Review: The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson & Nicole Galland

The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O

Series : N/A

Publisher  Harper Voyager

Source : Publisher

Release Date : July 1st 2017



From bestselling author Neal Stephenson and critically acclaimed historical and contemporary commercial novelist Nicole Galland comes a captivating and complex near-future thriller combining history, science, magic, mystery, intrigue, and adventure that questions the very foundations of the modern world.

When Melisande Stokes, an expert in linguistics and languages, accidently meets military intelligence operator Tristan Lyons in a hallway at Harvard University, it is the beginning of a chain of events that will alter their lives and human history itself. The young man from a shadowy government entity approaches Mel, a low-level faculty member, with an incredible offer. The only condition: she must sign a nondisclosure agreement in return for the rather large sum of money.

Tristan needs Mel to translate some very old documents, which, if authentic, are earth-shattering. They prove that magic actually existed and was practiced for centuries. But the arrival of the scientific revolution and the Age of Enlightenment weakened its power and endangered its practitioners. Magic stopped working altogether in 1851, at the time of the Great Exhibition at London’s Crystal Palace—the world’s fair celebrating the rise of industrial technology and commerce. Something about the modern world “jams” the “frequencies” used by magic, and it’s up to Tristan to find out why.

And so the Department of Diachronic Operations—D.O.D.O. —gets cracking on its real mission: to develop a device that can bring magic back, and send Diachronic Operatives back in time to keep it alive . . . and meddle with a little history at the same time. But while Tristan and his expanding operation master the science and build the technology, they overlook the mercurial—and treacherous—nature of the human heart.

Written with the genius, complexity, and innovation that characterize all of Neal Stephenson’s work and steeped with the down-to-earth warmth and humor of Nicole Galland’s storytelling style, this exciting and vividly realized work of science fiction will make you believe in the impossible, and take you to places—and times—beyond imagining.

Tash M

Brilliant written by co authors  Stephenson and Galland, The Rise of and Fall of D.O.D.O tells the story of a mysterious government organisation that pops out of nowhere to combat a serious problem plaguing humanity that most people are unaware of. Combining the talents and genres of both authors, D.O.D.O is a multi-layer story that combines their genres and delivers a story that will you enchanted and entertained till the last page  as  we discovered the untold secrets of magic and history .

It all starts off with a simple meeting and offer, that will lead to an adventure that you want to be part of . Stephenson and Galland rise to the challenge and do what any   good writing duo would do . Writing a seamless saga that hard to distinguish who wrote which parts of the novel. It only  adds to the reading experience as there is a lot encompassed in this novel and once it gets going you are going  to need your mind on the story as this isn’t a straight forward story to stay the least.

When language and linguistics  lecturer and expert Melisande  Stokes  is offered by Tristan  Lyons a mysterious military intelligence operator  a chance of a lifetime. She leaps at the chance. She may be an expert but in a man dominated world, she isn’t appreciated and she wants a challenge. A challenge is what she gets by excepting Tristan’s offer as she soon discovers some hidden history of humanity that has basically been  wipe off the planet.  Magic is real and existed until  1851 when  something happened.  Since then it mysteriously has been hidden away until now when Tristan is tasked to find out just what happened that year that changed the course of history .  Tasked to create a shadowy government department shorted to D.O.D.O. Things quickly get interesting and dangerous as  the explore what just happened and discover there more to magic and there is plenty on the line by revisiting the past .

Mel is thrown into this  mysterious world  and soon finds herself as a valuable member  of this rag tag  department and   struggles with this responsibility that she has been given . She isn’t  a person that is unlikeable . She is valuable yet things aren’t easy given  the information she learned and how it could change humanity .  There are endless  questions and possilbities to what  happened in the past  and what can be done to stop .  However D.O.D.O is only a solution if the rag team works together  and soon we find ourselves watching things happen quickly as they step up their exploration of the concept to find the solution.  Son Mel finds herself thrown a lot with Tristan, another key player to this story.  Both of them keep the story going and make it for what it is  as the are the original duo to this crazy concept . As this story  truly lives up to  its title  and leaves you wondering long after this book ends.

The title is what originally caught my eye when I saw this book floating around on the internet.  Initially I thought I was going to struggle with The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O despite the promising start as I delve deeper in to the saga and discovered the  complex twists and turns.  Told in mix media format, D.O.DO is  a piece of sci-fi fiction that keeps on giving until its last page.   A futuristic mashed up thriller, this book  constantly surprised me as the pieces came together as Mel  lead  readers through this saga and made sense of this crazy world  she was thrown into.   There is a lot you could say about this world. It’s not an unfamiliar world yet it is. By weaving the past and the future together , it created an interesting pairing and I love the concept.

To a sci-fi geek like me, I couldn’t help  love the story once I got over my initial problems.   Think Warehouse 13/ The Librarians but instead of objects being their concerns. Humanity and the lack of magic drove these people together.   Yet not everyone had the same ideas when it came to things and I love the characters that we me along the way that challenge the endless  questions and possilbities for both sides. It lead to  moments that you wouldn’t  forget in a hurry and only made the story even better. Once I got in the swing of things, I couldn’t help enjoy this  mashed up thriller as appealed to a lot of my reading tastes.  The way they picked and entwined things was  fun and I love whilst it was technical it wasn’t too in your face either and  added to the authenticity.

The one thing I hated about this book if I was really truly to be picky was that things were left open ended. The authors left us to our devices . Leaving us to guess what happened next, use our imagination. I loved it yet I hated it as I wanted more. I want more of Tristan, Mel and the others .  So much was jam packed into this book and it’s a big tonne. The authors did that well but to leave me wondering like that.  I just rather have another book as there still so many questions and possibilities  of what happened to D.O.D.O after the authors shut the doors on them and left them to their own devices.




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