I came into Seveneves blind. I didn’t read too much outside of the blurb and a few glowing reviews. I didn’t even know what the title was referring to, or how even it was pronounced. My initial attempts had me saying something closer to Severus Snape than to Seven Eves. It is safe to assume that I didn’t come into this with any expectations, and I am happy to report that I am oh so thoroughly grateful to Neal Stephenson for chronicling such an epic story.
It had everything you could have ever asked for. The storylines, the dynamics between characters, tensions among rival interests came across as so palpably realistic –– should the Moon crack into seven pieces, I imagine most of the elements of the story would come to pass.
Even the characters had more stickiness than I have come to expect from the Sci-Fi genre. In my experience, given how large a cast there is in Sci-Fi stories, it is difficult to craft multi-dimensional characters, there are only so many words and the priority is placed on the plot. While this would not compare to a piece of literary fiction, it did enough for me to care about Ivy, Dinah, Doob, and the circles that orbit them.
The only less-than-favourable part of the book was the beginning of Part 3. I would have been wholly satisfied had Stephenson ended it at Part 2. Without giving too much away, it took me a while to build up the investment in the cast of characters again to the point where I cared what happened to them.
Highly recommended. As far as Sci-Fi is concerned, Seveneves deserves a spot in the very top-tier of the genre. My only gripe is that Part 3 came from a little left-of-field and disrupted the flow and rhythm of the story, but that is more than tolerable given how epic the story is.