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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Classic From Brin
Warning: if you are not a fan of novels that deal in ideas over mindless shoot-'em-ups, which trade in complex concepts and mysteries rather than simple plots, or that take their time to develop three dimensional, motivated characters rather than offer thinly drawn, unimaginative dimbulbs whose chief function is to chew cigars and shewt them thar alien critters, then this...
Published on May 28 2004 by Phrodoe

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Had me until the last 50 pages
I was a little disappointed with this one. I liked the other two books in the series and I enjoy his universe. I really enjoyed about  of this book. I found the plight of the Tymbrini female and the human male quite compelling and vivid. Making the chimpanzee's key to the telling of this book left me cold, primarily because they appeared too human to me. There...
Published on June 19 1999


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Classic From Brin, May 28 2004
By 
Phrodoe "Child Of The Kindly Midwest" (Another day older and deeper in debt...) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Uplift War (Mass Market Paperback)
Warning: if you are not a fan of novels that deal in ideas over mindless shoot-'em-ups, which trade in complex concepts and mysteries rather than simple plots, or that take their time to develop three dimensional, motivated characters rather than offer thinly drawn, unimaginative dimbulbs whose chief function is to chew cigars and shewt them thar alien critters, then this book is not for you. However, if you are a fan of those things, then The Uplift War is something you should read, if you haven't already. This novel is one of David Brin's finest, brimming cover to cover with the things that make science fiction great: rich world-building, characters that leap off the page and make you care about them, tight plotting, aliens that are truly alien rather than just humans in suits, and enough credible science to please a bevy of MIT grads.
The novel is set in Brin's Uplift universe, introduced in his novel Sundiver and fleshed out in his Hugo winning Startide Rising. Uplift War won the Hugo as well, a considerable achievement . . . and while it is not quite as good as the book that preceded it, it is still a thoroughly excellent novel, which benefits from being both part of a great series of books, and being a novel that can be read as a stand-alone.
Anyone interested enough in Brin and the Uplift universe should know something about it by now; for those who don't, they can glean all they need to know from other reviews of this book or any of the other Uplift books. The simple explanation is that every species in the Five Galaxies as been uplifted or raised to sentience by another race, except for the "wolfling" human race. As a result, humans' place in the galactic political structure is uncertain at best. And humans, aided by their own uplifted clients, chimpanzees and dolphins, have a knack for stirring up trouble.
In the case of The Uplift War, the Five Galaxies are in turmoil because of an important find made by the dolphin ship Streaker-a mummified corpse nicknamed Herbie that may be one of the fabled Progenitors, the race that first uplifted a client species billions of years ago, and the location of the derelict fleet where Herbie was found. (All this is dealt with in far more detail in Startide Rising, and though it isn't necessary to read that book to enjoy this one, you may want to do so anyway because it's just as good.) Streaker and its dolphins never make an appearance in Uplift War except by mention, but the repercussions of their discovery are a chief motivator for everything that happens.

The novel is set on Garth, a planet nearly destroyed by its last owners, a client race that reverted to feral status and ravaged it. It was given over to Humans mostly as a cruel joke by the other Galactics-the planet is on the verge of dying, and if it fails, it will be a Human failure, furthering the arguments of those who want to reduce Men to clients. But because war is erupting across the Galaxies, Garth has gained strategic importance-especially if it can be seized from the Humans, and its large population of uplifted chimpanzees can be made to forsake their Human patrons in favor of another race. This is the plot of the Gubru, birdlike beings that invade Garth near the beginning of the novel, plunging the planet into chaos and putting its residents under martial law.
Among those residents are Robert Oneagle, a captain in the Planetary Defense force and son of the Planetary Coordinator; Fiben Bolger, a chimpanzee ecologist and lieutenant in the militia; Uthacalthing, the practical-joke-loving Tymbrimi ambassador; his spirited daughter Athaclena; Kault, the newly-arrived Thenannin ambassador; Gailet Jones, a chimpanzee sociologist; and Sylvie, a chimpanzee who becomes one of Fiben's companions. They are thrown together in various interesting combinations as Humans and chimpanzees fight a guerilla war to free Garth, and uncover the Gubru's plot to replace Men as chimpanzees' patrons. A secondary plot is the race to discover and adopt a mysterious, unseen race known as Garthlings. There's also a developing relationship between Robert Oneagle and Athaclena, an intricate jest planned by Uthacalthing, explorations of the various aliens on Garth, action galore, and more mysteries than you can shake a banana at.
