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
3.0 out of 5 stars "Talking monkeys"
I decided to finish the original Uplift series, because so little happened in the first two books I was sure the third would be full of interesting study of the admittedly interesting Brin has invented. In book 3 we swap talking dolphins for talking monkeys. Perhaps a little more believable. One of the senior races has decided to attack and control a human outpost as a...
Published on Nov. 7 2003 by Adam Missner
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Classic From Brin,
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.
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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Delightful Skirmish in Brin's Uplift Series,
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Uplift Book So Far,
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.
2.0 out of 5 stars Plot Contrivances Abound,
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.
3.0 out of 5 stars "Talking monkeys",
This review is from: The Uplift War (Mass Market Paperback)I decided to finish the original Uplift series, because so little happened in the first two books I was sure the third would be full of interesting study of the admittedly interesting Brin has invented. In book 3 we swap talking dolphins for talking monkeys. Perhaps a little more believable. One of the senior races has decided to attack and control a human outpost as a punishment of sorts for the issue with the Progenitors (see book 2). The invaders, big ... intelligent birds, are tricked into making more of an investment than planned and also clearly underestimate the human's primate cousins. Unfortunately, nothing happens, we never get off the annoying planet and nothing is resolved. I can see now why he had to write 3 (or 4 or whatever) more books in the series. Just keep repeating: "I will not read book 4, I will not read book 4..."
4.0 out of 5 stars A huge difference between his previous works.,
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate Airport SF comfort read,
This review is from: The Uplift War (Mass Market Paperback)<puts up hand> OK this is the only book I've ever purchased 9 times since the original print run. The "Uplift" universe may be complete with the second trilogy recently, but as a standalone piece of work the mental pictures do not dim as you (in my case) re-read. Fiben is calling out the fire department to calm me down. Oook-okk
5.0 out of 5 stars Was Bummed. Not so much now.,
This review is from: The Uplift War (Mass Market Paperback)Bummed out. Life sucks. bought Uplift War. Not so bummed. Life
worth living another day.
4.0 out of 5 stars The Monkeys at last.,
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.
4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting and thought-provoking,
This review is from: The Uplift War (Mass Market Paperback)As war rages throughout the galaxy, the bird-like Gubru invade the planet Garth, which is home to humans and their Uplifted client race, the chimpanzees. Cut off from outside help, two young people, one human and one alien, are forced by circumstance to become the leaders of a chimp army in a guerrilla war. There is a lot of action in this third novel of David Brin's Uplift series. So far, each entry has been better than its predeccesor. Brin's prose is frequently clunky, but his story is tight and he has a rare ability to create plausible and fascinating alien cultures and psychologies.
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The Uplift War by David Brin (Mass Market Paperback - June 1 1987)
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