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Heaven's Reach (The Second Uplift Trilogy #3) Mass Market Paperback – May 11, 1999

3.5 out of 5 stars 121 customer reviews
Book 6 of 6 in the Uplift Saga Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

The final book in Brin's Uplift Storm Trilogy (Infinity's Shore; Brightness Reef) sets space opera against a canvas that spans the galaxies, colored with interstellar conflict and peopled with smart-mouthed chimpanzees, overwhelmed humans and neo-dolphins who form the stalwart crew of the spaceship Streaker. The narrative, which unfolds at frenzied speed, opens with the Earth under attack by an alliance of evil aliens, the essence of space itself shaking apart and the beleaguered Streaker, captained by Dr. Gillian Baskin, trying to outrun a Jophurian battleship that seeks to destroy it. Rescue comes in the unlikely form of a wormhole that delivers the Streaker to the Old Ones, the godlike beings responsible for nurturing sentient life throughout the Five Galaxies and for inaugurating the UpLift process. While Baskin and her crew fear that the Old Ones are offering them "the embrace of gravitational tides," an interplanetary form of comfortable retirement, they learn that in fact they have been selected for a very special purpose: to journey to remote space, where the missing eight of the original Thirteen Civilized Galaxies wait to be contacted. Tension builds and builds?and then stumbles to a stop. Brin fans will find plenty to gorge themselves on here, including Niss Machines, Galactic Library cubes and Zang ship-entities, and Brin does offer answers to riddles he posed as far back as Startide Rising. But his choice of a conclusion for his massive and immensely popular trilogy proves a letdown, and then some.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra (May 11, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553574736
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553574739
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #533,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is deeply flawed. Most importantly, I got the feeling that about halfway through, David Brin looked up at his clock and said, "Oh my God, I have to FINISH this!" As a result, where Brin devoted the first 5/6 of the series developing plots and full-bodied characters, sometimes in aggravating detail, he spends the last 1/6 hacking off plot lines with abandon. In many cases, key events take place outside of the narrative, and we learn what happened in another character's often colorless retrospective. Some characters just disappear. Others are transformed from full-bodied characters to author-surrogates whose sole function is to spout descriptions of what's going on around them. And even with this mad rush for the finish line, Brin doesn't manage to tie up all the loose ends. In general, this all reminded me of some of my less successful answers to college essay exams -- slow and thoughtful at the beginning, but frantic and incomplete at the end as I struggled to finish by the deadline.
The characters in Heaven's Reach are also much flatter than in the earlier books. Their reactions are generally predictable and Brin omits the little touches that previously made them aggravating, endearing, or inspiring, and, in the process, made them more real.
The books is partially redeemed by Brin's facility with ideas and plot development. Even though the characters are plastic and the pace is uneven, the book is stuffed with new ideas and plot twists. Those kept me interested. I'm glad I read this book, but I am sorry that it doesn't come close to the author's normally high standards
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Do not expect anything like a resolution to the events of StarTide Rising here. Brilliant, up-to-date space opera that unfortunately suffers from the Too Much Of A Good Thing syndrome that has bedeviled an awful lot of SF since Frank Herbert set the sequel-itis meme loose big time. In other words: bloat. Heaven's Reach would have benefitted more by including less -- less of repetition, less of dizzying detail, less of all that impressive multi-dimensional, multi-species, multi-incident "dross" that only frustrates the story's impetus and, sadly, obscures our interest in its characters. This novel is a mind-boggler, no doubt about that. Chock full of wonderful, awesome, cosmic ideas. But...get ready for the NEXT Uplift trilogy, no doubt cooking on Mr. Brin's already overheated word processor right now. And let's hope for the best from the rest!
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By A Customer on October 11, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I love the Uplift universe. The last two books in this 2nd trilogy have been a disappointment, however. They don't seem to be thoughtfully written. As one reviewer noted, they seem to be dashed off. I am very, very tired of the literary ploy where each chapter is ended at a moment of crisis, and then the next chapter starts up with a different character, particularly when, when the characters in crisis reappear in a later chapter, often the crisis is not taken up where it left off; indeed it seemed that at least twice the crisis wasn't even refered to in retrospect, which astonished me. This stylistic "technique" gave me a headache.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I loved David's Startide Rising. I was delighted to find the 2nd Uplift trilogy this year, written and published some years ago, after being "away" from this series for 13 years. Now I'm less than delighted. I feel cheated.
When I read a book, I want a beginning and an ending, and lots of great reading in between. When I've read the last book--the *last* last book, mind you--I expect closure, and resolution. After finishing, for example, Lord Of The Rings, I wept because there would be no more (at least that's what I thought) to read and know of Middle Earth--but there was closure. A story was completed properly. All the plot lines were concluded; I was satisfied that I'd read to "The End", while knowing there were many more stories that could rise out of that 'world'.
Brin, in Heaven's Reach, put no heroes, or villians to rest for Ever and Ever. The characters I came to like and root for in the earlier series have either been abandoned during the "quest to do the right thing", or are still around at the end of this book (along with many more I've come to like and root for), with unfinished business (and in the case of most of the principals of the first three books, as much unaccomplished as at the end of book 3, "The Uplift War".
I'm much more than annoyed. This has become soap opera, not at all what innovative compelling Uplift universe Brin created began as. This is 5 times as grating as Shatner's crew barging into Picard's or Janeway's universes because many watchers (or studios) need repetition, not innovation.
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By A Customer on May 26, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This entire book suffers from David Brin's worst fault. In my opinion David Brin is a fantastic author, who creates vivid, new ideas or tweaks old ones in a new way. His only fault, in my humble opinion, is his tendency to end a book very quickly.
This novel I believe is the ending to a series and has a long line of events that make little to no sense. The book moves away from the planet Jijo and into outer space. Although being back with the Streaker again from "Startide Rising" is fantastic, its confused wanderings across the cosmos have little purpose. Additionally the characters that once illicited interest both on the Streaker and from Jijo are suddenly uninteresting.
Overall I found this an unexciting conclusion to a series that had great premise - the conflict arising on Jijo seemed truly thrilling. All of Brin's other books I have read are truly worthy works, this is just a sad failing.
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