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Publisher's Summary

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.

What listeners say about The Gripping Hand

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

*Click*

In the first one, the reader makes a click noise when pronouncing feunch(click) ... in this one, he literally says "click" ... It's very distracting and weird, haha. last third of this book is up there with the first. First half drags.

11 people found this helpful

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Sequel to "The Mote in God's Eye"

"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.

26 people found this helpful

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good book, poor production

This is a fascinating, classic book series. I enjoyed the first book, and this was a good follow-up. However, this was a poor audiobook production. It's not that the narrator isn't good; he's been great in other audiobooks. But somehow this book is tough to pull off by a single actor. Transitions between speakers are quick, not well delineated, so having a single voice actor do them all successfully is not easy. It was tough following who was speaking when. What's more, transitions across sections within a chapter were too quick, making it very hard to understand that we've changed setting and characters, resulting in a very confusing audiobook.

It's a pity that this fun book received such a subpar treatment.

7 people found this helpful

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How can the same reader mispronounce this word?!

"Fyunch(click)" The "click" part is pronounced with a sound made by pressing your tongue to the roof of your mouth and then suddenly moving it downward.

The same guy read book 1 and pronounced it correctly but in book 2 he literally says the word "click" instead of making the sound. Yeah, it's a big deal along with his very low range of having any distinction between characters' voices.

Yeah, it's a big deal.

6 people found this helpful

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Not your standard Pournelle and Niven

This book will be amazing if you absolutely loved the first book Mote in Gods Eye. While I enjoyed it, this book focused on a side story that just wasn’t THAT interesting in my opinion. Overall the performance of this book was just fine, but the story was not one of Pournelle’s or Niven’s finest works. The book seemed forced, and focused far too much on setting. Would always prefer detail over setting as Pournelle and Niven do usually. I’d recommend passing on this book. Mote in Gods Eye is just about all you need.

4 people found this helpful

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  • TS
  • 03-16-13

Just not as good as the first

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I don't know who would enjoy this book after the first one. It was a fairly miserable sequel.

Would you ever listen to anything by Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven again?

Probably not.

What aspect of L. J. Ganser’s performance would you have changed?

The performance wasn't that bad, the story was the problem.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Not really. Too silly on an ending, the characters got weak.

Any additional comments?

I wish I'd liked it.

11 people found this helpful

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I was wrong all these years

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!

13 people found this helpful

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The sequel matches the first book

What did you like best about The Gripping Hand? What did you like least?

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.

4 people found this helpful

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Maybe its me but I found this difficult to follow.

Any additional comments?

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.

3 people found this helpful

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Not as good as The Mote In God’s Eye

The first book was a classic. This was good but it had a lot to live up to. It’s worth a listen but I wouldn’t rush out to get it.

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  • Mara
  • 07-07-14

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jenny
  • 06-28-22

sadly, a dull sequel to a classic

Dull and overlong- disappointing.
Much talking by characters whose presence in the narrative only appears to to discuss what’s happening for the benefit of the reader.
The whole first section could easily have been dropped

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  • B.
  • 06-26-22

Long-winded and without the revelations of part 1

I liked part one very much because there were some exciting new concepts in it. This second book is very long winded and really just involves ships going back and forth, shooting at each other, and not much else. The revelations of the relationships within the Moti families did little to help the story.

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  • Anonymous Coward
  • 05-06-22

An absolute classic storyline

I read the book years ago whilst still a teenager. I love audiobooks and this one is well produced. I'm not a big fan of the narrator but you get used to his style quite quickly. Also, his delivery is quite in keeping with the actual book itself.

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  • Nik L.
  • 12-16-21

Fantastic stuff for N&P universe fans

You can't go wrong with these two. Only criticism is it ends too early but was that because I was enjoying the motie space battles. Someone needs to do a figurine of a motie warrior 😉

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  • Call me Bob
  • 03-11-21

Better than the first one

Except some really cringe expression involving lizards this book is great. Much better than the first one.
It has some incredible predictions but it was published in 1993 almost 20 years after the first one. Discussions about private/public encryption keys and more useful persona assistants than Alexa or Google.
Great relationship between the trader Barry and his friend.

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  • Denny
  • 09-18-20

Ruined by OTT narrator

Essentially the same review that I posted for the first book, as I unfortunately bought them both at the same time. This is a great story, being ruined by a narrator who seems to have trained entirely on a diet of action movie trailer voice-overs.

There's unnecessary and hugely distracting amounts of emphasis on almost every word in some sentences. Within minutes of starting to listen, I'm not hearing a story any more, just some sort of freestyle vocal gymnastics - constant pitch and volume changes that combine to somehow leech all meaning from the words.

As with the first book, I hope this one gets re-read by another narrator at some point; I'd love to be able to hear the story, instead of the person reading it.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-06-20

more great to listen to and imagination great

more of the same pls characters were a revelation in the story real interesting

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Gaspar
  • 01-21-20

Adequate sequel to Motes Eye

Enjoyable but underwhelming conclusion to the series, however seemed rushed at the end, fairly big jump to conclusion.nonetheless enjoyed the characters and the somewhat limited expansion of the asteroid moties.
Understand there’s a third book from one of the authors daughter.

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  • Paul c
  • 12-14-18

Great listen

Well presented and seemed to be more academic but just as good as first book. I love the political complexity within the human and alien characters.

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  • Steven
  • 09-07-16

Continuation of a classic story

I'm hoping for a 4th book now as my interest in this particular universe has been reignited. A good wrap up to the other books as the moties could never really be kept in forever. It's the how and what that makes the story interesting.