15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked it, it kept me entertained, but....
First, I read all four RAMA books back to back to back to back in 3 weeks. They all run together a bit for me (except for Rendezvous...different characters), but of the three Clarke/Lee books this one had some of the best and some of the worst material. The bad news: 1.Cliche ridden story lines--like another reviewer here, I found the tyrannical leader, addicted...
Published on February 24, 1999
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars And the first book was so promising . . .
After reading the first book (Rendevous with Rama) I was looking forward to finding out all the answers to the questions raised. What I discovered was that in some cases, it is better not to know. The three books where Arthur C. Clarke collaborated with Gentry Lee just got worse and worse as I went through them, but the concept of Rama is so good that I'll still give 2...
Published on October 22, 2001 by Phil Urich
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars And the first book was so promising . . .,
After reading the first book (Rendevous with Rama) I was looking forward to finding out all the answers to the questions raised. What I discovered was that in some cases, it is better not to know. The three books where Arthur C. Clarke collaborated with Gentry Lee just got worse and worse as I went through them, but the concept of Rama is so good that I'll still give 2 stars to this book. The Rendevous was a classic science fiction novel, but the ending of this book is hardly science fiction at all. Please, I beg anyone out there, read the first book and keep it at that! It's much, much better that way . . .
68 of 80 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boredom, Enforced,
Shallow, one-dimensional characters, an artifically convoluted plot that never satisfactorily resolves, and bombastic writing of the sort best edited with a shredder. What more could one ask for? Why, sententious spiritual pretensions, of course!
This is the sort of reading that makes you think longingly of scrubbing the bathtub grout with bleach and a baby toothbrush. I look at my stack of Rama books as I would five empty Pringle's cans - with a combination of nausea and self loathing.
Clark should be spanked, Lee caned, and the publisher fined.
69 of 83 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the worst conclusion to a SF series ever,
I can't think of another series that started with so much promise and ended as such a dud. It's a shame that Arthur C. Clarke allowed his name to be attached to this. Clearly this Gentry Lee co-author person carried the bulk of the writing on this installment and it just wasn't up to Clarke's caliber. The plot, the premise, the writing, the "I can't think of any real answer to all of the Rama questions so I'll just wave my hands and make up some religious mysticism" - what a dud.
No matter how much you loved previous Rama books, you don't want to read this. Re-read the first book or two and make up your own ending. Anything you can construct will be better than this.
29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The worst book I have ever read,
I won't enumerate the specific problems with this book, partly because I know I couldn't possibly provide an exhaustive list in the modest space available, and partly because most of the major crimes have already been mentioned in other reviews.
I will restrict myself to commenting that this book is so bad that I actually stopped reading it ten pages from the end - a first for me! Furthermore it is only my love of books that prevented me from ceremoniously burning this (along with its turgid previous two installments) - it now resides disrespectfully in the garage gathering dust, waiting for someone to throw it out in an absent-minded moment (I can't even give it to the charity shops, as how could I offer this for someone else's torture in conscience?)
I would make the following recommendations:
- read other Arthur C Clarks books - they are excellent
- if you want complex "other-cultures" along with genuine character development, read Iain M Banks
- never never buy any Gentry Lee books. (How he managed to dupe ACC into a partnership would make a better novel than any he could ever dream up)
43 of 52 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Is there less then 1 star?,
I shan't repeat what has been said so viscerally before. Book one was a good and original book, not exceptional but very good; book two was not in the same vein filled with vapid, whiney and totally unappealing characters. Book three was an extension into absurdity of book two, and book four, well I have run out of adjectives to describe it. If I want to abase myself in the lives of self-centered brats with no redeeming qualities (for good or evil) I'll watch some reality tv. After re-reading all the books in the series I'm keeping book one and the rest go into the trash, I won't burden Goodwill with them. Save your money, you'd be better off spending it on toe nail clippers.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Weak end to series,
Disclaimer: I never finished this book. I read the original "Rendezvous with Rama" some years ago, and enjoyed it. Like Clarke's other novels, it was full of wonderfully imaginative ideas, speculation on the grand scale, and not much in the way of human characters. But the thin human characters were unimportant in comparison to Clarke's grand ideas.
The second, third and fourth books shift the focus increasingly from grand ideas to human narrative. The trouble is that neither Clarke nor his co-writer (ghost writer, I suspect) learned how to write effective human narration. The storytelling in the second through fourth books becomes increasingly sappy, maudlin and tedious, and the plot increasingly manipulative and silly, until we're left with nothing but pointless plot turns and endless "reunions" filled with hugs and tears and kisses and nothing even remotely interesting.
