A great story, with rich descriptive language and a great storyline.
The midshipmen's journey on Mote Prime
Mediocre at best. Inconsistencies in characters voices, some major mispronounciations ( e.g. "murkeson's" eye instead of murchison's eye), shocking attempt at a Scottish accent.
I'm a tech geek who love stories with a twist, especially fantasy and science fiction.
First encounter with intelligent aliens aught to be a thrilling, intense and astonishing, and after reading this book I am a little disappointed. The plot isn't too bad, but the characters and dialogue could be more engaging.
this book is worth reading because of the plots and secretive nature of humans.
The most interesting aspect of the story is the aliens themselves and how the humans treat them; what they try to keep away from them, and what they chose to share.
Politics and, surprisingly enough, the action scenes where not very interesting.
The first encounter with a live alien.
The story takes place in the third millennium, but is nonetheless filled with 20th century tropes. Entertaining space opera, but dated.
This is the first book in 50 or 60, that I just can't finish. It sounds like it probably has a good plot, but it's all driven by one dialog after another, giving long, history accounts to fill us in on where we are. Too tedious to finish. I know it has to be a good book. Just not my style I guess.
Intriguing space novel, Odd to have very little combat in space theme. This was fun.
Very different story concept, fun to think about. I like a book that challenges me to think.
Niven has given us some really good sci-fi stories, but for me, this was not one of them. A little too "juvenile" and superficial, not at all "believable" plot. The "starring" characters are unbelievably inept and dense. I was really disappointed. I felt like I was in the 60's again.
Not at all.
I prefer books read by the author to any professional reader. No matter how bad the author is as a reader.
All of them.
I know the book was nominated for all the awards ,and I've read all the reviews about how great it is. But I just didn't see it.
drop the last chapter to boring
yes held my attention all the way untill last chapter
I like the length of time to build the characters of the story. I also like the way the aliens are unusual and have mysterious motives. I felt like the mystery of their personalities held up well in the story and kept my attention throughout the story. The idea that an alien race, that exists for over 1 million years, has strange behaviors and ruling structures is appropriate, not bad writing as some reviews claim. I also liked the Scottish accent. While I did want to lean towards documenting plot and character problems, the overall story was more important to me than the problems that would occasionally strike my critical filters. I wanted to continue on with the book and not use it as a punching bag. I didn't want to wreck it with cheap pot shots. I can say that I didn't easily accept a masculine voice to speak in the higher tones of a coy woman. Also the fact that it is 2300 and they have very little conceptualization of genetic engineering, seems a bit of a stretch.
The initial discovery of an alien ship, the autopsy report structural body of the aliens, the exploration of the alien planet, the final solution gathered by the Mote envoy and the humans.
It is hard for one to come to mind as a favorite. I liked the entire progression of the plot, the characterizations, the literary license used for the story and the pacing.
Yes, and there is one. Overall it was an important book by itself, because it shows human's tendency to maintain their flaws and greatness. It also shows humans in a light of ingenuity and uniqueness, while not as mature as the aliens.
While many critique this as a worthless book, it HAS some value. It presents the possibility of aliens with different perspectives and motivations than those we can initially understand.
Some of my favorite science fiction is pretty dated, but I think the problem with this book is the stereotypes --- male (the bread winner) versus female (only interested in marriage and family), military (totally distrusting) versus scientist (totally distrusting), nobility (so worthy and responsible) versus not (jealous of/intimidated by the nobility), even engineers being Scottish (I kid you not!), etc. And some of the character motivations were really hard to understand (more below, but contains spoilers).
It would be fun to explore the alien culture described in this book. I don't feel that it was well explained, and I think the story focused too much on one aspect which was not as well justified as I would have liked.
The narration sometimes used accents and voices, but I still had a lot of trouble telling the characters apart. Part was the story itself, but I think some narrators do a better job of giving the characters more distinction.
I considered stopping time and time again. I listened until the bitter end, but it really wasn't worth it.
--- Spoilers Follow ---
(Mild Spoiler) Early in the book, the single female character is rescued from a prison camp. She initially quite withdrawn but eventually recovers (we're not entirely sure why) and it's never referred to again that I can recall. It's not cited as motivation for later actions.
(Big Spoiler) And don't even get me started on the way that everyone seems to implicitly trust the aliens. Argh. Why???
(Small Spoiler) And how can non-intelligent aliens do more than the smartest humans? Makes no sense to me!
(Ironic Spoiler) It's funny that the book was so sexist and yet simultaneously paid homage to birth control (though proper ladies don't resort to that, of course).