In my opinion, this was a 5 star book until the last hour. Most of the story was really straightforward, clever, suspenseful, enjoyable sci-fi until the end. Seems like Clarke was trying to cram all his deeper meaning and allegory into the last few chapters. That being said, the rest of the book was fantastic. I would still recommend it, the ending just wasn't for me.
I enjoyed this book very much. There are sub-plots and mysteries weaved throughout that keep your interest going even when other parts slow down. The characters are facsinating and it's really fun to figure out who they *really* are.
I want to make a special note of the performance. I've never listened to a book narrated by George Guidall before this one, but he was such a great reader that I will be seeking out other books he's performed particularly because I enjoyed his reading so much.
I found this book rather unremarkable. There isn't really much of a plot beyond "motley crew of species crash lands and needs to escape." Yes there is a lot of character development and relationships, but I didn't find any of the characters particularly compelling. The humans are bland and the aliens are silly and stereotypical. At no point in the story did I find myself anxious to find out what happened. With an hour left, I didn't care how it was going to end, and only felt compelled to finish it because I had bought it. It definitely feels like a "setup" for a series that I will not continue reading. Disappointing.
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