This book co-authored by one of my favorite writers is massively fun, and a big departure for Stephenson. Normally a master of hard sci fi, Stephenson's partnership with noted historical fiction writer Galland yields very different fruit. There's certainly science in here - namely theoretical physics - but hardly any compared with his other novels. Time travel is the name of the game here, and so we end up in several different historical locales. This is, presumably, where Galland's expertise comes in.
The story is told mostly through long-form diary entries and exchanges on D.O.D.O.'s intranet, making for a varied reading experience. Grainne is an especially fun character; what's not to love about a feisty red-haired Irish spy in Elizabethan London? Oh, and she's a witch. Here's where we depart from Stephenson's usual stomping ground. Early in the book, we learn that magic did really used to exist in the world, but disappeared after July 1851. What caused it and how can we get it back are the motivating questions for D.O.D.O. And then when magic is revived and the DOers (don't worry, you'll catch up with the acronyms pretty quickly) start going back in time all willy nilly, the expected complications ensue.
Yes, it's a little predictable, but just so much fun. This is the Netflix-and-Chill of books: enjoyable, addictive, and a little bit sexy.
Get it here!