Neal Stephenson
Seveneves Cover

Seveneves: A Novel


Great start, and enjoyed most of the first 566 pages. The last 300 were another book, with a different style. Together they don't work as well as they would separately. The current ending works, but could also leave room for a third book. Overall rating - liked it.

The first long book is mostly about solving technological problems, and works. A lot of interesting characters, including a Neil deGrasse Tyson role. The pace was good, the challenges realistic, and I really enjoyed the swarming robots. It was refreshing to see humanity reacting to a disaster in a mostly positive way - quite different from most disaster stories.

I enjoyed most of the characters, but didn't really like the added politics towards the end. Reminds me of Battlestar Galactica (and others). In hindsight, a lot of this felt forced - these characters led directly to the "Eves" of the final part of the book. Some of it felt realistic, but a lot just felt rushed. The final section was its own story, and interesting - I've read plenty of SF like it. It just seems like a different audience than the problem solving of the first 500 pages. If this were a separate book, more could have been brought in about the mythology, and perhaps less infodump about this new world. Finally, Stephenson seems to get a little sloppy on the point of view in the end, jumping mid-paragraph at times.

I understand the first two thirds in an audiobook format are read by Mary Robinette Kowal. I have listened to her reading, and she does a great job. Unfortunately, she doesn't read all of this one, and I'm not sure I'm ready to invest more than 30 hours in an audiobook anyways. I enjoyed this, but it wasn't better than any of the other Neal Stephenson I have read, and the highest I could go is a little over 3 stars - not enough to round to 4.