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Publisher's Summary

On the planet of Per Ardua, alien artifacts were discovered - hatches that allowed humans to step across light-years of space as if they were stepping into another room. But this newfound freedom has consequences. As humanity discovers the real nature of the universe, a terrifying truth comes to light: We all have countless pasts converging in this present - and our future is terrifyingly finite. There are minds in the universe that are billions of years old, and now we are vulnerable to their plans for us. It's time to fight back and take control.

©2014 Stephen Baxter (P)2015 Tantor

What listeners say about Ultima

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

Book 2 delivers the goods.

Uri Eden, the main protagonist from Book 1, has just barely made it through the hatch with Steph Kalinsky and the Col-U. As their brains wrap around the idea that in this version the Roman Empire didn't fall and became space faring, Uri begins to succumb to what he calls Freezer Burn. Apparently when you've been subjected to Cryo sleep for a large portion of your life cancers run amok when you are thawed.
Back in the Sol system Penny Kalinski, Lex Macgregor, and Beth Eden Jones Narrowly escape distaster in a Hulk-kernel ship test platform as the Chinese Hedgemony crash a bundle of kernel ships moving at near relativistic speed into Mercury. The result propels them to the Roman-Bricante-Sheen Universe without the use of a hatch. One other person is with them...Earthshine. One of the three deep core artificial intelligences. He has an agenda.
There is yet two more Universes visited in this book but I will leave those for you to discover. The story is gripping and in this form excellently told through the vocal ranges of the narrator. It did not disappoint and I'm giving it four out of five entertainment points.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting... not as good as the first book

Even though it is about ancient Romans and Incas, the general concept goes beyond the absurdity of them being in space. In the end, although the are some loose ends, the author brings it all together.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

..maybe skip part 2 for the next mini-series?

First off: I like many of S. Baxter's books and really hope there's much more to come. However, to me it seems to be a theme with him that the first book quite brilliantly narrates a story often with a unique theme - only to be followed up by a *much* weaker sequel. Ultima is one of these sequels (much like Flood - Ark, Time's Eye - Sunstorm, ..) that is way less intriguing than the original book of the mini-series. I'd much rather have him write *1* brilliant book ("The Light of Other Days"!) - and just stop there.. instead of diluting the overall impression with a much weaker sequel. Just my 2 cents, though - hope you'll enjoy your Baxter lecture!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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What a journey

This is a great book. i was on the edge of my seat the entire time. i can't wait until the next one!

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Steam punk Romans in space, cut it out

In my review of Proxima, I said maybe wait til I finish Ultima for a final verdict on both since Proxima left soooo many unanswered questions. I am extremely sorry to report that I could not finish Ultima, the ridiculous factor was so freaking off the charts by three hours of the book I said to myself. this is just insulting and turned it off. sometimes when I shut a book off I have intentions on getting back to it and give the story in question a fair shake. Not this one, when I shut it off there was no semblance of "maybe it can be saved". In my opinion definitely not worth the credit.

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Worthy followup

A bit perfunctory in parts but stuck the ending. The narrator does amazing voice work, especially with accents.

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amazing but depressing

stephan makes another great book were everything dies at the end, almost. I only wish the pacing was faster, then again it is the end of the universe and Stephen's story arcs always seem to span not only multiple books but also billions of years.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Expansive and thought provoking

An expansive and thought provoking trip through time and space where even the Multiverse has an end.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Disappointed

Overall I am very disappointed in this story I feel it had no purpose and no depth with a rinse and repeat plot line. Overall the plot had an air of hopelessness and no real direction.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

narrator was amazing

loved the different character voices, could always tell who was talking from voice alone before the text said who it was. if you read the first book you're going to have to read this one. the COLLU is my best friend