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4.1 out of 5 stars
The Uplift War
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on March 22, 2003
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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on June 28, 2002
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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on July 17, 2001
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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on February 9, 2001
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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on September 24, 1998
I just finished David Brin's "The Uplift War" (the second novel I have read from this author) and have to admit that I was impressed. My first Brin novel, "The Postman", had its strengths but I was disappointed in his lack of real character development. Happily, the characters in this novel are fleshed-out and surprisingly believable, especially when you consider how difficult it would be to try and breath life into chimpanzees (uplifted or not) or, of all things, big birds!
I was relieved to find out that one doesn't have to start with the first novel in this series (I have since learned that "The Uplift War" is actually the third book). As I read this novel, I could see that there was at least one novel that preceeded it, but this had no adverse effects on this story. "The Uplift War" stands on its own.
Admittedly, this type of novel may not be everyones' cup-of-tea, and I had problems at first with the Gubru aliens (big birds). But it was Brin's characters and eloquent descriptive narration that drew me in. One could really see these birds posturing as they debated. I went from thinking I was reading a fantasy novel to knowing I was reading a good science fiction novel, and one that required solid research.
So, if I liked it that much, why didn't I give it 5 stars? Unless a novel is absolutely unforgettable, and emotionally moves me (in any and all directions), it won't receive 5 stars. Very few novels (of any genre) deserve 5 stars. On a scale of 1 to 10, "The Uplift War" gets a solid 7 from me, which indicates that it is a very good novel, indeed. The idea behind this series is imaginative and far reaching, and if "The Uplift War" is typical of what to expect in this series, I will soon be purchasing more of David Brin's work. And what better recommendation can I give than that?
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on February 13, 1998
Brin is smarmy, but great at what he does...The Sci-Fi (hic, See his collection of short stories "The River of Time" to get this reference) thang.Poor boy overwhelms himself attempting to be P.C. As far as weaknesses go I can think of many far more detestable. The essence of this series is that we Earthies have stumbled onto the pastime of THE GALACTICS (Ancient races themselves,,, I mean aaaancient) this being raising presentinet species into the much covetted realms of sapience. As you guessed it we screwed up, 'cause we didn't have an uplift lisence for Chimps ( whom seem to prefer the title PANS), and Dolphins. Lots of good hardcore SF & lovable character development. First trilogy was great,and second trilogy is almost finished... Three thumbs up for all of those who might need their other hand/foot to hang from thier favorite branch. -Nyq Bosson - Berkeley CA
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on September 16, 1997
If you have an interest in the vast spectrum of "humanity"; If you've pondered the possibilities of genetic engineering; If you've ever looked a chimpanzee in the eye and seen that glimmer that made you wonder who was watching whom - you will enjoy this story.
If you are a student of animal behavior this story will really amuse you.

If you have a revolutionary mind and cherish the triumph of the qualities of humanity over racism, stereotypes and other prejudices - you will love this story.
Continuing in the Universe of Startide Rising and Sundiver, The Uplift War is a study in the distinction between man and beast where the final consensus will surprise you.
If you are afraid to consider the possibilities of humanity in other species for fear of discovering our current measures lacking - move on, this story is not for you.
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on July 25, 1998
This is the best book in the first uplift trilogy. There is plenty of action, good story plotting, diverting ideas and the science doesn't swamp the book. At over six hundred pages this book is well worth buying. The book earned it's Hugo award. There is no need to read the previous two books in the trilogy as each has a separate story. My favourite aspect was the galactics and there are more of them in this book than the first two. Brin writes well and gives a good read in all the books of the trilogy. He keeps chapters short and moves the story along particularly well in Uplift War, moving between various characters in different situations. This structure is well managed and works for this book so I recommend it to you.
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Is it just me, or does the Gubru seem a lot like the Russian military? Anyway, this book is really very fun, though its a little off the main subject of the Uplift series, but what the hell, its fun. The Gubru takeover is also a lot less violent one than the actions of hostile alien races in the other Uplift novels, which is a plus, and the characters, especially the Tymbrimi girl, are very fun to read about and are interesting. The Uplift War seems less serious and universe-shattering than the other novels but that doesn't detract from it in any way. I guess this entire novel should just be thought of as the chronicle of one battle in the alien siege of mankind.
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on June 20, 2000
I read the Uplift Trilogy in a mixed-up order. I started with Startide Rising (2), then went to Uplift War (3), then finished with Sundiver (1). It's not a big deal to read them out of order, although I would read them in order had I known. In any case, this is a good one. The trilogy's imaginative concept of species "uplifting" one another is a fascinating one that is front and center in this book. Quite a lot of Galactic civilization is discussed, satisfying a thirst from Startide. I did deduct a star due to its length, however.
Read this one last. You'll love it if you like the universe Brin has created.
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