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4.2 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-6 of 6 reviews(3 star). Show all reviews
on September 23, 1999
What first attracted me to this book is the combination of animals and science fiction. The dolphin characters are hard to distinguish but take on their own shape later. The space battle scenes are thrilling and remind me of the E.E. 'Doc' Smith lensman series. Some of the prose is simple and at times childish, but I enjoyed the uplift concepts and universe very much, and have started to read Sundiver, although reviews say this is the poorest of the series. The aliens do have very solid characters as species and I found a strong mental image had formed of the different creatures. A good read, money and time well spent.
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on February 9, 2001
This book annoys me.
Ok, the story is actually interesting, but the author doesn't tell the WHOLE story. This book would make indeed a very good second book in a trilogy, but the other two books in THIS trilogy do not tell the REST of this story. It's like a great epic is happening, and we are invited to look into only a brief chapter of this epic.
A small spaceship and it's crew of (mostly) dolphins, a few humans and a single chimp are fleeing huge fleets of the galactic super-powers. We are told what caused said powers to do this, but not why. We are hinted at a story of valor, cleverness and mystery that we never get to see.
The spaceship lands on the ocean (pun intended) of a supposedly unoccupied planet, and start exploring it, in search of materials needed for the repairs of the ship, if they are to have any chance of fleeing. Of course, first they'll have to figure out a way of leaving the planet without being captured or simply shot down by the aliens. The exploration also yields a small mystery about the planet, the importance of which is deemed purely academic by the crew (which have a share of academics, so that's not exactly a problem :).
The aliens, meanwhile, give enough time for all of the above to happen by going at each other's throats for the prize of capturing the earthling ship.
This story, we get told. Unfortunately, we *don't* get told how the *rest* of the voyage home goes, aside from being hinted to be every bit as adventurous as this part.
The same thing goes for one of the main characters. In much the same way as in Sundiver, the character is experienced and pivotal figure in a number of other very important and seemingly interesting adventures. Which is all good, except that the author hints just a bit TOO much, getting us interested in tales that are not going to get told.
If not for this "middle of the story" style, I'd rate this book four stars.
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on January 26, 2003
This book is written alot better than the first, Sundiver. I feel David Brin has brillant ideas but its never well put!! This book actually isn't half bad. I personally was rooting for the Galactics, the fearsome warrior alien race against the humans and thier allies. They seem more ineresting to me than the rest of the story. It was also interesting that the humans found a "Herbie" an ancient alien being that hold possible clues to thier past maybe who "Uplifted" them. Does it really matter who uplifted the humans. This book had way too many characters to follow and some shouldn't have been in the story. There isn't as many loop holes in this book as in Sundiver. I was hoping this book would fill in the gaps that was in Sundiver. I feel this book would of been a masterpiece if it was well thought out and focused into some kind of a direction.
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on November 6, 2003
Despite the fact that I wasn't terribly impressed with Sundiver, I read the sequel Startide Rising. You could review this book with two words: "talking dolphins." To be fair however, the dolphins were actually pretty interesting. In Startide Rising we return to the universe Brin has created where races "Uplift" promising species by genetically engineering their intelligence. Lo and behold the simple wolfling humans (actually dolphins for the most part in a ship full of water, good grief) have discovered the missing Progenitors, the supposed parent race of everyone else. At any rate, hilarity ensues as the dolphins crash land on a watery planet (lucky) and attempt to hide while the advanced races fight it out for who gets to capture the clever dolphins and learn the secret of the Progenitors.
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on March 23, 2004
Halfway through this book I simply lost interest in dolphin "poetry" and the presumably exciting struggles of the crashed crew and put the book down (quite likely never to return to it).
The portions of the book dealing with the ET races were quite fun with lots of varied imagery and clever social/racial constructions but when the attention of the story would shift back to the humans/dolphins things ground ever slower and became less colorful and more pedestrian and cliche.
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on June 15, 1999
This book is cheesy in execution. Especially toward the end. I agree with a lot of the negative comments I'm reading here.
However, I really like the idea of talking dolphins. After reading this book, I am ready to sign on to that project. I don't think it will be impossible to bridge the gap separating us from our fellow large mammals.
We're going to need friends out there.
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