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Publisher's Summary

Returned to the Earth of 2037 by the Firstborn, mysterious beings of almost limitless technological prowess, Bisesa Dutt is haunted by the memories of her five years spent on the strange alternate Earth called Mir, a jigsaw-puzzle world made up of lands and people cut out of different eras of Earth's history.Why did the Firstborn create Mir? Why was Bisesa taken there and then brought back on the day after her original disappearance?

Bisesa's questions receive a chilling answer when scientists discover an anomaly in the sun's core - an anomaly that has no natural cause, evidence of alien intervention over two thousand years before. Now, plans set in motion millennia ago by inscrutable watchers light-years away are coming to fruition, in a sunstorm designed to scour the Earth of all life through a bombardment of deadly radiation.

Thus commences a furious race against a ticking solar time bomb. But even now, as apocalypse looms, cooperation is not easy for the peoples and nations of the Earth. Religious and political differences threaten to undermine every effort. And all the while, the Firstborn are watching...

©2005 Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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What listeners say about Sunstorm

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

amazing book. I strongly recommend it!

For the Scifi lovers, this book is a state of art! I strongly recommend it!

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Part 2 of the end of the world as we know it!

What did you like best about Sunstorm? What did you like least?

I loved what I learned about the Sun and how scientists would work together to solve the impossible. It was great science fiction.
I didn't like the fact that even though this was a continuation of another book, "Time's Eye" there was only one character from the original book in this one. Disappointing.

What did you like best about this story?

I learned a great deal about options in cases of the Sun going crazy and the ingenuity of humanity.

Which character – as performed by John Lee – was your favorite?

My favorite characters were the AI's Aristotle, Athena and Thalius. There was a little bit of Hal in them that reminded me of 2001.

Was Sunstorm worth the listening time?

Yes, definitely. Can't wait to listen to the third book, "Firstborn" to see how it all turns out!

Any additional comments?

Arthur C Clarke is one of my favorite authors. His books never disappoint and are always based on science fact. You can't go wrong with him or John Lee as the reader!

2 people found this helpful

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Very scientific

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I love time travel novels. The first in this series was more time travel related. This book was very informative about the sun. Good but not great.

Would you recommend Sunstorm to your friends? Why or why not?

Yes. It's part of the series.

2 people found this helpful

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amazing sequel

this book picked up nicely where the first stopped, amazing writing, well right out and some nice twisted and turns

1 person found this helpful

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Gets Better As It Goes.

This 2nd installment in this series took a while to grab my attention. About half way through it picked up considerably and I couldn't put it down.

Classic Clarke and Baxter. I haven't read a ton of Stephen Baxter but I've almost read every single book that Arthur C Clarke has ever written and I've loved almost all of it. The "almost" might apply to the beginning of this book.

Coming off the heels of the time slip adventure of the 1st volume of this series, I was little let down and confused by the change of direction for the narrative. I had so many unanswered questions about the eyes, Mir, the time slip mechanics, the modern characters from the last book, and this book just jumps ahead into a modern era Earth based adventure with a "sun about to explode and wipe us out" story line that didn't interest me at first.

After what felt like a long-ish set up dealing with lots of global politics and built up suspense, the book finally started to grab my attention when they started working out the master plan to build a shield. Up until then, I was having trouble keeping interested and engaged. Especially after how moved I was by the story of the humans from different timelines being thrown together, this felt a little too "disaster movie" by contrast for my taste.

Like all Clarke stories, they grow on me and get better as they unfold. I eventually became invested and was all about it by the end.

Excited to see what the final book of the series does with 2 such different books to start out. I want to know more about the 3 AI minds laser shot across the stars, I want to learn more about the first born and their story, I wish I knew what became of the Mir world and the alternate timeline inhabitants. Where is Mir and where are those humans now?

1 person found this helpful

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Educated people won't War?

This is the second book of a series, but so little from the first book is used in this book, you really don't have to start with the first book if you don't want.

Neither Clarke or Baxter are known for character development. The are know for Science and showing the epic size of our Universe. This book is no different from the most of what Clarke writes, so if you like Clarke you will like this. I have always been interested in our Sun and there is a lot here on the Sun. If you are not into science or the Sun then you will not want this book.

I liked the old fashioned Can Do attitude of this book. I am not sure I have the confidence in the human race to work together, as suggested here, but it was nice to dream. I also believe having one big shield instead of several small shields, may have been a little old fashioned. In the eighties we thought one big lens for Hubble was the way to go. After putting it into space and having nothing but problems with the lens, we discovered that a group of smaller lenses working together would have worked better and that is the way our big telescopes are being built today.

Some may be offended by Clarke's views on religion. If you have read Clarke before you know he hates religion and blames them for the woes of the earth. He also makes it plain here again that people who believe in a Creator are Idiots. He also uses again, the Star of Bethlehem, to represent evil. I am able to look past this, but you might not. Clarke is dead now, so he is finding out the truth.

