Another great Robert J. Sawyer novel, Hominids once again brings an intelligent, well researched and believable story. Neanderthals, quantum physics, religion, men – women relations, ecological responsibility, social behaviors, legal systems, evolution, Canadian politics and pop culture. All of those subject (and I’m probably forgetting some) are covered briefly or in great detail but always as a very relevant and perfectly fitted piece of the tale Sawyer recounts.
As we get attached to the main character, Ponter Boddit the Neanderthal, we learn or get to think more deeply about a spectrum of ideas and concepts that he faces himself but always in a soft evenhanded manner. No long boring explanations, everything is brought to the reader seamlessly. Even though the number of facts found within the 400 odd pages is impressive, all are relevant and you are never “taken away” from the story, every bit of science, every opinion is presented by the characters in such a way that you find yourself interested in every aspect of the novel, wether you previously cared for the subject or not.
One of the things I love most about all RJS’ stories (or the majority anyway) is the way they are based in the present and how he keeps dropping little current events tidbits that make the story seem more real, like you could turn the corner and bump into any of the characters. They are always set somewhere in Canada and the majority of settings are real life ones, it’s like watching one of those movies made in your hometown where you recognize every building and backdrop. When done properly, wich he does, the end result is a more involved experience and more than a few good laughs at his view on our world.