River of Gods

Ian McDonald
River of Gods Cover

River of Gods


River of Gods

There are some novels which are like a rich udon broth. It's rich, complex, been simmering for awhile, lots of umami and salt. And you can guzzle it down in great gulps. It's gone before you know it.

There are other novels which are like a great stew, rich with flavor, seasoning, chunks of things which have been simmering for awhile on a low heat. Every bite must be throughly chewed to get the nuance of flavor and technique. It takes awhile to work your way through it all. That's this novel.

It's a rich complex stew of a novel that really takes some time to work your way through it.

One thing which I found absolutely delightful is the culture which is the gorges multilayered background of the novel. It was as alien but as human, as the best SF has to offer. Sure, it was an Earth-culture, but so what? At least it was there, vibrant and interesting, which is an achievement not usually accomplished in most SF.

This is a novel which has a few very big ideas and that's mixed with some very ancient ones. It's quite the dance between the two.

There is a reason some novels are gone from your attention moments after you've finished them, just as there are reasons why one lingers in the mind and memory for days, weeks, a lifetime. This one will linger.