Gautam's Reviews > River of Gods

River of Gods by Ian McDonald
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's review
May 31, 2018

liked it

It's a lush story that imagines a truly fascinating world, but I feel like many of the characters are not developed to their full potential. I am left thinking that aside from two or three major characters whose psyches are explored nearly completely, other characters (and this was a huge ensemble cast) didn't make it out of their first order archetypal roles-- the ambitious young guy, the prodigal son, the world-weary academic, etc. I suppose it can't be easy to write a novel with 15 characters of equal importance and develop all of them fully. The few characters who are taken apart completely for the reader's benefit were a joy to meet.

Aside from character development, it must be said that the universe building from the technology to the politics to the sociology are absolutely worth the long read. This is Ian McDonald's strength and he does not disappoint. He establishes a believable future with broad strokes, then fills all of the resulting space with ever increasing detail like a fractal, trapping me in that world as I go about my day.

It was a hard choice between 3 and 4 stars.

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Reading Progress

February 3, 2015 – Shelved
February 3, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
February 20, 2017 – Started Reading
February 20, 2017 –
page 115
19.2% "Ian McDonald once again crafts an original and immersive sci fi universe that I wish I could spend more time in."
May 4, 2018 – Finished Reading

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