At some point in the last 10-15 years it became fashionable for well-known and somewhat less well-known authors to co-write novels.
I can only speak for sci-fi novels because that's what I primarily read but, BAD IDEA!
I routinely leave novels untouched on the bookstore shelves when I see they have been co-authored. Nothing done by a committee, even a committee of two, is EVER as good as the original thought and personality of a single great author.
In this case the great author is Clarke. Why oh why, did he ever agree to this (please tell me he was not blinded by the almighty Dollar - or in this case the almighty Rupee). It would have been better if it had never been written!
I tried reading and skimming, and reading a few lines from each paragraph, and turning pages hoping it would kick in, but it just continued to wallow in it's own mire.
I stopped dead reading the book at Chapter 5, first paragraph, when I came across this line: "The catalyst for the relatively rapid collapse of the existing institutional infrastructure was the market crash and subsequent breakdown of the global financial system; however, these events would not have been sufficient, by themselves, to......" On and on, Blah, Blah, Blah. Gentry Lee would be hired instantly for a job writing federal government publications.
Does this even remotely come close to the tight, succinct writing in Rendezvous with Rama? (albeit short on characterization - but, WHO CARES when it's Clarke)
It's sad, very very sad. I wanted so badly to read more Rama. Instead I get Rama-dama-ding-dong.
Clarke states in this book's introduction: "I filled floppy disks (for Gentry Lee) with concepts, characters, backgrounds, plots - anything which seemed even remotely useful to the story....