Monday, December 31, 2007

Book Review: The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov

Every Monday, I'll be doing spoiler-free book reviews.

I managed to acquire a copy of The Gods Themselves after several friends recommended the book for its inclusion of aliens with more than two genders. For me, I find that Asimov writes best in the short story format rather than his longer novels and The Gods Themselves manages to incorporate more of the former than the latter as the book is neatly divided into three sections which narrate the experiences of three perspectives in different parts of the universe. Asimov does a lot of experimenting here in terms of the book's division but I feel it is appropriate, especially considering the topic being discussed. As for the prose, this novel is probably the most scientific yet of all the Asimov books I've read, but is nonetheless quite accessible if you take the time and effort. For me, one of the strengths of Asimov after all is his ability to talk about concepts and explain them clearly to the lay man. But what stands out in the novel is Asimov's characters and how they explore the psychology of humanity and the very relevant concern of finding an alternate power source. The experience was a stimulating read and I'm sure this is an essential book in any SF fan's collection. As for the lay man, Asimov for me has always been one of the most accessible authors of the genre and while it's not the first book of Asimov's I'll recommend (the honor goes to Foundation), it won't be too much of a stretch for them to give this novel a try.

Rating: 4/5.

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