Brin handles it all with aplomb and intelligence. He lets the story develop at its own pace-something I find far preferable to the forced pace of most SF. Along the way develops his characters, and their stories, in truly masterful fashion. Most impressive, aside from his adept handling of the Tymbrimi and Gubru characters, is what he does with the chimpanzees. As he did with the dolphins in Startide Rising, Brin takes animals we have unconsciously anthropomorphized for decades, and creates for them an intelligence similar to, yet wholly independent from, what we think of as human. Brin makes an entirely new species out of his "chims," and the more you read about them the more fascinating, and enjoyable, they become. Of course, the same can be said of all the characters in the book, but the chims are the heart of this novel, much as the dolphins were in Startide. They make the book what it is.
One of the things the book is, is long. At over six hundred pages it's pretty darned big, and there's a little fat here and there that Brin might have been able to safely cut-but this is a minor fault, in the end. The Uplift War is an excellent, intelligent novel, an exhilarating page-turner that exemplifies so much of what is great about science fiction. Just writing about it has made me want to read it all over again, and higher praise than that I cannot give.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Delightful Skirmish in Brin's Uplift Series, June 24 2004
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This review is from: The Uplift War (Mass Market Paperback)
This is the third installment in Brin's acclaimed Uplift Trilogy. On the distant planet Garth, an alien race called the Gubru attacks the Terran colonials, not only hoping to discredit the human race, but to raise their own status in a complex galactic power play. After the human colonists are quickly subdued by sophisticated gas weapons, the resistance has to come from their "uplifted clients": the intelligence-augmented chimpanzees who are conquering space at the side of their patrons. Badly outgunned by the invaders, the chimps can use help from any ally they can find, including the possibly-mythical original inhabitants of the planet, the Garthlings. The protagonist, a chimp named Fiben, is very nicely drawn, exhibiting remarkably human behavior, but with occasional hints of his animal nature showing through. His escapade in the nightclub is particularly memorable. A magnificent sci-fi adventure for adults as well as mid-to-older teens.
It probably isn't necessary to read the two previous volumes of this trilogy to enjoy this novel; Sundiver is a rambling jumble of a book, and only provides the most general type of background for the next two, and while Startide Rising opens a lot of the issues that are being pursued here, the focus is on a completely different battle in the greater war, and tends to get bogged down by the trinary poetry that is spoken by the uplifted dolphin race. But after all, if you're a fan of Brin's particular brand of galactic intrigue, you may as well begin at the beginning, since sooner or later you'll probably want to read these books anyway.
For the more discriminating reader, this novel is a little more tightly controlled than Startide, managing to keep its twists and turns within the context of the immediate story, instead spending most of its pages setting up larger issues for future volumes. There are plenty of surprises, but again, some editing could have made this a tighter and more thoroughly enjoyable book. Also, a warning: for the concluding book of a trilogy, this volume provides very little in the way of answers to the broader questions presented in Startide Rising. One hopes that the Second Uplift trilogy will provide some closure on these bigger issues.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best Uplift Book So Far, April 13 2004
By 
themarsman (Georgetown, TX) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Uplift War (Mass Market Paperback)
Brin's The Uplift War is definitely the best of the Uplift Series to this point. Of the first three books in the series, The Uplift War does best what a good book should do...suck the reader in, hold on and not let go until the end.
The Uplift War focuses around the Terran colony world of Garth. Due to events that take place in the previous book -- Startide Rising -- Garth is besieged by the Gubru, a fanatical, bird-like race. Most of the humans on Garth are placed in isolation camps after the Gubru overrun the colony. It's up to the few who escape internment (including several friendly aliens), along with a lot of chimpanzees, to try and repel the invasion.
I'd like to get it out here at the beginning that this book does occassionally have its slow parts...but then, what book doesn't? That being said, the book certainly has lots of action and enough twists and turns to easily keep the reader interested. The book also gives us our first look at the Tymbrimi...one of the few Galactic species friendly to those claiming an Earthly heritage. I also thought the Tymbrimi corona was a great idea. The corona is a kind of psychic antenna that not only allows the Tymbrimi to sense others' feelings, but also allows the Tymbrimi to craft emotion "glyphs" -- a kind of psychic artform that can influence others in a multitude of ways.
All but one of the main characters in this book is a non-human. Brin did a great job of not only telling his tale from the perspective of Tymbrimi and chimpanzees, but also did an excellent job in really defining the similarities and differences of Tymbrimi and chimpanzees with regards to humans. I've seen other reviewers proclaim that Brin is truly an expert at creating and then elaborating on aliens he has constructed with his pen...I enthusiastically add my voice to this chorus.
Overall, this book is far-and-away the best of the first three Uplift books. The first three books in the Uplift Series happen to be the first three books I've read of Brin's. I'd say that with The Uplift War he's finally living up to his stellar reputation for great scifi.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Plot Contrivances Abound, March 11 2004
By 
B. Berger (OH USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Uplift War (Mass Market Paperback)
Though I like the universe that Brin has created, the execution of story telling in that universe is unfullfilling. Thank goodness I can skip a bit now and then because some parts are positively embarrassing.
