Book Review: Brasyl – Ian McDonald

BRASYL - Ian McDonald

BRASYL - Ian McDonald

With River of Gods, Ian McDonald raised the bar rather high, and I was wondering if the author could come up with something as good. It never occurred to me that
McDonald could write a better novel. And yet, somehow, he did!

Brasyl is a mesmerizing ensemble of three different tales. On takes place in Rio de Janeiro in 2006, as an ambitious reality tv producer finds herself in the middle of a conflict that could unravel reality itself. The second story takes place in
Sao Paulo in 2032, as a man is thrust into the dangerous universe of quantum
computing and he’ll never be the same again. The third storyline occurs in
Brazil in 1732, as a Jesuit Father is sent to bring back a rogue priest to face
the justice of the religious order.

I was astonished to see the tale
unfold, to see how McDonald yet again captures the essence of a country and its
people and weaves it in a myriad of ways throughout the novel. The author paints
a vivid picture of South America’s largest country, depicting the past, the
present, and the possible future of Brazil in a manner that makes everything
come alive as you read on. Every plotline is tied to the others. Indeed,
everything is linked together across time and the fabric of reality, thanks to
quantum physics and the multiverse that surrounds our existence.

The
worldbuilding is “top notch.” Ian McDonald deserves kudos for his brilliant
depiction of Brazil during three different epochs. As always, the author’s eye
for exquisite details adds another dimension to a book that’s already head and
shoulder above the competition.

Of the three main characters (one for
each era), Father Luis Quinn steals the show. Funny how a Jesuit priest from the
18th century should become the star of a thought-provoking scifi masterpiece!
The supporting cast consists of a few interesting characters, chief among those
Dr. Robert Falcon.

You’ll be amazed to see how the various plotlines
come together to form a dazzling whole. This book blew my mind even more than
River of Gods. Seriously, I didn’t want it to end!

Brasyl deserves the
highest possible recommendation. It will surely be one of the best — if not the
best — science fiction novels of 2007.

Without the shadow of a doubt,
Brasyl is one of the books to read this year!

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About peterschow

"the Schow must go on"
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