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Heirs Of Earth Mass Market Paperback – December 30, 2003

Book 3 of 3 in the Orphans Trilogy Series

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Ace (December 30, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441011268
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441011261
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,243,724 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Space opera at its best!
Cybamuse
I suppose it's better than the many deus-ex-machina endings found only too often, but not by much.
Michael Hoffman
I am not certain I will trust them a third time.
Hahalman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michael Hoffman on January 12, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
With volume 3 of the series arriving just in time, after I got the first two for Xmas, I was able to read the trilogy back to back. Therefore my review reflects the entire saga.
And a saga it was. The authors have managed to instill in me a sense of wonder not felt since I read Startide Rising by David Brin.
Alien lifeforms are truly alien, incomprehensible to humans. If the protagonists themselves can be called human. Broken engrams, nanotech-modified humans, which then get re-designed by a variety of aliens themselves. It raises the question, just what defines "human".
The authors do provide the answer: the sense of racial self, a refusal to NOT be something special in an uncaring cosmos, never accepting defeat - and in the end "I think, therefore I am ... HUMAN".
As another reviewer has commented on one of the previous books, the characters tend not to be very likeable. But, I found that it is possible to identify with them as their reactions to events and their environments and to each other are believable, even understandable as being the result of extreme stress.
The action in the books moves along at a brisk pace, with frequent surprising turns of events. The climax of the saga is a breathtaking ride...
... which then drops off to a quite unsatisfying denouement. I must agree with the previous reviewer who beat me to being the first one to write a review for this book: somehow the authors managed to paint themselves into a corner and they couldn't write themselves out of it. I suppose it's better than the many deus-ex-machina endings found only too often, but not by much.
In the end I couldn't help but think "oh, I guess there will be a book 4 then, eh?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 10, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
When an author uses phrases like "unspeakably evil" or "more then you can imagine" or "beyond your comprehension", they are failing to express any content. That is the problem with this book, the last of the series. After reading the book, you are left with an ending that concludes nothing. The characters are interesting, the plot complex, and the action well written. All of this makes it terribly disappointing the the conclusion never really occurs. The author's painted themselves into a corner that they couldn't think themselves out of and it shows.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By kallan on February 5, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I WANTED TO KNOW THE ANSWERS!
And I didn't get them. Nothing was explained or resolved satisfactorily, and I had to wade through very ordinary prose full of proofing errors to reach that conclusion. Characters behaved differently, issues previously raised weren't explored, and things were stated as fact that hadn't featured in the previous books. Infuriating concepts were dumped in at the last gasp in a futile effort to make sense of what had come before.
Please, please, please, Messers Williams and Dix, take the TIME to produce real quality with your next effort; quality like the Evergence trilogy.
What a let down!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tim F. Martin on August 25, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
_Heirs of Earth_ by Sean Williams and Shane Dix is the excellent, exciting climax to the trilogy that began with _Echoes of Earth_. I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it a satisfying end to the series, though there were some unanswered questions, perhaps unavoidable given the almost unfathomable and deeply alien nature of the Spinners and the Starfish.

In fact, if I had any complaint about the book, it was at the end one never really truly understood what it was the Spinners and the Starfish - collectively known as the Ambivalence to the Yuhl - were doing. Sure, lots of theories were put out by Peter Alander, Caryl Hatzis, and the various engrams, but even at the very end (sorry if this is a spoiler) the reader doesn't know for sure. As I wrote, perhaps that is unavoidable given how vastly alien the authors made the Starfish and Spinners.

That doesn't mean the story is not otherwise excellent. The bulk of the book centered around a desperate mission by Peter, several versions of Caryl (both the original, Sol, and two other engrams of her), and one of the Frank Axford engrams to seek out the Starfish, first to do battle with them with a fleet of hole ships and probes to gain intelligence, then to infiltrate one of their massive vessels and hitch a ride to the Starfish fleet, in hopes of communicating with them, passing information to them about a star system that they have reason to believe to be the Spinner base in hopes of ending their destructive path through the stars.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 15, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I really enjoyed the first two books of this trilogy, and so I eagerly awaited Heirs of Earth, the final installment. When I finally got my copy, I read it from cover to cover in short order. But this was not necessarily because Heirs is an extremely engaging novel. On the contrary, I found that the momentum built up in the first two novels was most of what carried me through this one.
Now don't get me wrong - Williams and Dix continue to display their very accesible writing style here, making Heirs an enjoyable read. And the story unfolds in a way that is pretty consistent with what went before. But the authors' attempts to convey the Spinners and Starfish as so far advanced as to be unfathomable by mere humans, while perhaps a valid approach to the story, is somewhat less than entertaining. After the third or so passage describing the hyper-advanced alien technology, I felt as if I was reading a child's primer on shapes and colors.
To top it off, not only do we not get any satisfactory description of the characters' encounter with the aliens, we are left with no explanation as to their motivations or even what happens at the end to resolve the situation. Did I get the sense that we, as humans, couldn't comprehend what was going on? Yes. Did I find this interesting or engaging? Not really.
If you've read the first two installments of the trilogy, by all means finish it out. You will want to find out what happens, as I did. But please set your expectations properly - you will be left with resolution, but very few answers.
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More About the Author

Sean Williams is the author of thirty-five novels, eighty short stories and the odd odd poem. He writes across the field of science fiction and fantasy for adults, young adults and children, and enjoys the occasional franchise, too, such as Star Wars and Doctor Who. His work has won awards, debuted at #1 on the New York Times hardback bestseller list, and been translated into numerous languages. His latest series is Troubletwisters, co-written with Garth Nix. Visit him online at www.seanwilliams.com