One part I have to explain to make my point.... I'll try and keep it generic but here is a Spoiler Alert!!!
Near the end, we find that one of the main characters (a chimmy) has been conditioned mentally. This conditioning leads her to be unable to speak and explain the conditioning to those that could do something about it. So she can't speak for a time. Then, suddenly, she can speak freely for a while to explain a complex galactic tradition. Minutes later, when she tries to speak about the conditioning, she can't speak again. This sounds more like magic than any kind of science... and this IS science fiction. The problem is that the author created a conflict easily resolved by just saying, "hey, wait a minute!" He then needed a mechanism to continue the conflict to the point of another, more-satisfying conclusion. There are other examples of this but hey, you be the judge if you have the time to read this one.
If you want a similar vastness of scope with better story telling and overall writing, I recommend Vernor Vinge.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A huge difference between his previous works., March 22 2003
This review is from: The Uplift War (Mass Market Paperback)
I must admit there is no reason for me to hate this book. Honestly, I hated Sundiver and Startide Rising, which by the way, I felt were a waste of time. In this book at least David Brin was very consistant and true to the story at hand. He didn't throw all these extra elements that had nothing to do with the book like in his previous novels. The four major players in this books were Robert Oneagle, a captian of a militia special forces and son of a planetary coordinator. Athaclena a Tymbrimi who's a shapeshifter with physic abilities. Fiben & Gailet both chims (a chimpanzee race that was uplifted by humans.) In this book it was interesting to see that humans were "NOT" majors players and the whole Galatic counsel were aliens races. Athaclena a daughter of a Galatic diplomat discovers that humans were illegally uplifting gorillas added an element of surprise. Most of the Galatics feels the human race is infantile but they had uplifted chimps and dolphins before alien contact. So, there is a mystery on who uplifted the humans if the humans has uplifted thier clients and who is the humans' patrons. Which I could care less about on who uplifted the humans. The history on this planet was unique due to the supposedily extincted race called the Garthling. I would have to say that David Brin did a better job in this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Monkeys at last., June 28 2002
This review is from: The Uplift War (Mass Market Paperback)
The uplift war is the third book in the uplift saga by David Brin. For those who don't know, the series begins with Sundiver which introduces the concept of uplift and some of the Galactic species.
The series was developed by Startide Rising, where we see the crew of a Fen ship (Neo-dolphins) trying to elude capture by alien fleets.
In this book, we are introduced to the world of the Chen, the uplifted neo-chimpanzees. We gain an insight into the differences between Chen and Humans, and we are brought more deeply into an appreciation of three of the alien races, the birdlike Gubru, the Thenanin and the Tymbrimi.
Of the three books to date this is the most rounded and satisfying story. In addition the characters are solid and believable, so that we develop a real affection for Fiben Bolger, a chimp, we understand the level of affection possible between alien races, and we see something of how alien thinking works in the Gubru.
This book also gives us a better feel for the power of galactic protocol and for the role of the library in interspecies affairs.
I am hooked on Uplift now, and I have to move on and read the next installment. If they keep getting better with each book as they have been doing, I am in for a real treat.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, Aug. 19 2001
This review is from: The Uplift War (Mass Market Paperback)
Though this is actually the third novel in the first uplift trilogy it stands neatly on it's own. It may be wiser to start with Startide Rising, though. Anyway, in this book an alien bird-like race (Gubru) lays siege to a human colony world(Garth). With a Galaxy-wide war set around humans this lonely and poor colony must face it's would-be conquerors alone. It's one battle in the whole war whose causes are better described in Startide (though they are also explained here). Brin does an exceptional work in describing the chimpanzee culture who must strive to help their human patrons in saving Garth. All characters are wonderfully explored and complex, even the aliens! For those of you who are looking for the characters presented in Startide Rising, tough luck! This isn't it! For that read Brightness Reef(the first book of the second trilogy). We also get a close look at Earth's Tymbrimi allies and Thenanin enemies. Though you could skip this book in the overall streaker series I found it extremely entertaining and absolutely engrossing. Besides the ultimate conclusion of this book shall play an essential role in the outcome of the greater war.
Very entertaining and highly recommended. Brin's very best!
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2.0 out of 5 stars interesting ideas, clunky prose, Aug. 5 2001
By 
Bart Everson "Editor B" (New Orleans, LA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Uplift War (Mass Market Paperback)
I would never recommend The Uplift War to my friends who are skeptical about science fiction. It has too many conventions peculiar to the genre. There are aliens of many races, psychic powers, galactic empires, robots, ray guns and spaceships that travel faster than light. It's all a bit much in a single book if you've never read science fiction before.