I was a little surprised by the anti Chinese sentiment in this book. I laughed at Clarke and Baxter's, couple of attempts at sex scenes. You could certainly tell two nerds wrote them. At the beginning there is an attempt to show sympathy for a pretty person being taken serious in a group of scientist. There was more feeling shown for an AI dying then for millions of people dying, or one scientist's own daughter. One AI was even the biggest hero. Clarke believes that if everyone was educated we would not have wars. I believe it would help, but Clarke has evidently not seen what happens when a group of tenured College PHD's, don't want someone with different political views entering there departments.

I often have different views on John Lee's strange voice and his lack of doing different voices, even between genders, but I felt he fit this book well.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Great SF

With the other books in the series a fine, wide spanning part-fantasy, part hard science fiction story. Well written, well read, worth the money.

3 people found this helpful

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We live in a BIG Universe

Clarke and Baxter do not disappoint as they continue their trilogy through time, space and consciousness.

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Quite Good

There are many elements of this story I appreciate. The harder science look at how Earth might build some kind of defense against a threat of such an absolute apocalypse level is fascinating and I could imagine a young reader reading this and being swept up in the possibilities of a future where such impossible structures would exist.

There are some minor distractions, here is one that I found especially worrying, the date of the initial sun storm is June 9th, which most people would not notice, is 6-9, as in the sex number 69. And you, like me, might be saying, "that could be a coincidence"... well, I recall while hearing that date thinking, "That is distracting. At least he didn't put it on 4-20."

Wanna guess what date the second and more devastating sun storm occurs? April 20th. Stupid, minor author joke that happens in the same book which has a lengthy and lovely section talking about the age of miracles. Annoying.

Biggest complaint is how it hooks into the last book in the series and how different these two are in tone. The author seems to have no idea what to do with the one character from the first book that appears in this one as they appear in the narrative, dawdle around, and add nothing to the plot. I feel that had her reappearance to the story been at the very end of the book, telling the cast of this story the horrifying truth that the aliens called the "First Born" are the ones behind the sun storm and telling them about the events of the first book leading into the 3rd book would have been better. Would have also allowed this book and book 1 to be side-quels to one another rather than this one trying and failing to be a sequel.

Last thing, I don't think that the ultimate fallout from the sun storm was bad enough. While the death toll is horrifying, it was still not big enough for the kind of disaster that is the center of this story.

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Even worse than the first in the series

I thought book 1 was bad, but this was horrible . Must be Baxter and not Clarke. He piled on every PC cliche imaginable . I won't be moving onto book 3.

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  • Nick
  • 09-09-08

Top stuff

A very fine story but the first book is required reading albeit there is no direct connection and they can stand alone.This is very Stephen Baxter ! Everywhere there are references to 'soft screens'a device that populates many of his previous books. It almost borders on an obsession and can get quite tedious with ''soft screen this and soft screen that'' but the book is nonetheless a first class tale. The dome referred to in the latter stages is a variation of a dome referred to in Time Ships, perhaps his best work to date and one that Audible Books should look to include.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I have.

7 people found this helpful

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  • andrew wood
  • 08-15-21

Two down, bring on book three.

A most enjoyable listen. Totally different from the plot of book one, although connected. Narration was excellent, was expected by the skills of John Lee. Book three ready to go.

1 person found this helpful

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  • RK Walker
  • 05-24-20

Great story

I read the story when it was first published in 2005 so vaguely remembered it, but hearing it read brought another level of enjoyment and it was read very well. Great story entertainingly read.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Petteri
  • 07-08-16

Detailed story

Narrated in detailed, describing way. Pleasant to listen to while working or driving. Enjoyable if not truly engaging.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Dr. C. J. Durrant
  • 05-16-15

excellent

one of the most bizarre journeys you will ever be taken on, cant wait to hear the next instalment of this saga.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Martin R
  • 10-17-21

Fantastic story

The story really pulled you in. Especially in the build up to the Sun Storm.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Ash J
  • 09-11-21

Bad

The only thing worse than the story is the narrator. Absolutely appalling accents and pronunciation of some words completely wrong (not just a British English vs American English thing either).

I didn't think the second book could be as bad as the first but hey life is full of surprises. This is full of dull as dishwater "science bits" that just sound like they've been shoved in there to bulk out the book. Lacks cohesion, the characters still suck, and yet more pointless sex references that add nothing to the story. Yawn.

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  • Suetpud
  • 09-05-21

Exhilaratingly brilliant!

I find myself drawn to stories about natural disasters, or any kind of disasters, but most leave me in despair about humanity. These two masters of big- thinkery (I invented that term😁) seem to break through the cobwebs of hopelessness with their boundless imaginations and faith in technology. I usually think it's best to avoid the disaster in the first place but maybe we are just not programmed to do that? We dive in headlong, ride the wave, reap the destruction, then somehow out of the bottleneck we emerge with ingenuity and determination to start again. That's a pretty good description of evolution so maybe that's just life in all its glory! I am so excited to see where we go next and to learn more about our benevolent or is it ruthless watchers.

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  • Ross
  • 08-29-21

Woke nonsense spoils the story

I tried to stick with the story but could not get past the woke nonsense woven into the characters and plot.