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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book 5 of a Great Saga
Currently, there are six books in Brin's Uplift saga. It's kind of hard to categorize these books as elements of a series, though. The first three books in the saga, "Sundiver," "Startide Rising," and "The Uplift War," are not really a trilogy or a series in the normal sense. Instead, "Sundiver" relates to the rest of the saga as Tolkien's "The Hobbit" relates to his...
Published on November 18, 2004 by David A. Lessnau

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor-quality kindle editions
Important note for buyers: I loved this book, but if you're interested in this book, do not buy the Kindle edition.

I bought most of the Uplift series in Kindle editions: Heaven's Reach, Brightness Reef, Infinity's Shore, Sundiver, and Startide Rising. I was extremely disappointed by the quality of these ebooks. Words were frequently mis-spelled or replaced...
Published on September 5, 2010 by L. Voss


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book 5 of a Great Saga, November 18, 2004
This review is from: Infinity's Shore (The Uplift Trilogy, Book 2) (Mass Market Paperback)
Currently, there are six books in Brin's Uplift saga. It's kind of hard to categorize these books as elements of a series, though. The first three books in the saga, "Sundiver," "Startide Rising," and "The Uplift War," are not really a trilogy or a series in the normal sense. Instead, "Sundiver" relates to the rest of the saga as Tolkien's "The Hobbit" relates to his "Lord of the Rings:" it sets the stage for all the rest of the books in the saga. "Startide Rising" and "The Uplift War" describe completely different plotlines originating from the same event far distant, time wise and space wise, from "Sundiver". In a pinch, you could read these books in any order and not really miss anything. They describe different points in time and space of the same Universe. Of course, the best order is the one listed, above.

Unlike the first three books in the saga, the second three books DO form a series. The first of this trilogy, "Brightness Reef," picks up with yet another totally independent plotline and brand new characters. However, it does contain a central character who ties the first three books into this set. Unfortunately, Brin doesn't say, specifically, who that character is until the very end of the book. Even worse, the last time the character was used was so far back in the saga that it's hard to remember anything about him. The remaining two books, "Infinity's Shore" and "Heaven's Reach," continue sequentially from the first and form a tightly knit trilogy with no breaks in time.

None of these books is "happy" or "light reading." For the most part, they're all intense, heavily detailed and fully characterized books. "Sundiver" is the least "heavy" and most lacking in the realistic feel of the rest of the books. But, for the most part, if you like "Sundiver," you'll definitely want to continue with the rest of the saga. Even if you don't like "Sundiver," I highly recommend you read at least "Startide Rising:" it has an entirely different feel to it and might be more to your liking. This saga is just too important to miss out on. As a whole, it's one of the great works of science fiction and one of the few pieces of science fiction that belong in the class of true literature.

The following are some comments on the individual books:

Sundiver: Somewhat different from the other books in the saga in that it's more of a science fiction mystery than a science fiction drama. This book sets the stage for the rest of the saga as it chronicles events that happen several hundred years before what happens in the other books. About the only thing negative I can come up with is that I wish Brin had written several prequels to it so we could read about the earlier adventures of Jacob Demwa that are referenced in this book.

Startide Rising: This book focuses on the group that starts all the other events noted in the remaining books of the saga. Though the main characters start off in a very bad way, Brin does a good job of moving them forward, and upward, throughout the book.

The Uplift War: The events in this book start from the same event that kicks off "Startide Rising." But, other than that, the two books are totally independent. Like "Startide Rising," Brin produced a gripping plot, great character development, and a good progression towards a positive goal.

Brightness Reef: This is definitely not a happy book. It starts out with many non-pleasant activities and fights its way forward from there. The biggest problem I have with it is that it's very hard to see how anything good or positive is going to happen to the main characters, no matter how much they try.

Infinity's Shore: First, the negative: once this book starts, it's very apparent that a whole lot of relevant stuff has been happening elsewhere that we missed. Essentially, there's at least one entire book that sounds extremely interesting that's missing from the saga. Brin fills in most of this back-story during this book and "Heaven's Reach." But, I'd sure like to have read that missing book. On the positive side, this book re-introduces us to old friends and subtly changes the focus to them. Everything's still happening in the same place with mostly the same characters, but the attitude changes and becomes more can-do.

