4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Stream of Demiurges (or Danger of Oxbow Lakes),
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This review is from: River of Gods (Paperback)
This is quite a tough book to review. There's much to admire here and it deserves to be a wholly successful piece. But it isn't. McDonald has an impressive imagination and he weaves a complex and convoluted narrative. However, the complexity is purely character-based. There are many main characters and many plot threads, some of which, although quite interesting in their own right, are too obviously engineered to flesh out the story. The effect of this approach is that the minimal plot is made even thinner despite the scale of the work. This is more of a character study than anything else. Now there's nothing wrong with that: most fine literature is character-driven. And, in a genre that's constantly criticised for a lack of such depth, this is good to see. But RIVER OF GODS is something of a pretender. It teases the reader with the promise of a typically big SF story, and in the early stages of the book it appears it might deliver. But then comes the resolution, and it's a bit of a damp squib. My other reservation is that MacDonald's prose is often rather too florid. He tries too hard to impress and his language tends towards the profligate. On the whole though this is an impressive book and worth reading despite its flaws.