Song measured up. It does have some similarities to The Stand: both novels take place after an apocalyptic event (although Swan Song is a nuclear war instead of a disease) and follow several different groups of people (the "good guys" and the "bad guys") until the final good vs. evil battle at the end. But other than that (and the length), it's a totally different story.
The characters were great and well-written. There's a little girl named Swan is has been cared for by a former wrestler named Josh since the death of her mother. Then a crazy New York bag lady who escapes from the city after the bombs. Then there's Colonel Macklin and his sidekick Roland a.k.a. the bad guys. The story rotates between these different groups of characters until they all come together at the end of the novel.
Overall, I really enjoyed the novel but probably wouldn't read it over and over again like I could The Stand. Definitely worth a one-time read for any fans of long, post-apocalyptic novels in the same vein as The Stand or The Passage.