Heaven's Reach: One difficulty with this book is due to how it continues from the previous book. It's merely a change of venue instead of a new set of adventures. A quote from one of the main characters near the end of this book sort of sums up my feelings about it: "...what will one more worry matter? I've long passed the point where I stopped counting them." Essentially, by the time this book and saga starts winding down (and even at the point of that quotation, it really hasn't started that yet), the reader is totally fatigued by never-ending problems. I really like these works, but the lack of a tie-up between "Infinity's Shore" and this book is grinding.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Infinity's Shore: Surfing towards an exciting finale., February 7, 1997
By A Customer
This is really the fifth volume in the Uplift Saga. It neatly packages all the important themes from the previous works; ready to be blown open in what promises to be an exciting conclusion.
The writing (and presentation) is clean, and the story moves along at a quick pace. The aliens initially seem anthropomorphic, but subtly shift in ones perception into truly alien characters. The only comparable work regarding complex interstellar alien conflict is the excellent Chanur series by C.J. Cherryh. In my opinion, with the exception of "The Uplift War," this series is better.
Many hard science fiction books, with the exception of those by Greg Bear and Gregory Benford, fail to connect the cosmic happenings to a believable personal level. This work, and this book, succeed in that endeavor. If you want exciting, thought provoking, and moving hard science fiction with characters you care about, then you should buy this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor-quality kindle editions, September 5, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Infinity's Shore (Kindle Edition)
Important note for buyers: I loved this book, but if you're interested in this book, do not buy the Kindle edition.

I bought most of the Uplift series in Kindle editions: Heaven's Reach, Brightness Reef, Infinity's Shore, Sundiver, and Startide Rising. I was extremely disappointed by the quality of these ebooks. Words were frequently mis-spelled or replaced with similar-looking but incorrect words; words and whole passages were arbitrarily italicized; many words were split with hyphens for no reason. It was confusing, distracting, and eventually irritating. I got the strong impression that all these books had been run rapidly through an OCR system and never checked for correctness or quality. For a publishing company of Ballantine's size and reputation this is ridiculous.

If Ballantine are going to sell ebooks, they should do it properly, and give them the same care and attention they would to physical books. There's no excuse for releasing shoddy digital products.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Continuing Jijo's Story...A Strong Follow-Up, February 16, 2005
By 
themarsman (Georgetown, TX) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Infinity's Shore (The Uplift Trilogy, Book 2) (Mass Market Paperback)
The illegal, backwater colony of Jijo has been thrown into turmoil. Six sooner races inhabit this Galactically-proclaimed fallow world...knowing their colony would oneday attract the attention of Galactic society. Now they have...and it is nothing like they thought it would be. Instead of official representatives from the Galactic Migration Institute coming to mete out long overdue justice, Jijo has attracted those who would stop at nothing to hunt down the dolphin-crewed Streaker, still on the run after narrowly escaping the bickering clans fighting over her above the ocean world Kithrup (read Startide Rising). Streaker has come to Jijo to lick her wounds...and determine the next course of action in an attempt to get the cargo they are carrying back to the Terragens Council, or at least someone neutral, someone who won't use what Streaker discovered in the Shallow Cluster to take control of a Galactic Civilization now in turmoil. In the midst of all this, the technologically inferior inhabitants of Jijo must not only deal with the worst Galactic civlization has to offer, but must also deal with the growing fissions within their own peaceful culture.

Infinity's Shore was a bit of a surprise for me. Coming off Brightness Reef, which at times tended to drag on a bit and get mired in minutiae not particularily related to the story, this book was an easy page turner. But more importantly than that, it began to establish links between characters and plotlines the previous book stubbornly refused to do. The inhabitants of Jijo introduced to us in Brightness Reef -- Alvin and his friends as well as Sara, Dwer, Lark, Rety -- began heading in a coherent, if not always unified, direction. While the characters native to Jijo finally took steps toward their "destiny" (a.k.a what Brin has in mind for them), the characters aboard the Streaker begin to connect to the environs around them, if a bit circuitously at first (i.e. automated scouts sent to "sniff" out the Jijoan culture).

