I purchased this recording based on having enjoyed reading Brin's book "Earth."(Yes people really did that once!) I found the plot of "Sundiver" weak, the characters thin and the narrative stilted. Sorry - I don't think it warrants the 3.5 stars that it appears to have. In all seriousness, if offered to a publisher now, it would probably not see the light of day.
The performance by George Wilson is good, apart from a couple of amusing spoonerisms.
I enjoyed this audio book ok. The strength is the reading. Clear with good depiction of the voices, especially the aliens. The reading is also very clear. However, I can't get by the bad science represented in this novel. l was particularly bothered with Brins basing a major driving social force to von Danikens fabricated work which has little or no credibility. Having said that, the idea of uplifting are intriguing enough that I will listen to the next books but I expect better writing.
Bad first, Good second.
I have heard that the next two books are better. Sundiver is filled with great original thoughts, mediocre action, and seems mostly as a world-building book for the next two. I was unimpressed with its narrow plot, and character development. The plot tells you about the larger galaxy, but you feel isolated from it. There is little movement in the plot, you stay in each location for vast times with long repetitious descriptions. The main character is lackluster, he did cool things in the past, but he detracts from the story in that EVERYTHING he does in the present is described through the lens of his past.
There are four or five large ideas that I really liked in this book. The overarching ideas are spot on, original. I have not heard any part of this story in any other medium. I will not go into detail, but I will say that the enjoyable aspects of this book are decidedly cerebral, not action based.
Maybe. I will decide after listening to the next two books. If those two are good, then I would recommend it.
Diverse, mimic, senatorial.
Yes. A movie. Would be a perfect followup for the move Sunshine.
Worth the time.
Once I've listened to the entire series I'll absolutely listen to this story again.
An excellent start to the Uplift series Sundiver gives the barest glimpse of galactic civilization and the uniqueness of Brin's perspective. These aliens are well worth exploring, but never judge them by your drives and desires.
Lover of sci-fi and the occasional horror story. Philosophical inclinations. English is my second language.
I guess I'm too young to have read Brin when his Uplift books were first published. I discovered him through his much more recent Existence and wanted to check out his earlier work. I was not disappointed.
While the premise of the story revolves around humans "lifting" animal species to sentience, this is a minor subplot of the book. The novel belongs to the hard sci-fi gene, with numerous alien spaces, new technologies, societies and ideas. The reader is early introduced to the concept that most species in the universe was "lifted" and that feudal-like hierarchies exist around the facts about who lifted whom.The ambiguous and controversial position of humanity in this hierarchy is the real kernel of the book and is the theme around which the intrigue revolves.
The book will appeal to anyone who is into hard sci-fi, like me. While his recent Existence did remind me a bit of writer like Asimov, Sundiver is even closer to Asimov's style of writing and story development. Still, I would say Brin's characters are slightly more developed than the generic male superheroes in Asimov. Most of Brin's personae are actually quite interesting and believable, I particularly enjoy his depictions of alien individuals and their difficulties with human behavior.
1980 is 34 years ago and while the novel's ideas and premises do not feel dated, some of the gendered interaction does. It strikes me how far contemporary sci-fi has come in depicting gender-equal societies, when a writer like Brin still struggled with this aspect in 1980. Helene deSilva is captain of a starship, but goes irrational and submissive when she falls for the protagonist, a male ubermensch who "couldn't be broken by anything". And when some aliens seem to lack gender, they are simply called "he", even though human authorities prefer to have women as space explorers. Oh, well...
If you can ignore these gendered tell-tale signs of its age and if you like space opera/hard sci-fi, you will like Sundiver. I am looking forward to reading the other books in the Uplift saga and hope that they will approach the excellence I found in Existence. I would not say Sundiver reaches those heights, but it is an early work by the author and the book is still pretty darn good.
I had read the story, in a magazine, I think, some years ago. It's still a neat little story, but not Brin's best. The performance was pretty good. I didn't feel like I wanted to fast forward through it.
While the premise was interesting and I intend, and am looking forward to reading more I found the storyline terribly predictable, while there were a few twists I didn't see, the I found myself frustrated that the protagonist couldn't see the, to me, glaringly obvious answer to the central mystery.
Still as a scene setter for a more sweeping saga it did well, introducing the politics of the milieu and laying groundwork for future developments
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Well let me first say that this wasn't what I expected it to be like, it was good contained some surprises and overall was worthy of reading.
There are some things about this story that are a little unexplained or maybe poorly explained, you can understand whats happening but its not until the end that you really get what is going on and then there are more questions.
So there are these "things" in the sun that people have seen when going into the surface of the sun doing observations for science. The Aliens don't understand this because there is a "galactic library" that holds everything one needs to know so there is no reason to do research like that anymore but being the suborn Humans we are we are doing it anyways - well things are seen in there that look to be sentient life and its the research vessel that goes into the sun to research these things and report back because the "galactic library" doesn't have anything on what they could be so some suspect that they have been lied to and the copy of the library that we humans have is not complete or maybe deliberately missing stuff
If you know who Erich Von Daniken is and his book from 1986 called "Chariots of the Gods" and latter works you know about the "uplift theory" where by aliens have "uplifted" humans in the distant past that's why we cant find the so called "missing link" in the evolutionary tract and why we have jumped so far in such a short time, this is sorta the concept of the books back story.
In this book we Humans have uplifted dolphins and chimps to full sentient as in able to think like a human can or at least at the same intellectual level which results in chimps and dolphins talking to humans and helping them do tasks like any other human would except for dolphins can do underwater stuff better - its a cool concept and according to the galactic library almost every single race was "uplifted" by another race leading all the way back to the start with some group of races that isn't explained completely , but humans don't seem to have a "up-lifter" which is a little strange to many aliens
The Humans here think that maybe the beings in the sun could actually be the uplifters of humanity, and will the Aliens help them to understand it or maybe do something even worse?
There isn't much about this book I didn't like other than it was missing some better explanations and maybe a nice pre-story for a chapter or so to get you into the world thats created but it was good, I am going on to the next book so check my reviews for that one to see if it is as good as this one was
I really liked how the narrator adopted a distinct voice for every character in the book. Since there were a lot of characters, it made it very easy to keep everyone straight.
I think this book adapted well to audiobook because of the high amount of physical description and action. It was very easy to follow and enjoyable, even cut into 30 min segments (I listen to books on my daily commute). Don't expect this book to be a serious treatise on science or society, or you'll be disappointed. It's just an engaging mystery set in space with humans and aliens.
If I recommended this audiobook to you, if anyone did, the customer review section of audible.com would suffer from a serious lack of credibility and respectability.
Simply put: the story is bad. The author attempts to create a world which is a strange mixture of talking sea creatures, a man in a whale robot! Erasure of the US-Mexican border with no believable explanation of how or why it happened. Barber poles every 100 "feet" down road past Tijuana to the "ET zone" in Baja—the first of many to come in the world! It is very poorly, strangely read, with the ET voice characterizations attempted by the narrator spine chilling. Cartoon-like. Bad. Not listenable.
Don't buy this.