After it had been sitting on my shelf for more than a decade, I only got around to reading 'Neverness' early in the year. I enjoyed it enough to do a search for further info, a search which led me to 'The Broken God' and (soon) to the others of the trilogy. My judgement is coloured not just by how well it fits into a universe as rich as Dune's but by my separate interests in fresh takes on deep philosophical questions and in coming of age stories involving exceptional talents and challenging relationships. The Broken God confronts so many of my interests, that I can't pretend to know what it might be like for a reader with other interests, especially not in isolation from the rest of the series. What I can say is that anytime I started to think that Zindell's rich description was starting to feel a tad overdone, he hit me with a new thought which more than justified all the often almost poetic detail. Potential interfaces between human mind and computers and their consequences are explored in depth, as is the tension between Danlo's wish to promote "halla", his vow of "ahimsa", and his ever increasing understanding of the essential role of pain and death in the appreciation and creation of life. Several scenarios are developing for collisions between great cancers of unchecked growth, setting the stage for the books to come. The importance of influence and interconnectedness on the shaping of humans is explored in detail, especially the fashionable hypothesis that some singular decision points can potentially set the world on very different paths. As is appropriate to the first book of a preplanned trilogy, The Broken God leaves many questions unanswered, but for me none more than how can David Zindell remain such a relative unknown?
After thrilling intellectual scifi fans with Neverness, Zindell improves on his work with The Broken God. He seamlessly weaves together math, religion, science and philosophy, creating a beautiful tapestry of the journey of the young hero. Breathtaking and unforgettable. Shantih.
If sci-fi for you equals rebels flying to battle against an evil empire, or aliens ivading the Earth, then sadly, this book is not for you.
"The Broken God - Book One of a Requium for Homo-Sapiens" is set thousands of years into the future, humankind is spread across the galaxy, and there are aliens and they our "friends".
This book is not a shallow shoot-em-up however, nor does it dazzle you with technology, hoping to distract you from a story lacking in depth. This book is about the Human condition, compassion and truth, and a young man's struggle to come to terms with life.
Yes, there is technology, and yes, there are space ships. Zindell's theories however, are so vivid, so realistic, your mind will reel, as a virtual overload of information is thrust into your mind.
"Neverness", Zindell's first novel, just prepares you for the sheer story-telling brilliance that is "The Broken God". A truely uplifting experience.