This is a blog with spoiler free reviews. Most will be Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Horror, but there will be some books in other genres, including the occasional Non-Fiction review. There is an ongoing series of Cover Reveal Round-Ups, and sometimes I'll write an article on something that interests me.

10 November, 2010

REVIEW: RIVER OF GODS

Cover illustration: Stephan Martiniere
Cover design: Jacqueline Cooke

RIVER OF GODS
BY
IAN McDONALD

 ISBN: 978-1-59102-595-5
Pages: 599
Publisher: Pyr
Publishing date: 7 June 2004

 On the cover:

August 15, 2047 - Happy Hundredth Birthday, India

As Mother India approaches her centenary, nine people are going about their business — a gangster, a cop, his wife, a politician, a stand-up comic, a set designer, a journalist, a scientist, and a dropout. And so is Aj — the waif, the mind-reader, the prophet — when she one day finds a man who wants to stay hidden.

In the next few weeks, they will all be swept together to decide the fate of the nation.
   What I always look for in science fiction is a believable future. And the one McDonald presents here is certainly that. The India he shows in this book is all to plausible, and I would not be very surprised if the India of 2047 looks a lot like the one in this book.
   Not only is the setting near perfect, but McDonald has also managed to creative a technology level that could very well be the one we end up with in 37 years.

   The story is very intriguing. From the very start the reader is drawn in to the lives of the main characters. There is a lot of mystery to begin with as to how the different characters are connected, but as the book progresses the revelations come.

    We get lots of conflict that drives the story forward, there is little that slows down the pace. McDonald manages to keep the "techno babble" well integrated in the story. And what tech there is adds to the plot instead of distracting from it. The integration of society, technology and individual characters you care about is perhaps McDonald's greatest strength.

   There are a couple of mysteries that are central to the story, these are intriguing and will keep the reader guessing. It had me confused at a level where I just had to keep reading several times. The revelations of what is really going on is handled beautifully by McDonald.

    This book should be great for any fan of science fiction. It caters to those whose interest lies in technology, as well as those who are more interested in characters and society.

Links: Ian McDonald  Pyr

2 comments:

  1. I read and reviewed this book a few weeks ago. I really liked it quite a bit. I want to read more of his stuff soon.

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  2. I'm scarily behind on my Reader. Will catch up this weekend, hopefully! But in the meantime you've an award here: http://a-fantastical-librarian.blogspot.com/2010/11/life-is-good-blog-award.html

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