The search for the Builders, the legendary alien race whose unfathomable constructs continue to perplex scholars and explorers alike, has led Builder expert Darya Lang, adventurer Hans Rebka, and treasure hunters Louis Nenda and Atvar H'sial to an unknown Builder artifact far outside the spiral arm. There they find the Zardalu, once the greatest menace ever known to the worlds of the spiral arm, enslaving entire races and exterminating others, guided by the unswerving belief in their own supremacy.
The only chance to eliminate the Zardalu threat is to find them all and wipe them out before they have time to breed back up to strength and once again threaten civilized beings everywhere. But the way will not be easy. Even if they manage to locate the Zardalu, they still have the Builders to deal with. For the closer they get to their quarry, the clearer it becomes that the Zardalu and their world are closely entwined with the fate, and the plans, of the Builders themselves.
©1992 Charles Sheffield; (P)2000 Blackstone Audiobooks
"Sheffield's narrative is smooth, and the joys, pitfalls and dangers of exploration are conveyed well." (Publishers Weekly)
I have read then all...all sci-fi authors for the past 50 years and this is one of the finest(TO ME..N0 1)..And audible has RECENTLY put out ,..for us.. the entire four book HERITAGE SERIES (unabridged) no less..of THE BEST OF this scientest's great works. This book is next to last of the series..read them in order if you can..but each is really a masterpiece.
The author, is not only tops in the sci-fi field, but is a well educated scientest..in physics, quantum mechanics, theoritacal phsyics.(cosmology to quantum mysteries and on) AND he incorporates this universal understanding and level of knowledge into his works!!!..Sci fi readers...read ...and beg the author for more!!
Prof. D.T.K (retired)
Transcendence is even better than the first two books in the Heritage series. I know some people like their books to move a little faster, but Sheffield liked to add detail to his writings. That detail may seem a bit long winded, but it helps you understand the story MUCH better, and you don't realize the detail added to the story until you reflect on the story a while.
Several times I found myself wishing it would move a bit faster, but then I realized it just because the story was so good I wanted to find out what happened next!
The Heritage series is probably not for people that like "light" Sci-fi, Sheffield wrote HARD sci-fi with a lot of detail and explanation about his Characters, planets, aliens, technology, etc.
The series is for intelligent adults, not the kiddies.
I just finished burning book 4 (Convergence, the final book in the series) and can't wait to listen to it... so I'm cutting this review short ;)
The narration, as always with this series, is VERY well done.
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)
The denouement is a chapter(+) too long. And there aren't any excerpts from the alien reference guide in this book, only excerpts from a space explorer's biography which I didn't like as much as the detailing of alien species; but, of course, no new species are introduced in this book, so I guess we didn't miss anything.
This installment has less "mystery" and less exploration of aliens/Builders... it's more an action-adventure book than a sci-fi exploration book (though the action all occurs on an alien planet). There are some hard sci-fi explanations of various techy things, but you don't really have to follow the science to follow the story.
All in all, it was my least favorite of the 3 so far (a 3.5 instead of a 4), but I will be reading the next (final) book in the series because the characters are interesting and fun to follow - and I'm curious what Louis and Ant will get up to... (though it is not a cliff-hanger ending).
The narration is very good. There is no sex or foul language and not much in the way of violence either. I'd suggest you don't start with this book though - start with the first book because the story would probably not make much sense on its own - in particular, the humor and some of the suspense requires you be familiar with the characters.
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