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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.
You can't get more 70's than this book. The premise is an outgrowth of the Chariots of the Gods. The main character practices self hypnosis, and it produces results. And the technology is what a 70's person would predict (the main character has to hunt down a phone at one point). Not that all of this is bad, per se. But it is a pretty boring read, to boot. I got to the point where the main character was going to reveal the killer (yes, it pretty much follows a murder mystery format) and realized I didn't care who did it or why, so I quit listening.
I bought the trilogy after the repeated recommendation of a friend. However, I only listened to the first when I realized I would not be listening to anymore. --
In the entire first half of the book (8 hours) there is only one action scene, there is no real significant character dialogue, and I wasn't invested in the characters. I fought myself to finish. --
This book attempts to stress the Science in Science Fiction, but the science is so dated that it gave the story a shelf-life. This is not always the case with older scifi, but it is definitely what happened here, the story was too weak to support the setting, and the book was obviously written to express the setting. --
The reader lacked any real emotion in his delivery, but does a good job making you aware who is talking with all but the female characters. The recording would have benefited from some editing. There are too many times I hear the reader make large swallows (I actually believe he was taking a drink) and other issues that made the production feel sloppy. --
I reserve 1 star ratings for works that I cannot bring myself to finish, so this is the lowest rating I could give.
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'd recommend this book to anyone who likes hard scifi, with credible aliens and strong plots. David Brin doesn't hold your hand or explain his jokes--he treats you as an intelligent reader, capable of figuring out by yourself the humor of a situation. A rare thing in SF.
There are elements of Sundiver (and of the whold Uplift trilogy) that remind me of Asimov's Foundation series, in the sense that a "band of curious and investigative humans" are set against a backdrop of complacency and intellectual conformism. Otherwise, it's hard to compare Brin's books to anyone else's--few authors are as lucidly optimistic about the human race and its future.
The story is riveting and the premise intriguing: there's a spaceship, and it dives into the sun, which humans suspect is haunted. I may not have a specific favorite scene, but let's not kid around, here--this by itself is a fascinating and gripping premise.
Overall, while I may not have cried or laughed while listening to this, the whole "universe" and backdrop kept me interested from beginning to end. The whole status of the human race as (potentially) a self-evolved race (rather than being uplifted) is a very clever concept and made me feel oddly proud of my race and its achievements. This is something very rare in modern SF, where human-bashing is the norm. Brin stands against that and offers a refreshing view of ourselves.
Computational cognition, ethics, transhumanism, etc.
Classic great scifi. Credible source. Unexpected sophistication. Great science explanations. Good ethical considerations. Less relevant than contemporary transhumanism, but in the neighborhood.
Narrators mouth noises anger me. I don't pay to hear you swallow. You just cost the author my continued listening of this series.
Yes, I have read other books in the series and found them more interesting.
Yes, but not based on this particular book/recording.
I think Mr. Wilson has a good voice to listen to, however at the end of lines he would frequently stop and lick his lips or smack his tongue, it was very distracting.