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Heaven's Reach by David Brin
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Heaven's Reach (1998)

by David Brin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Uplift Saga (6), Second Uplift Trilogy (3)

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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Brin's concluding book in his Uplift series continues the story of the escape of the spaceship Streaker from the fanatic Jophur, told from the many diverse points of view of the characters we've grown to love. However, in this book Brin chooses to expose another layer of his mysterious universe, writing for the first time about how various orders of life interact (both humans and Jophur are of the same order), providing a much wider perspective on just how significant or insignificant humanity's toils may be. This made for a very interesting read, as we discovered a lot more about how the universe works beyond the level of the "great galactic civilization" that is so impressive in previous books. While the multi-book plot of the voyage of the Streaker does finally come to and end, and Brin does address some of the series-long plotlines and mysteries, much still remains unexplained, and his introduction of a new, higher level of order poses even more questions. Despite this, I found the book to be a satisfactory conclusion to the long-running story, as most of the primary characters have found a level of peace. ( )
  Phrim | Feb 9, 2016 |
Ties up most of the loose ends - just in case you'd wondered what happened after _Startide Rising_. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
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 |
* Listen to the crash
* Of breakers on yonder reef,
* And. tell me this ain't real! * So says Olelo, a dolphin crew member on one spacecraft on the last pages of the book, Heaven's Reach.

This is a difficult review for me. Brin's book, Uplift War is one of my favorite science fiction books. Heaven's Reach, continuing the same story three books later is a very difficult read. As other reviewers have said, there are way too many POVs.

Let me itemize the evidence for the crime of excessive POVs: Harry Harm, ASX/EASX, Sara, Emerson, Lark, Gillian Baskin, Tsh't, Rety, Dwer. Have I left out some POV characters, who knows, who cares.

I found about the first 100 pages to be highly readable. Then around page 100 I started getting confused by the quick jumping from POV to POV. I started skimming hard. After about another 100 pages I found interesting answers to the questions in the stories. There are about 100 pages starting around page 200 that give answers to why the find from 4 books ago has started an all out attack on Earth. There is information about the older races who are on their path to leaving the physical realm. I find the the author does answer the questions raised in the series if you carefully read pages 200 - 300.

After page 300 I went back to skimming until about 50 pages from the end. The book does a complete job of detailing the fate of each of the separate POV characters in this one book.

So, in conclusion, this book has serious problems. There are some interesting storylines: Harry's adventures in E-Space, Gillian's conversations with the old ones, how galactic civilization is changing over millions of years. I would not generally recommend this book for people to read. I had read all of the first Uplift series and the first of this series. so I was interested in finishing the series for myself. Some other people who have read and enjoyed other titles in this series might want to read this one. ( )
  superant | Aug 3, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Brinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Burns, JimCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Feist, R.Author photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gambino, FredCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll, Jamie S. WarrenCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This was published as two books in Germany - Ring der Sonnen and Am Grenzpunkt der Ewigkeit.

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553574736, Mass Market Paperback)

Heaven's Reach is the final volume of the Uplift trilogy, which begins in Brightness Reef and continues in Infinity's Shore. It chronicles the adventures of a handful of primitives from the planet Jijo who have left or been taken from their homes only to be swept into the intrigues of galactic politics. The novel also continues the story of the fugitive Earth starship Streaker, pursued across the galaxy for its precious cargo of ancient artifacts. Just when it looks like things can't get worse for Streaker, the foretold Time of Changes rocks the galaxy. Devastating "space quakes" shake every planet and star, and some of the particularly unscrupulous alien races attempt to use the disaster to further their bizarre goals. There's danger and excitement on almost every page (in contrast to much of the first two books in the series) and Brin finally delivers on many of the mysteries of the Five Galaxies. The Progenitors, the Hydrogen Breathers, Streaker's cargo--these and more are explained at last. Or are they? Each seemingly ultimate truth tends to dissolve a chapter later, revealing a new and more complex truth. New adventures and mysteries await. --Brooks Peck

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:43 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

The Jijoans, under attack by the terrifying Jophur, make their escape in the Earthship Streaker, and must learn once again to overcome their differences and work together as they race toward an uncertain future.

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