This was massively disappointing. And it could have been brilliant. It had that potential. The premise was great, particularly what caused the fall of civilization. But that was all wasted with all the irrelevant nonsense that had nothing to do with the premise. An ungodly amount of time was spent on only marginally relevant characters years and years and years before the apocalypse. And the story would keep going back to years before and the utterly mundane details of the lives of barely relevant people. Like history and journey of everything they had in the decades after the fall had to be explained in excruciating detail including everything happening the lives and work of the person then. I can't even adequately explain how ridiculous it was. Especially in addition to the jumping all over the place in time.
The real killer is when the story was focused on civilization falling, the direct aftermath, and the story a few decades after it was great. I was really into what was happening and the world Mandel set up. But then it'd come to a grinding halt and we'd be in the past being bored to tears. I actually started screaming, "WHO THE FUCK CARES?!" at it in my car. So much time was wasted that could have been spent weaving a rich and fulfilling story in the aftermath. The resolution of the Prophet could have been better if given the proper time. Even in the last thirty minutes of the audiobook, most of that time was spent on the last two days in the life of the actor who died at the beginning of the book and who was, for some reason, the lynchpin connecting most of the characters. Almost no time was left to wrap up the relevant stories. And so much freaking time was spent excruciatingly establishing intersecting paths between these characters and then we didn't get to see them unravel those connections.