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Brightness Reef by David Brin

Brightness Reef (1995)

by David Brin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Uplift Saga (4), Second Uplift Trilogy (1)

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1,914153,580 (3.72)33



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English (13)  Dutch (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (15)
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
This review covers all three books in the 2nd Uplift Trilogy, (Brightness Reef, Infinity's Shore, and Heaven's Reach).

At the end of the day, this rather long story, (nearly 2,000 pages over three volumes), is a good book that leaves some big openings for more adventures in the Uplift Universe. With that said, I really enjoyed the first three Uplift books, (Sundiver, Startide Rising, The Uplift War), more than I did this second trilogy. I think that is due to the stand-alone nature of the initial three volumes. I liked that each of those books told a relatively complete story that was set against a larger backdrop that stayed mostly in the background. Further, this fourth installment, (again, I'm talking about three books here), could have stood some editing. There is quite a bit of repetition of information - and not all of that can be attributed to getting the reader up to speed with what happened in the preceding volume. Rather, it sometimes felt as though Brin had lost some threads and was reminding himself, (and the reader), of where things stood. At times, he was (validly) revisiting a situation from the perspective of a different character - but often it felt like redundant info-dumping. Yes, we know most of the Galactics are against the upstart human 'wolflings' and their client species, the neo-chimps and neo-dolphins - please stop hitting us with that particular truncheon!

On to the good things: The overall story is really pretty great. As an unabashed and unapologetic Space Opera tale, this 2nd Uplift Trilogy does not disappoint. Throughout these Uplift books, Brin has taken a 'kitchen-sink' approach to the science, (he even says so in the afterword). He throws one big idea on top of another on top of third and a fourth. And then keeps doing it! His position as consultant for NASA is showing here in a big way - and that's a good thing because the ideas are grand and he does a good job of laying it out for us lay-people. Among all that science and big ideas, there are also a wide variety of characters to track - and there is a fair amount of head-hopping as a result - but Brin is a talented enough writer that he pulls off that aspect quite well. Helping to ease the transitions, most perspective shifts happen at logical chapter breaks. Now, with such a large cast of players, some are bound to be more interesting than others and a handful of characters do seemingly get short shrift - but I can see where Brin might re-visit some of them in order to explore their stories in greater depth. There are also other characters from the first three books that don't show up here at all, (most notably the ones left behind on Kithrup at the end of Startide Rising - which was, for me, the standout book of the entire Uplift series). I hope Brin's future plans include coming back to tie up some of those loose ends.

Having finally finished this trilogy, I feel like I have completed a marathon. Not that I've ever run a real marathon! LOL! Still, with the unrelenting onslaught of difficulties that every character seemed to be going through, always battling uphill against incredible odds. Facing implacable enemies. Managing one hair-breadth escape after another... it's nice to call this one done - at least for now.

Next up, I might have to try a nice post-apocalyptic story - just to lighten the mood! ;) ( )
  ScoLgo | Feb 27, 2015 |
This book takes place on an abandoned world intended to be natural and develop its own races, who would hopefully be available for uplift. A small population of each of six races, in turn, have landed small colonies on the world. Their intent is to devolve and be re-uplifted, and hopefully to avoid attention and possible punishment from the stellar community. Humans are one of the six.

These races have ancient antipathy for each other. And each brings unique skills and histories. They have overcome their differences, and their are pieces of culture of each that has worked its way into the others, yet they do maintain separate communities.

The story revolves around the arrival of a spaceship or renegade humans. Their intent is unknown, and seems sinister. They aren't an official envoy, so they shouldn't be here, either.

This story shows us a different side of each of the races, including the humans. It maintains its suspense on the invaders, and latent tension among the six races.

Unfortunately, this book mostly sets up the series and doesn't resolve much of anything. The story is interesting, and a must read if you're interested in the Uplift series. ( )
  Nodosaurus | May 4, 2014 |
Brin is an excellent writer, no matter that his cosmology and worldview is upwhacked. In particular, the Uplift series of books are especially inventive and entertaining. ( )
  KirkLowery | Mar 4, 2014 |
  leewsftv | Nov 22, 2011 |
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Brinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gambino, FredCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan,MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I must ask your permission. You, my rings, my diverse selves.
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This was published as two books in Germany as Sternenriff and Fremder der fünf Galaxien.

This was published as two books in France as Rédemption - Le Monde de l'exil and Rédemption - Le Monde de l'oubli.

Do not combine the German or French works with the English.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553573306, Mass Market Paperback)

Millennia ago the Five Galaxies decreed the planet Jijo off limits. But in the last thousand years six races have begun resettling Jijo, embracing a pre-industrial life to hide their existence from the Galactics. Overcoming their differences, the Six have built a society based on mutual tolerance for one another and respect for the planet they live on. But that has all changed with an event the Six have feared for hundreds of years: the arrival of an outside ship. Author David Brin has returned to his popular Uplift universe in this, the first book of a new trilogy.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:49 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In the centuries after the planet Jijo is abandoned for the sake of restoring ecological balance, six different species secretly colonize the planet and live in ongoing fear of being discovered and punished by the Five Galaxy patrollers.

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