The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. (D.O.D.O. #1)
Magic is dead – or is it just postponed? If a secret US military agency has its way, witches will be re-empowered (within closely controlled limits) and able to influence the past (again, within limits) in advantageous ways, But the witches have other ideas....
It's the limits that make this book interesting. They've been carefully crafted to structurally avoid the contrivances that often plague time-travel novels. It also takes aim at the dangers and blindness
of a bureaucracy trying to control something that its fundamentally doesn't understand.
This is something of a return to form (in my opinion) for Stephenson after Anathem and (especially) Reamde: back to the style of Snow Crash and The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer. Although having said that it's a book that's clearly a scene-setter for a sequel rather than in any way self-contained.
4/5. Finished 29 December 2020.
(Originally published on Goodreads.)