Exploring the original Rama was an quietly stunning experience of wonder; the dark, cold, sterile environment; watching as the alien world awoke. The Ramans completely ignored our explorers, considering them merely trash to be swept away by their bots. The central sea was mysterious and fascinating when frozen, it was mysterious and fascinating when the lights came on and the sea began to melt, the unexplored metal buildings were fascinating, the bots were fascinating. The exploration of Rama was stark, quiet, and beautiful.
Now, take these wonderful things, remove them from the story, add some obnoxious characters whom you will hate, study every aspect of the obnoxious characters in painful detail, and call it a sequel.
The contrast between this and the original leaves me at a loss for words. Terribly disappointing.