There is a point when the two central characters are brought into a domed city that, I'm not making this up, they jokingly refer to as the Emerald City (the reader needs no reminding at this point of how derivative and childish the story has become), and one of the characters becomes dizzy and overwhelmed by the riot of strange colors, shapes and creatures. I had a similar reaction, only it wasn't dizziness, it was better summed up by the phrase "give me a break." The authors have clearly realized that they've strung together too many "awe-inspiring" episodes by this point, so they feel they have to resort to even more bizarre (ridiculous) imagery to goad us into another reaction. It doesn't work.
This was around page 200. There is still another 400 pages to go. I was pretty sure it would be only more drivel, and the reviews here have made it clear that it's drivel that winds up with a spiritual "explanation that's not an explanation". One of the things I love best about most of Clarke's work is that he didn't feel obliged to provide the Big Answers. It's a shame that he did with this series. So I've put the book down.
23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Should have stopped at Rendezvous,
After reading other excellent works by Arthur Clarke, Rama Revealed is such a disappointment. Rendezvous with Rama was such an excellent book, and Rama II was not all bad either. Garden of Rama and this last one in the series can only be considered progressive deteriorations. Where Rendezvous was a page turner, I endured this book so I could get to the end. Too many pages spent on inane sub-plots and not enough on the overall story. After reading Rendezvous and then the rest, I came away with the feeling that only the first one bears Clarke's stamp.
30 of 37 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Only one thing is good in this book...,
.. and it is the fact Nicole would NOT star (hopefully) in any of the future Rama books, if anyone would be stupid enough to try and revive it, that is...
All the characters, that were tiresome and unbelievable about 2 pages after entering the scope of the series come to their predictable end. The human race is of course destructive to everyone including itself, and is certainly not as enlightened as much as most species, especially the wonderfull octospiders, except for a sacred few humans, such as Nicole, most of her family, and most their closest friends. It seems that the co authors 'fell in love' with the octospiders, and made them all they thought the human race should aspire to...
This book stretches the ideas of the previous 2 books in the collection TOO far, and is by far the worst of the series. The plot continues to deteriorate, and so do the characters - especially the ones introduced earliest in the series. The 'total understanding' we are supposed to reach through Nicole is quite useless and over dramatic - by this stage, no one needs THAT much understanding of what's behind Rama. All the original questions behind the original Rama ship were given the most predictable and banal answers, which is to badconsidering they were excellent questions to start with.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A very poor conclusion to an otherwise magnificient series,
This review is from: Rama Revealed: The Ultimate Encounter (Hardcover)
In the foreword for Rama II, Clarke explains that-in spite of what clearly appeared to be a lead-in to a sequel ("the Ramans always do things in threes", suggesting that there would be two similar craft to follow)-he never intended for the story to go beyond "Rendezvous with Rama." That allowed Clarke to do what he does best, to conjure fantastic worlds, and present compelling questions-without ever having to answer them. As I discovered with "2061" and "3001", the mysteries Clarke weaves and the questions his stories pose, are far more compelling than any answers he can present for them. Like 3001, the conclusion to the Odyssey series, this ending is simply abysmal. I'd have been better off letting my own imagination fill in the gaps, and ponder the unanswerable questions. Instead, characters that I had come to truly know and care about-having followed their entire adult lives-are led through situations that are both tedious and implausible. It left me feeling that the lives of the characters had been an absolute waste, that the hardships, struggles, even the joys of their unique odyssey were utterly pointless. That, for me, was even harder to swallow than the absolutely ludicrous suggestion that God would need spacecraft to shuttle people around. If you were captivated by the Rama universe as I was, do yourself a favor and stop with the third book ("Garden of Rama"). Discovering what happens to Nicole is not worth it (and her fate is quite possibly worse than you might imagine).
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 100% Disappointing,
By A Customer
There is no Arthur Clarke book which would get less than 3 stars from me. There is no Clarke collaboration with Lee Gentry that gets more than 1 star (because that is the minimum). Read "Rendezvous with Rama" and stop there. Well, if you think that an SF book is automatically great and has a "human" element because it frequently involves women, or troubled relations, or bad things happening to family members, than maybe you will like the Gentry-Clarke collaboration of Rama books. Even then, you should be disgusted by the unending series of contrived situations which substitute for a plotline. There is nothing in these books which does not happen in order to set up another stupid or unpleasant situation, and they are totally boring - nothing like the greatly interesting "Rendezvous with Rama." What can I say specifically about "Rama Revealed," since the authors had nothing to say? I've been spoiled by the Clarke books which were not messed up by Lee Gentry. Compared to any other Clarke book, in "Rama Revealed" nothing special is revealed. They had to whip up a conclusion and they may as well have published a 1-page book which said "The End," it would have been as logical and satisfying as this mess and saved everyone a lot of time
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Rama Revealed by Arthur C. Clarke (Hardcover - October 28, 1993)
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