What it all boils down to is a plain old good book. Character and plotline development is much better than its immediate predecessor, "stuff" happens that makes you want to see what happens next, and like any good trilogy, there is just enough left frustratingly out of reach for the final book. The one gripe is that there really is no conclusion to Infinity's Shore, probably quite irksome when it first came out and the next book, Heaven's Reach was a couple years away, but now it was only slightly annoying, seeing as how Heaven's Reach was sitting on top of my pile of to-read books waiting to be picked up as soon as this installment was completed. This story is a fine addition to the Uplift universe and I now anticipate completing the final installment with due haste.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Story gets lost in the flood of peripheral characters, October 15, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Infinity's Shore (The Uplift Trilogy, Book 2) (Mass Market Paperback)
Sorry, David Brin. There's in no question that you have brilliant ideas and very creatively conceived aliens, but this book and the preceding one of the series are so loaded with undeveloped characters that they tend to blur into a bunch of exotic names with no substance. When I found myself skipping chapters to get on to the characters in whom I found something to identify with, I knew I was lost. While reading this book, I kept stopping to read others, hoping that when I came back to it I would finally be able to really get into it and maybe even finish reading all the chapters I had skipped. I have very mixed feelings about David Brin's writing because I do admire his imagination and really intriguing ideas. But I think he needs to present the reader with a strong protagonist, well defined in all respects, rather than a plethora of shallow characters that we really cannot know very well. Perhaps the most disturbing thing, for me, about Infinity's Shore, is that it has the potential to be a really exceptional read, if all the unnecessary trivialities were excised and the strong story line was allowed to develope via strong and unforgettable characters. Remember: All of the classics, whether in literature, drama, or film, are sparse in the quantity of protagonists and strong on their development.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't stand by itself; a long, thrilling ride to nowhere, June 11, 2005
By 
This review is from: Infinity's Shore (The Uplift Trilogy, Book 2) (Mass Market Paperback)
Evaluating this book presents some special challenges, since without the first and third volumes of Brin's Second Uplift Trilogy, this book doesn't begin to stand by itself. While the preceding volume, "Brightness Reef", closed a specific chapter of the planetary conflict without actually resolving anything, "Shore" ends on a cliffhanger that essentially obligates the reader to continue on to "Heaven's Reach". And while the three books together form a single story, there's no question that "Reef" is the most complete by itself, and boasts the delightful introduction to the idyllic planet of Jijo and its fascinating diversity of sapient alien races. "Shore", on the other hand, doesn't present us with anything like a conclusion to the multifaceted conflict that is described at such extreme length and in so much pointless detail. What we do get is a fascinating series of adventures, as we follow the fates of a dozen-odd major characters introduced in "Reef" as well as in the first trilogy's "Startide Rising".

In this volume the fallow world of Jijo is invaded for a second time, this time not by the clever and manipulative Rothen ("Brightness Reef") but by the fierce and brutal Jophur. In something of an excess of melodrama, the Jophur openly threaten to commit genocide against the wheeled g'kek and forcibly re-make their own cousins, the ruminative Traeki. Fairly early in this volume, Brin drops his biggest bomb - the tie in between Jijo and the starship Streaker which was featured in "Startide Rising", and whose fate had never been resolved. And assuming any resolution is better than none at all, Brin delivers - not in this book, but in the concluding volume "Heaven's Reach".

