Hearts, Hands and Voices

Ian McDonald
Hearts, Hands and Voices Cover

The Broken Land - Ian McDonald


...I've been thinking about how good a read this novel really is and I can't seem to make up my mind about it. The story is gripping and Mathembe a great character. I also liked the prose and McDonald's vision of what genetic research but I do think that for some readers the prose in particular is too much of a good thing. Some passages needed several rereads to be able to figure out what the author was trying to communicate, making the The Broken Land a slow read. Readers of main stream fiction might enjoy the prose but it is probably too much of a science fiction novel to have a great appeal for that market. It probably isn't a novel for a large audience. It probably takes a very specific kind of reader to fully enjoy what McDonald was trying to do here. I think I may lake a bit of patience with his prose. The poetic quality of his writing is still present in his later novels but reigned in a bit more. It is a matter of preference but for me, that later style works better. Nevertheless, if you are looking for a science fiction novel that is challenging and offers both interesting concepts and a mastery of language, this novel would be a good choice. Just take your time reading it.

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