Furthermore, this is not an easy read. The pages are peppered with made-up alien words like lurrunanu and tu'fluk. There's also a sprinkling of obscure English words, such as covinous and antelucan, which revealed the inadequacy of my dictionary. As much as I enjoyed expanding my vocabulary, these terms seem awkward and gratuitous here.
In fact, I found Brin's prose style to be quite difficult, but not particularly beautiful or rewarding. Some passages are absolutely painful, such as when the author describes a wall as "the barrier that undulated complacently over the countryside like a net settled firmly over their lives."
If that doesn't bother you, and if you're already a fan of the science fiction genre, then you might enjoy this book. The tone is light and at times humorous. The alien psychologies are compelling and are probably the best thing here. And of course there's the concept of Uplift itself -- the idea that one species can raise another to sentience. This is a huge idea, and I can readily understand how Brin has milked so many novels out of it.
Brin is a scientist, and there are a number of thought-provoking speculations here. Unfortunately they are spread a bit thin over 600+ pages. The emphasis is definitely on action and fun.
A note of warning to would-be readers: The Uplift War stands on its own, but early on you will encounter some intriguing references to a spaceship piloted by dolphins that has made a mysterious discovery of galactic significance. Don't expect to find this mystery revealed in The Uplift War. You'll have to read Startide Rising if you really want to know.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The best of the first "trilogy"., July 17 2001
By 
Christopher Ware (Fremont, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Uplift War (Mass Market Paperback)
While not comprising a true trilogy, the first three books in David Brin's UPLIFT SAGA (SUNDIVER, STARTIDE RISING, and THE UPLIFT WAR) serve to introduce the reader to the author's universe. Of those three, I have to say that THE UPLIFT WAR is, by far, the best of the three. SUNDIVER was the "true" introduction to this universe and was a well crafted detective story, which was completely unexpected. I found the second book, however, to be extremely boring and long winded. In my review of that book, I mentioned that it could have easily been 200 pages shorter. THE UPLIFT WAR, however, was a very engrossing book. The problem with STARTIDE RISING was the fact that, quite a few times, nothing really happened for dozens of pages. There was very little action to propel the book along. Thankfully, I found this was the complete opposite for this book. Brin intersperses his character development with thoroughly enjoyable action sequences and a lot of political intrigue.
While the concept of Uplift that Brin has created (you'll just have to read the books to truly understand it) is very intriguing, what makes this book so enjoyable is the characters and their interaction with one another. Brin has a talent for getting inside the head of his aliens as well as his uplifted species (in this case, chimpanzees). He uses these characters to examine humanity, both their strengths and their weaknesses, as seen by those outside of our species. It's brilliantly done. Not only that, but the characters themselves are interesting: the daughter of an alien ambassador, a chimpanzee in the colonial militia, and the son of the planet's administrator make up the main character group for the story. These are supported by a varied and colorful cast of supporting characters, each with their own personalities and quirks.
This book is, on the surface, a story of humanity and their chimpanzee allies fighting to regain control of the planet they had been ceded in the society of the Five Galaxies. Guerilla warfare and political maneuvering make up the majority of the book, while character development and changing relationships drive the plot forward. A very satisfying entry in the world of Uplift. Definitely the best one yet in the story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Best book in the first Uplift trilogy, Feb. 9 2001
By 
Daniel C. Sobral (Brasilia, DF, Brazil) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Uplift War (Mass Market Paperback)
This book was actually very satisfying. It did not fill the spaces the first two books in the trilogy leave open, but it did not open NEW spaces to be left unfilled.
A distant earthling colony finds themselves in serious trouble of no fault of their own, as events far away in the galaxy makes them a valid target for a galactic power wishing to either blackmail Earth or gain moral (and legal) high ground against Earth in the eyes of the galactic institutions.
The colony prepares itself to put a good fight, but their plans crumble as almost all humans in the planet are effectively put out of the battle by a clever, if low, tactics by the invader. Worse, the invaders have awfully good intelligence on all movements by the Earthlings, which pretty much ends the war almost before it starts.
Only they are not so lucky when it comes to reaching their goals. One human and the daughter of the Tymbrimi ambassador, one of the few aliens allied to Earth, escape capture and, together, with the help of the chimps the invaders consider harmless, they manage to deny the invaders any legal high ground, while making the invasion a much more costly affair than expected.
Meanwhile, a huge practical joke the Tymbrimi ambassador set in motion slowly moves toward having very serious consequences for the invasion, and for the entire war Earth and it's allies are fighting for survival.
So, what's good? Many characters with well developed personalities and interesting stories, no magical solutions, and a good, moderate pace.
Better yet, none of the problems of the first two books. :-)
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The Uplift War
The Uplift War by David Brin (Mass Market Paperback - June 1 1987)
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