Unfortunately, "Reach" is rather a disappointment, which really undercuts the power of the work presently under discussion. Again and again, this reviewer found himself asking in wonderment, `How is Brin going to tie all this together? How are all these entertaining characters and exciting plotlines going to merge into a single thread that resolves the questions that were left hanging by "Startide" and haven't been addressed since?' But the fact of the matter is that "Reach" finds Brin desperately over-reaching, and is ultimately unable to provide a satisfying conclusion to the story of which this book is the thrilling middle. If "Reach" had been better, this book would surely rate 5 stars for its action and adventure. But as it is, it's almost a book without an ending. There's no point in reading this one and not going forward with the final volume, but if you find yourself disappointed by the conclusion, don't say you weren't warned. Your best bet - petition Brin to re-write "Heaven's Reach" in such a way that better synthesizes the multitudinous characters and storylines that he spent so much time developing before he realized he didn't have any use for them and had to bring in whole new tons of gobbledy-gook just to keep them busy. As it stands, this book goes nowhere and takes too long to get there.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book and series, May 20, 2003
By 
Michael J. Lane (Olympia Washington) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Infinity's Shore (The Uplift Trilogy, Book 2) (Mass Market Paperback)
This is really the fifth volume in the Uplift Saga. It neatly packages all the important themes from the previous works; ready to be blown open in what promises to be an exciting conclusion. The writing (and presentation) is clean, and the story moves along at a quick pace. The aliens initially seem anthropomorphic, but subtly shift in ones perception into truly alien characters. The only comparable work regarding complex interstellar alien conflict is the excellent Chanur series by C.J. Cherryh. In my opinion, with the exception of "The Uplift War," this series is better. Many hard science fiction books, with the exception of those by Greg Bear and Gregory Benford, fail to connect the cosmic happenings to a believable personal level. This work, and this book, succeed in that endeavor. If you want exciting, thought provoking, and moving hard science fiction with characters you care about, then you should buy this book
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wide-screen action that only evolution can bring you!, February 19, 2009
This review is from: Infinity's Shore (The Uplift Trilogy, Book 2) (Mass Market Paperback)
I liked "Brightness Reef", much like I enjoy almost any other David Brin book. And maybe because it suffers from being the first book in a trilogy and thus has to get a lot of balls rolling but "Infinity's Shores" beats it on almost every level. Part of my problem with the first part was a slight lack of focus, as Brin took us all over the world and threw us into every plot like they were all of equal merit. Problem was, they might have been but separated as they were, it wasn't immediately apparent and so as a reader you spent most of the time shooting from plot to plot wondering where the heck this was all going.

This book rectifies pretty much all of that by doing the one thing that Brin needed to do: bring the Streaker back into the plot. Finally! Long time readers (and people who are trying to get up to speed) will remember the Streaker crew discovering something it probably shouldn't have found and proceeding to get chased by everyone in sight. At which point they got relegated to a subplot.

Here, they come back into the fray by having it turn out that they're latest hiding spot is Jijo. Having them show up does the magic trick of making all the other plots snap to attention and bring a central focus to the story, even for the stuff that appears to be lurking at the periphery. Where before the tale felt more like a "Let me show you all the details of this society I made up from scratch and imagination", now it gains a bit of direction, as things start to happen and happen quickly (well as quickly as a six hundred page book allows).

The second element that raises this book far above its predecessor: the Jophur. The last book seemed to imply that the Rann were going to be our villains, until Brin pulls a bit of slight of hand and brings them in. Turns out they are a much better choice, gloriously snotty and insanely clever, they provide the book with a menace that is canny enough to push everyone to the limit and make you think they might actually win. Plus, the one alien is just lots of fun. He shouts all the time! Even when he doesn't have to!

But being amongst the Streaker crew is like revisiting old friends after a long, long time . . . it's good to see them but at the same time, it's clear they've changed quite a bit. As other people have commented, clearly a lot of stuff has happened between their last appearance and this novel. For me, it wasn't so terrible because I read the first trilogy years and years ago, so I can't tell which is stuff I'm supposed to have experienced firsthand or it's just cool anecdotes that Brin dropped in. But judging by some of it, Brin has a whole other adventure novel hidden in those events that he doesn't share the full details on.

Still, leaving the audience wanting more is never a bad thing. The constant motion of the plot helps matters greatly, even some of the residual "This is important again why?" still lingers from the first book. It seems to end on a bit of a ridiculous cliffhanger, which is more annoying then than it is now, but still finishes things on an odd note. And on a purely petty note, thanks for including the glossary at the end of this book, when I could have used it much earlier. By now, I've figured out who everyone is, thanks very much.

