All her life, Darya Lang has dreamed of finding the Builders, whose artifacts she has single-handedly cataloged for the rest of the universe. Troubleshooter and adventurer Hans Rebka has his own dreams of unraveling the mystery of those artifacts. To Louis Nenda and the Cecropian Atvar H'sial, the Builder artifacts represent a once-in-a-lifetime shot at untold wealth. And close behind them come the others: Councilor Julius Graves, who does not trust anyone else to make first contact unassisted; the slaves J'merlia and Kallik, who crave only a reunion with their masters; and the embodied computer E.C. Tally, charged with finding out just what the rest are up to.
The trail that begins at Quake leads to unexpected Builder artifacts full of traps for the unwary and answers for those who know how to ask the questions. But the biggest question of all will remain an enigma, while their search unleashes the greatest threat to civilization ever imagined...
©1991 by Charles Sheffield; (P)2000 Blackstone Audiobooks
This is the second volume of a 4 part series. The first hour is a recap of the major plot points of the first novel. I enjoyed the essays on the various intelligent species of the galaxy. The plot is farfetched but the use of science, particularly physics, and biology is fascinating.
I listened to Summertide the first book in the series and really enjoyed it. This one was good but not quite as believable. Overall a pleasant way to spend 9+ hours.
I look forward to hearing Transcendence: Book 3 of The Heritage Universe and then Convergence (the whole series is available from Audible).
As I said in a previous review, Charles Sheffield wrote HARD sci-fi (His passing is a loss for the Science Fiction Community). His worlds and aliens are detailed and different. He didn't simply take common events and give them strange names, or swap guns for "Lasers". His Characters and planets have depth and detail.
He also sticks to the laws of physics, and when he DOES breaks those laws, it's with explanations about why it may be broken in this case.
Being an Engineer, I like that in a good Sci-fi story. Sheffield was also VERY in touch with human nature, and didn't shy away from controversial topics.
Again, Each book in this series is better than the last, and the narration is VERY well done. I also like the occasional paraphrases from some of Heinlein's Works.
I like this second book in the series even more than the first book (Summertide). I liked them both, but this one for me had more interesting things going on, and the character development in this one seemed more involving. The narrator for this series does a good job in my opinion especially for Lewis Nenda, and you get much more development of that character in this book.
I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
I liked this book even better than the first in the series. The same characters are involved, and have been further developed, and the mystery as to who/what the Builders are was tantalizingly developed. I think there is a little more character development and a little less space-tech in this installment. Well, maybe not... the first of the book is quite techy, but the story does become more about social/species interactions as the story progresses. There is even a little - well-done - hint of humor in this installment.
There are several alien species in this series, and they are distinct and believable. They are also interesting and creatively written. I like the "excerpts" from the alien directory which matter-of-factly describes each alien type, without interrupting the story itself.
The plot in this book is concluded at the end, but it's clear there's a future book in the series since we still haven't met the Builders, or found out what happened with the "bad" aliens. Or how the "Question" the Builders have will be answered.
The narrator is good; I think he does a better job in this book than the first in the series. There is no graphic violence/sex/language. I am starting the next in the series now.
It sounds like it is read by a machine and thus was very difficult to get into. This is a shame becuase it is an intersting story. Also there was nothing in the description to indicate that it is the second of four books - if I had known that I probably would not have purchased it.
This book is for those who like science in their science fiction. The book contains a cornumcopia of plausible ideas about what might be.
You got to view Summertide as just an intro. Divergence is very good; but you won't understand in unless your hear Summertide 1st.
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