Persecuted refugees from six separate alien races have migrated to the idyllic planet Jijo. And despite their incredible diversity, the inhabitants live together in blissful harmony. However, settlement on Jijo is illegal - and it's only a matter of time before the residents of this forbidden paradise are discovered by the galactic powers-that-be.
©1995 David Brin; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC
"Immensely appealing, leaving readers hungry for more." (Publishers Weekly)
I've seen a lot of bad reviews for this book, and frankly I don't understand why. Perhaps some readers are not used to hard-core, traditional sci-fi writing. So much of today's contemporary sci-fi writers are more into action and less into the classic philosophical aspects that began with epic writers like Herbert and Asimov.
Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and feel it is a masterpiece in classic sci-fi form. David Brin knows how to sink the hook in and keep you guessing until the very end. He is a master at storybuilding from various alien perspectives, which may throw some people off because of the change in thought process/focus from one alien race to another, but I found it captivating and ingenious.
I recommend this series to anyone who enjoys Frank Herbert, Peter F. Hamilton, Larry Niven, Orson Scott Card and other masters.
However, one caution to casual sci-fi readers that prefer straight forward stories full of action and special effects: you will get action, you will be thrilled, you will be surprised, but you will not be satisfied unless you are a fan of classic sci-fi writing techniques. This is not a shallow, no-brainer entertainment for the masses. This is a thought provoking work with complex plots/sub-plots that provide surprising twists and turns that are hard to predict compared to a lot of other literature in the genre these days.
I hope you enjoy!
Most people like certain NARRATORS and certain AUTHORS but they never think about the Directors or Sound Engineers. This audiobook is an example of a GREAT AUTHOR with fantastic characters, a TERRIFIC NARRATOR who can distinquish alien creature voices and make them so believable and a crappy Director and/or Sound Engineer. Apparently she thought her job was just to press the record button and go home. I have a recording studio and I was saddened by the lack of professionalism. You can hear Mr. Wilson gulping after readng difficult passages as an alien voice and even getting some words incorrect "Revered Mother" and "windy road". This is not his fault but should have been caught by the Director, Abigal McCue and the sound engineer. Despite that, it is a WONDERFUL story and amazingly told. GEORGE K. WILSON NEEDS AN OSCAR for these cast of characters he is able to bring to life. It definately left me with a desire to read the rest of the trilogy and to read some of the prequel books.
This is book 1 of the Uplift Trilogy and book 4 of the Uplift Saga. I read the first three books of the Uplift Saga when I was in high school uncountable unmentionables ago. It seems time makes memory fuzzy yet I'm going to state that this book has a rocky start for the reader until you are several chapters into the work. Let's lay the basis.
Uplift – a patron species that has already achieved star travel arrives and selects advanced pre-sentient species to genetically advance so that they are capable of traveling the stars. Each patron species ranking in galactic culture is based on how many species they have uplifted and whether or not an interstellar war was the result.
During the time frame of this book there are six master patron species forming the Galactic Council. They have laid down rules on how to treat planets and where species are allowed to colonize. They have stamped their approval on seven standardized Galactic languages and created a draconian entity, The Galactic Library. Any squatter or Sooner colonies on off limits worlds are subject to immediate judgment by the Library Enforcers and the penalty is sterilization...maybe.
See, the colonies established on Jijo by six Sooner species tribes including humans are out of touch. The Humans got there by way of a massive ship called the Tabernacle three hundred years prior to this story. Their methods of keeping knowledge alive is through an order of Sages and printing technology that would make Gutenberg sigh in disgust.
A human is discovered wandering out of marshland with a gaping hole in his skull. The Sage Arianna embarks on a journey with her assistant Sarah to the cave known as Biblios where they expect to get help figuring out who this guy is. Elsewhere, a research station of “Star Humans” are employing locals to help them illicitly gather wild DNA which they will implant on other worlds and eventually hope to reap Upliftable species. In another broad stroke you have the bunch that always exists who do not like where this is going and have machinations running to subvert being: destroyed, sterilized, outed to the Galactic Council...
