The Gods Themselves Isaac Asimov

Mar 6, 2016 review (read between Feb 22, 2016 – Feb 23, 2016)

1st reading read review on Goodreads

Leave it to Asimov to take a crazy concept and step it up a notch. The conceit of transferring matter between parallel worlds to produce energy is pretty original to begin with, but Asimov builds upon this the science of how it works, the implications it might have on the respective parallel worlds, and a whole new alien race and culture that could physically not exist in our own universe. The beauty of The Gods Themselves is that all this additional information is conveyed in a very natural manner via multiple parallel storylines.

The book is split into three sections, each encompassing a storyline. Each focus on a different person or place, but all connect directly to the matter-transfer technology. The sections are all structured differently and have different tones from one another, however a frantic pacing throughout propels the reader from section to section. And frankly, that exact pacing is the biggest complaint I had about The Gods Themselves. This otherwise incredible novel filled with some of the most unique and interesting concepts I’ve ever read suffers from the inability to really take a breather and expand on itself a bit more. It has a frenetic sense of urgency in the first two sections, all of which is rather awkwardly diffused in the final section while hurriedly introducing some vague new tangential plot point. The weakest plot point in the whole book; so weak I dare to wonder why it was included in the first place.

The pacing and weak last section, however, should not dissuade anyone from reading this amazing thought exercise. After all, The Gods Themselves is filled with incredible concepts and worlds that only Asimov could have brought to life in such a meaningful way.