Robert Heinlein called it "possibly the finest science fiction novel I have ever read". The San Francisco Chronicle declared that "as science fiction, The Mote in God's Eye is one of the most important novels ever published". Now Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, award-winning authors of such best sellers as Footfall and The Legacy of Heorot, return us to the Mote, and to the universe of Kevin Renner and Horace Bury, of Rod Blaine and Sally Fowler.
There, 25 years have passed since humanity quarantined the mysterious aliens known as Moties within the confines of their own solar system. They have spent a quarter century analyzing and agonizing over the deadly threat posed by the only aliens mankind has ever encountered - a race divided into distinct biological forms, each serving a different function: Master, Mediator, Engineer, Warrior. Each supremely adapted to its task, yet doomed by millions of years of evolution to an inescapable fate. For the Moties must breed - or die. And now the fragile wall separating them and the galaxy beyond is beginning to crumble.
©1993 Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
The story is excellent , just like the first book you can get lost in the details and multiple number of characters. Do not expect a summary of events in this squeal, it only mentions events from the first book as the story progresses.
Pournelle and Niven have written some great stuff and this is a stand out. For once an alien race (the "moties") that is different and self-consistent is portrayed in a sympathetic light. I would recommend that you read "The mote in God's eye" first but not essential. One of the best Sci Fi novels from the recent era.
I don't know who would enjoy this book after the first one. It was a fairly miserable sequel.
The performance wasn't that bad, the story was the problem.
Not really. Too silly on an ending, the characters got weak.
I wish I'd liked it.
Say something about yourself!
"The Mote in God's Eye" is one of my all-time favorite science fiction novels. When it appeared it took a truly novel, very anthropological approach to the subject of aliens, and it managed to make the Moties some of the most interesting aliens in the world of science fiction. This sequel picks up the story several decades after the original and spends the first half of the book reintroducing characters, reprising the plot line of the first book, and introducing a few new players (most of them descendents of people in the original). This reintroduction is long, tedious for someone who has read the original, and probably confusing for someone who hasn't. The second half picks up the pace because the Moties are back in the picture, and Pournelle and Niven do a great job of extrapolating the effects that contact with humans would have had on the Motie civilization. In summary, you definitely have to read the first book before you read this one, at which point you should fast forward through the first half of Gripping Hand as fast as your audio player will allow -- or get the WhisperSync version and skim to the middle and THEN listen. Ganser's narration is solid, but not worth the hours of listening required to get to the good stuff.
I have never finished this novel despite The Mote in God's Eye being my favorite novel. I don't know if it was my extremely high expectations or I was just judging it too harshly. Well I listened to this and I really enjoyed it and found it to be a decent sequel to "The Mote" I think the reader "who was excellent" really brought the novel to life and greatly enhanced the experience. So thanks Audible I am really glad I listened to this. Well Done!
It was ok but I had a hard time following the story line a lot of times. There seemed to be a lot of unimportant nonsense mixed in. Perhaps this was the authors method of building depth to the story/characters but I found it derailed the plot.
The first book was better...however, I found that the author trying to pass creatures that can modify and improve advanced technology as unintelligent animals was more than a stretch.
Lover of sci-fi, fantasy, horror, mystery, and westerns in all media, including old-time radio dramatizations.
I enjoyed both the story and the performance, but neither left me begging for more. 'The Mote in God'd Eye' should definitely be experienced, first. Don't expect any new ideas or entertaining twists. It's solid scifi, but that's all.
Increasing my ops tempo by allowing storytellers to whisper in my ear(buds).
This has long been my favorite Niven and Pournelle novel. It launches so seamlessly from the first book that surely the story must have been in the minds of N&P all along. This is where the story of the Moties truly begins. Their predicament is explored fully and the solution seems at once surprising and inevitable.
.Again L.J. Ganser does fine work in telling the story. To my ear he does an especially fine job at portraying the female voices.
IF YOU HAVE NOT LISTENED TO THE MOTE IN GOD'S EYE FIRST, DON'T GET THE GRIPPING HAND!! YOU WILL BE THOROUGHLY LOST!!
I had some credits to burn and so decided I wanted to listen to one of the classic series from science fiction. With that in mind, I turned to the Mote in God's Eye and then The Gripping Hand.
After listening to the fantastic words and performance of Mote, I wondered how they could top it off in The Gripping Hand.
While being a good effort, it wasn't quite up to the same level as Mote; though still enjoyable.
First off, the first three hours, or so, seemed to drag on forever. And they have very little, if anything, to do with the rest of the book. Were they tacked on for a higher page count? I don't know. All I know is that I kept waiting for a big tie-in, and it took forever before it finally happened.
The ending was abrupt. I would have rather they lopped some of the beginning off and added a Chapter 29 before the Epilogue. The Epilogue all of a sudden appears and ties the end up. However, it left me scratching me head a little.
Once again, LJ Ganser gave a stellar performance. While I haven't listened to a ton of audiobooks, I think I can say he's my favorite reader so far. His ability to switch accents when switching characters at the drop of a hat is uncanny. He even is able to change his delivery of female characters, though it's not as obvious in The Gripping Hand than it was in Mote. Additionally, it's not over the top, like some readers try.
I'm just disappointed it ended. The third book in the trilogy, written by Pournelle's daughter, takes place on the rim of the empire, and its description leads me to believe has very little to do with the Moties, just as King David's Spaceship didn't either.
Hopefully, we'll get another one from Pournelle and Niven, though they're hard at work on the sequel to Lucifer's Comet right now.
"Waited for more"
In short - I was somehow disappointed in the book.
I had a unique situation, as I already had read the book once in paper format but as the first one (I read the first part of the series after this second part only - somehow started the other way around). So - the first time I loved the book - a lot! Then came a big pause (several years) until I got to read the first book of the series, liked it quite well and decided I had forgotten all about what happens in the second part, so let's read it again!
Well, somehow now it seemed that the first part was much more interesting and the main reason is that the story there moved much quicker. In this book - the Gripping Hand - half of the book or more you are waiting and waiting for some action to start at last, you are bored to death with descriptions of all the Imperial laws and casts and royals and lords and who knows what. Who cares, really??? Give me the aliens already! And when you get them and you already had read the first book, you don't have much of any surprises there left for them, and there seems to be much less interesting interactions with humans there as it was in the first book. So, maybe reading the first book, spoiled the second one... but it shouldn't be like that... so the only conclusion is that the author went wrong somewhere.
So - maybe, if you choose to read it as the only book of the series, it will still be a good choice. But I guess, you should better pick the first one.
I can't rate it bad though, as I loved it the first time I read it. And I liked the narrator, too.
"Surprising sequel to Mote in God's Eye"
I haven't read the printed book.
Matrix 3. It answers all the hanging questions of Mote in God's Eye.
The reader has a good empathy with the written word.
If it wasn't so long I would listen to it in one hit. But if it was short enough to listen to in one go it wouldn't be as involving or enjoyable. I was happy to listen to this over several days.
A brilliant sequel, I'm just waiting for Hollywood to realise there are good stories out there without having to re-hash anymore fairy tails.
"Doesn't pack the punch of the first book..."
It's not often that I don't finish an audiobook since I drive and run quite a lot, in the end I just drifted away from this. I may go back to it at some point, for some reason I can't really explain I didn't feel quite compelled to carry on and switched back to podcasts whist waiting for my next two Audible credits.
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