There is a lot to this story and I can not even hope to spoil it in the space of this review. Did I like the story? Yes. Was I ticked at the choices the author made in arranging the first several chapters? Yes. Was the narration a good fit? Yes. How was the World building? Really imaginative, diverse and overwhelming at times but then it would revert to the human mindset imposed on non-human species.
This book should be read in close succession with the first three books from the Uplift Saga. I am giving this a three out of five as a stand alone read. Enjoy.
If you have listened to any of the uplift series and liked it, this is no different on that regards. The story is massive and enthralling and the reader makes it even more entertaining with the different voices and intonations and speech patterns of the various characters and aliens. Buy it!
This whole series could have been done in one book.
The story is filled with meaningless filler.
I don't think any narrator could have made this better
I am very disappointed
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This is another good story like the last one but I like it much better and it sorta introduces who will be in the next 2 books.
The beginning is a little strange and you will understand it in alter books, but it was strange at the time because you don't know who he is or where he came from but find out later that you should know who he is and I am still unclear is I should have known or if it was something to be figured out later.
There are some alien kids that are going to do things that kids do and they are on there planet of birth but all are different races, there ancestors were illegally settling on the planet Jijo which was declared fallow, i.e. to be left uncolonized so that the ecosystem will recover and native intelligences may have a chance to develop - The eight races are: g'Keks, Traeki (similar to Jophur), Glavers, Qheuen, Hoon, Tytlal (AKA noor beast), Urs, and Human. By the beginning of the novel, the Glavers have (partly) regressed to pre-sentient animals and the Tytlal have successfully disguised themselves as wildlife.
this has parts in it that are like excerpts from the journal of Alvin and his adventures with his friends, problem I have is I have trouble figuring out who is who and what race they are, its described and the voices are different enough I can tell its just I don't see them as aliens, or better yet I don't see them as different aliens I think of them all as the same race.
not sure if this is a good thing or not, probably not intended to be that way but for the most part it works for me, there are some things I don't like but for the most part I liked this book.
They go on an adventure and find something from the days of old and hope it can help them but without giving anything away it doesn't do much for them other than make them wanted by everyone.
This book and the story in it are a little more connected in the later 2 books than the other ones before it which are like prequels to these 3, if you had not read the first 3 you could just get the story by skimming the wiki on the book and these ones would follow nicely - I would however suggest you do read the first ones they aren't great but they are a good adventure to go on - the first book is a little strange and is more of a pre-prequel of sorts.
**** SPOILERS ****
OK. Maybe I just don't get "adult" sci-fi. But this book kinds just drug on with no read direction. There were so many mini stories in the book that I had a hard time keeping up with all of them.
There is so lottle to go off of for the first few chapters that I had no clue that we were talking about so many different races and trying to keep up with which race was which was a pain.
Then to get to the end and find out that we were not going to get ANY resolution was a massive letdown. No resolution on anything. What is going on under water? Who is this mystery man and what's up with his head? Who are the visitors and then the newer visitors?
The story got more interesting about half way through the book, but I doubt the series is worth getting the next two just to find some form of closure.
I loved Brin's second & third Uplift books, but this one was just too long and slow to finish. As other reviewers have mentioned, the narrator tries, but this book is just too slow in getting anywhere.
I love David Brin and both his Uplift Trilogies. But, the narration on this is awful. The many different "alien" voices make it impossible to follow and are annoying. Much better to buy the book and read it than try to listen through what can only be described as a mish-mash of characterizations. Too bad, really.
"The narration not the book"
I rarely give bad reviews but I have to make an exception. I like Brin as a writer and I listen to a lot of audio books. I can usually get into a book even when the narration is not great. The narration here is impossible to listen to. Wilson has decided to read the alien voices, which make up most of the narration, with deliberately atonal intonation and random vocal emphasis. It may have seemed like a great idea at the time to convey alienness,, but after 20 minutes or so you lose total sense of what he is saying and the will to carry on. Just could not listen to it despite really wanting to hear this book. Shame. You have been warned.
Brightness Reef is not part two but is part one. my bad.
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