Reads more like a bad romance novel than science fiction. Robert Sawyer is usually absolutely excellent but this second book is terrible!
I wanted to finish reading this book and go on to the next book in the series. Once again, there was social commentary married with interesting characters.
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Great book, LOVE the story, but I disagree that it can stand alone – I think the 3 books should be read together.
I'm currently reading book 3 and I’ll post my review there after finishing it.
Sawyer took a concept that had potential for an intriguing story, then butchered it by devoting the whole series to attacking any faith system other than atheism. While the series was intended to be a platform for social commentary, it doesn't really have anything to say other than the world would be a better place if we had technologies that don't exist, men took no hand in child rearing and just stayed away from women and children, and that all would be just butterflies and lollipops if we did no homework into religion, blamed all our problems on it, and turned to the guiding light of atheism for moral clarity. Really, he could have covered that in a pamphlet. Going through that over and over in a trilogy was painful. Save yourself the frustration. AVOID THIS SERIES.
Like a lot of recent Sci-fi books, the theme of the Earth being ruined by Humans is a big one. The first book of the series was really good, Sawyer painted a very interesting society. This one lived up in uniqueness of ideas, but it was superficial, rather than the source of the stories conflict. The Global Warming theme is over done, its very cliche. I have read quite a few books dedicated to the subject, i don't need a fiction book to address the matter for me. I probably won't get the 3rd book of the series unless it's on sale sometime. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.
There are some very decent, interesting ideas in this book. Unfortunately it is marred by a soppy, unlikely love story; and especially by a whole bunch of nonsensical religious discussions.
As I said in my review of the first of the trilogy:
This book is the kind of ultra left wing propaganda that would stretch Stalin's face into that evil Uncle Joe grin like few other modern works. The author claims to have been inspired by the original Planet of the Apes films to create a work that will engage the reader in modern political topics while entertaining them. Obviously he is either insincere in his claim or is incapable of seeing validity except in the most absurd and deformed views of the socialists super Liberal intellectual elitist. Though he tries hard it is destined to be a weak case from a totalitarian, fundamentally Marxist, socially non-redemptive perspective which may explain why he barely ever offers an inkling that there may be a counter argument to his ridiculous vision.
The writing and story line are not too bad so if your into this type of tripe you will certainly enjoy it.