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Bowl of Heaven | [Larry Niven, Gregory Benford]

Bowl of Heaven

In this first collaboration by science fiction masters Larry Niven (Ringworld) and Gregory Benford (Timescape), the limits of wonder are redrawn once again as a human expedition to another star system is jeopardized by an encounter with an astonishingly immense artifact in interstellar space: a bowl-shaped structure half-englobing a star, with a habitable area equivalent to many millions of Earths…and it’s on a direct path heading for the same system as the human ship.
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Publisher's Summary

In this first collaboration by science fiction masters Larry Niven (Ringworld) and Gregory Benford (Timescape), the limits of wonder are redrawn once again as a human expedition to another star system is jeopardized by an encounter with an astonishingly immense artifact in interstellar space: a bowl-shaped structure half-englobing a star, with a habitable area equivalent to many millions of Earths...and it’s on a direct path heading for the same system as the human ship.

A landing party is sent to investigate the Bowl, but when the explorers are separated - one group captured by the gigantic structure’s alien inhabitants, the other pursued across its strange and dangerous landscape - the mystery of the Bowl’s origins and purpose propel the human voyagers toward discoveries that will transform their understanding of their place in the universe.

©2012 Gregory Benford and Larry Niven (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.2 (148 )
5 star
 (32)
4 star
 (28)
3 star
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1 star
 (14)
Overall
3.2 (131 )
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3 star
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Story
3.7 (134 )
5 star
 (30)
4 star
 (56)
3 star
 (29)
2 star
 (12)
1 star
 (7)
Performance
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  •  
    Debera Severna Park, MD, United States 02-13-13
    Debera Severna Park, MD, United States 02-13-13 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
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    Story
    "Really? That's it?"

    What the heck? Just when the story looks like it just might be going somewhere - BOOM! - it ends. If these guys were planning on writing a trilogy or something, they should at least let the reader know ahead of time because the story ending in the middle of nowhere is a HUGE disappointment.

    Don't waste your money...

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Howard 11-27-12
    Howard 11-27-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    Story
    "Sudden ending, leaving you feeling flat"
    What disappointed you about Bowl of Heaven?

    Starts off pretty good, then turns into a long drawn out story that leaves you waiting for something to happen.
    Once something starts to build the book just ends, leaving you hanging and wondering why you bothered suffering through the slow drawn out survival story that occupies most of the story.
    Even if a second book is released, I wouldn't bother.


    What could Larry Niven and Gregory Benford have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    have an aim for so there is something to build up to


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Did pretty good job of a long drawn out story


    Any additional comments?

    Lacking in direction and no ending.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony 11-22-12
    Anthony 11-22-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    6
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    "The Worst Ending of Any Book I have Ever Read"
    What would have made Bowl of Heaven better?

    Resolving the plots, the mysteries, the conflicts, the story, the character development -- anything at all -- before just ending the book in the middle of everything. At the end, it was obvious that the publisher wanted the reader to buy another book whenever it comes out, but I will not and I do not recommend that anyone else do so. The story line was repetitive and predictable. Also, the discourse among the characters and within the minds of the characters was elementary. It was extremely disappointing.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff 11-05-12
    Jeff 11-05-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Just ok story"
    Would you try another book from Larry Niven and Gregory Benford and/or Zach Villa?

    maybe, not likely


    Would you recommend Bowl of Heaven to your friends? Why or why not?

    no


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Zach Villa?

    maybe


    Was Bowl of Heaven worth the listening time?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    Terrible ending. No resolution. Could use another 6 hours to wrap it up.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis CRYSTAL RIVER, FL, US 10-28-12
    Dennis CRYSTAL RIVER, FL, US 10-28-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Another good but strange book from Larry Niven"

    Nice Idea! Hard science not 100%. But fair to good story. Ends in a CLIFF HANGER! There will be at least one more book maybe more..SPOILER..Earth ship lands on a bowl ship as large as the earth to the sun. What does the landing party do? Bring out cutting equipment,brake in and start killing animals and running arround! NO First Concact proatcals. Has some DUMB things happen, but if you hang in their it has some interesting moments.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BackupGeek brentwood, ca United States 10-26-12
    BackupGeek brentwood, ca United States 10-26-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A very unique world"

    Pretty enjoyable story if you are into Science Fiction. I thought the unique world and aliens were a fresh perspective. Good creativity.

    It is true that the humans do not have a "star trek" quality personality but the adventure was interesting. Looking forward to the 2nd book.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mrs West Pymble, Australia 03-29-13
    Mrs West Pymble, Australia 03-29-13 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    Story
    "disappointing .. just ends"
    What would have made Bowl of Heaven better?

    If they were honest and said it was "part 1" of a story in which they have not released part 2


    Would you ever listen to anything by Larry Niven and Gregory Benford again?

    yes. I liked the start of the story but feel ripped off


    Any additional comments?

    Do not but until you know when the story actually ends, it was "average" to start and then built up, and just as it got interesting it stopped. I feel a complete waste and I was mislead, it is not even half a story

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Phoenix, AZ, USA 01-10-13
    David Phoenix, AZ, USA 01-10-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Left me extremely disappointed"
    Would you try another book from Larry Niven and Gregory Benford and/or Zach Villa?

    Story was not at the same level as Ring World and ended without warning while not finishing any of the story lines. I wish I had known this was a part one of a series. I will not buy the next installment if it ever comes out.


    What could Larry Niven and Gregory Benford have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Finished the stories


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Ok, not great


    What character would you cut from Bowl of Heaven?

    You could cut any, it would not have changed anything.


    Any additional comments?

    serious waste of my money

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael G. 03-18-13
    Michael G. 03-18-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Intensely exciting, and visual"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Bowl of Heaven to be better than the print version?

    Zach Villa is a great narrator. I especially liked his use of voice variation to give each character personality and dimension. The story itself is began somewhat slowly, but picked up speed as the plot started to unfold when the ship encounters the artifact and the landing crew makes contact. Not wanting to give away any spoilers, but will, I hope the author has the sequal in the works because I want to know what happens to the crew. But even though the book has a cliff hanger ending, it was still an excellent listen and is a worthwhile investment for anyone familiar with the authors other works and the works of Larry Niven.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Larry Niven and Gregory Benford ? Why or why not?

    Yes, based on the collaboration they put into this book, I would definitely read another book authored by the two of them.


    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gerald C. Delie Littleton, Colorado USA 01-13-13
    Gerald C. Delie Littleton, Colorado USA 01-13-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Left hanging"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would not recommend this book, after 50 chapters I was left hanging. Have to wait for the next book, but I don't think I will be back.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    It didn't end.


    What three words best describe Zach Villa’s performance?

    no comment


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    Disappointed or not to my liking.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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