In an effort to investigate the scientific properties of magic, one woman gets stranded in 1851. Will her colleagues from the shadowy government agency known only as D.O.D.O. be able to rescue her before magic collapses forever?
I love a good science fiction novel–especially when the science actually makes sense and the author uses it to move the story forward, not just as shiny decoration or set dressing. I also love a good fantasy novel–one where magic and its resulting mayhem exist to challenge the characters and lead them on an epic quest. So imagine my delight at the recently released The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. written by Neal Stephenson (Seveneves, Anathem) and Nicole Galland (The Fool’s Tale, Revenge of the Rose).
The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. is one of those seamless collaborations where all the reader notices is the strengths each author brings to the work. Neal Stephenson’s previous novels are epic in both scale and scientific understanding (I have been known to describe him as “an author too smart for his own good”). While this novel is clearly a fantastical work of fiction, the underlying scientific concepts are sound, and Stephenson incorporates them into the narrative with his characteristic enthusiasm and intelligence.
But never-fear! In The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O, Stephenson’s scientific background is tempered by Nicole Galland’s signature wit and descriptiveness. Known for her previous works of historical fiction, Galland brings a richness of texture, humor, and historical context to this novel. She perfectly rounds out the historical elements of this time-traveling adventure. The result is a fun, addictive, time-traveling, magical-mishap leaden adventure.