If there weren't so many characters and alien races and setup, I'd recommend starting here first and just finding a summary of what happened in the first part. But one does need the other, and in order to get here, you have to go through there first. But for anyone thinking the first book was merely okay, let me entice you with these words: it gets better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Infinite filler, December 11, 1997
By 
This review is from: Infinity's Shore (The Uplift Trilogy, Book 2) (Mass Market Paperback)
The exciting conclusion and numerous outbreaks of brilliance elsewhere in this book almost made me forget how much of it was pointless filler. Make no mistake, it's eminently worth reading. The four or five characters that Brin really focuses on are compelling, at times irritating, and always interesting. The aliens are often truly alien, and not just humans in latex, as is so often the case in bad SF. The plot is interesting and contorted, leading to a fast-paced ending that leaves me aching for a sequel. However, deep flaws offset these virtues. The cast of characters is bigger than in War and Peace, and Brin is no Tolstoy. Many of the characters, both human and alien, are so unidimensional as to be indistinguishable from each other. Alvin, the main alien character, is the worst example of this flaw. He reads like a (not terribly good) caricature of a pre-teen human, rather than an alien being with alien emotions.

Weighing against the fascinating main plots are a plethora of pointless subplots that add nothing except verbiage.

But the greatest sin is repetitiveness. Brin's technique of telling the story from several characters' viewpoints is occasionally intriguing when they draw different conclusions from the same facts. But all too often it results in four people saying the same thing four different ways, which is tedious.

The recapitulation of the prior book adds another layer of repetition. Rather than have a ten page summary at the beginning, Brin has each character summarize his or her experiences. It isn't until page 100 (really!) that anything new happens. On several occasions, it was real work to keep going while waiting for something to happen.

The plot is also a little too gimicky, relying on the characters forgetting to mention things that they notice or know, and then suddenly revealing them to generate a phoney surprise.

Brin is far too good a writer to have made such an interesting book such hard work. I hope he does better on the sequel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good to see the Streaker again but...., July 11, 1997
By A Customer
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of Mr. Brins work, and I was thrilled to finally find out what became of the Streaker and her crew...but...I feel this story is dragging on. There are too many characters, too much going on and too much bouncing back and forth. I also get the "Oh come on.." feeling in some parts of not only this book but back in Brightness Reef too. DeapSea diving in a hollowed out tree trunk? A planet that is somehow "alive", left with the imprints of a long gone race? I just get the feeling Brin is grasping at straws with some of the concepts and the scientific plausibility of some of his ideas. Everything he describes may be possible, who knows, but how many of his readers are quantum or astro physicists? There seems to be a lot "how" left unexplaned that makes the reader think "Ahh..that's crazy". On the other hand, though, I have enjoyed the new series and its large cast thus far and am axiously awating the next installment. Those who have not read Startide Rising will probably be quite satisfied. It's a good tale in all. Brin has the amazing ability to make you care deeply for, loath or hate his characters the way few other authors can do. I wonder how many readers just want to slap Rety into next Tuesday or were angered and upset when Kaa looses his love to fellow fins who, weary of the chase, kidnap her and strike out on thier own. I think anyone who is a fan of the Uplift books will be happy, even with it's faults I find it still to be one of those novels I have a hard time putting down.
On a personal note: (I wonder if Mr. Brin will read this at some point :) ) I would much rather have had a series that dealt with the Streaker alone. I was always irritated to no end that Startide Rising was a stand alone novel, it left you wanting to know what happens next? Where did the Streaker go? Startide was an enthralling novel and an extreamly emotional one to many of those who read it...I think Infinitys shore is a good book in that we finnaly find out what happend, but it leaves me dissapointed just the same. The Streaker has been on the run for over two years and we are constantly fed little bits of the adventure she had before comming to Jijo. Brin has a nasty habit of dropping you into the 'middle' of the story. With Startide we were only told of discovery Streaker made second hand, we were not there when it happened, you get the feeling that you've started reading the second book in a series. In infinitys shore it's the same way, we are only told of whats happend in last two years by the memories of some of Streakers crew. Call me picky but I want to be there when they discover the mamonth fleet of dead ships, I want to be there when they are ambushed, I want to be there with them when they left Kithrup! I want to know what happened to Tom Orley and the others left behind in a tiny scoutship! I can only hope that some day Brin wil start his stories from the start and will stop introducing us to an army of new characaters and tell us what happended to some of the old ones whome he left in a cliffhanger.. whome he left in the 'where are they now?' file. I mean, geesh, he'll only have to change his entire style of writing, is that asking so much? ;)
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Infinity's Shore (The Uplift Trilogy, Book 2)
Infinity's Shore (The Uplift Trilogy, Book 2) by David Brin (Mass Market Paperback - November 3, 1997)
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