Top positive review
Worthy successor to the classic "Foundation"
Reviewed in the United States on November 25, 2020
In the first book of the Foundation series, Azimov tells the story of the Foundation, established by psychohistorian Hari Seldon. Seldon’s laws of psychohistory allowed him to work out the likely path of galactic history for centuries to come, and the Foundation’s task was to nudge that history toward reestablishing order instead of a long, violent interregnum as the Empire collapsed.
Azimov recognized that following the path of a historian’s predictions lacked dramatic tension, at least once the first book had established Seldon’s prescience. The second half of the this book introduces a person that Seldon could not foresee, the Mule. The Mule sees himself as guiding the galaxy on an equally valid path toward legitimate order. Of course, some want to stop him, either to restore the Foundation or to put history on its proper path.
As in the first book, almost all of the “action” takes place through set-piece conversations. This makes the series surprisingly theatrical – though I suspect the forthcoming television series will deliver blockbuster action instead.
If you liked Foundation, you’ll like this book and the third, Second Foundation. Asimov’s Foundation books became more irregular in quality after the original trilogy.