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Desolation Road by Ian McDonald : Mars with the most impeccable set of characters



Absolutely bloody brilliant.
Each chapter is beautifully written and the vast cast of characters is utterly memorable and compelling.
The book is set in a mars that is being terraformed for human survival. McDonald plays with the characters, challenges your assumptions about what a Science Fiction novel should be and despite being around 20 years old it hasn't dated a bit. The Science rests mostly in the background but the more you notice it the more you realize that McDonald's research is impeccable.It just takes you on a ride, surprises you and then just when you think you have it figured out surprises you again. Page after page is filled with prose of the highest quality possessing a poetry, a rhythm and cadence to it that renders most other authors obsolete. 
Its actually the most un Science Fiction like on Mars that I have ever read and as with most of McDonald's work I didn't think that it was possible to do what he did until I actually read it.
You can buy Desolation Road here.

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