Brin is a good writer. i didn't remember much of the previous Uplift trilogy, in which the 3 stories were somehow connected by the setting, but not much more. this trilogy, as the author acknowledge and ask forgiveness for, is really a long story split in 3 volumes.
this is the first thing i don't like. i loved Jack Vance's Demon Princes 5 books because you can read them separately and still enjoy them a lot. except for a couple of facts, they can very well be stories that stand on their own.
this s not true in this case. what this leads to is that the author has to keep repeating things he has already told in previous books, over and over, which is sometimes boring, sometimes distracting, and surely add up in space (the trilogy is loooooooooong).
the second thing i didn't like, after accepting in both the first and second book that there wasn't going to be an end, not even a temporary one, is that there is a kind of chauvinistic feeling for the earthling. there are many races in this universe, but the earthling are better than all of them, they have something they all lack. something that at the end saves the day. frankly, sounds like b***shit.
another thing i didn't like is the missing end .. the story is kind of hurried to the end, still open to further development, with an unbelievable quick resolution of impeding disasters .. frankly disappointing. this is the reason why the last volume is 3 stars, while the other 2 are 4 stars.
the last thing i didn't really like are the characters. there are a lot of (to me) annoying characters. my favorite one ended up being the Niss machine .. i liked Sara, Dwer and partly Lark and Ling (was it so difficult to guess what was going to happen?), partly asx (surely not ewasx) and could not bear Alvin, Rety and most of the others.
the book is full of good ideas, not all of which are taken to full development (for instance: there is a lot of mystery around the Buyur, and it is never resolved: who are they? what did they know? why did they plan, if they did, what they planned?). the story flows, even if the constant change of point of view need to be compensated sometimes. the first book is hard to start, partly because of the weird word that are used (and since i'm not an English native speaker, i have a hard time finding out if some work are made up or not), partly because there is so much that is put forward to get the story going that i was almost going to give up. after the first hundred pages though it get better and better. the second book flowed much faster and my only disappointment was when i realized that there wasn't going to be a temporary end, and that i'd have to read the third one right away, something i didn't plan to do from the beginning. the third one is the least interesting of the three, probably because of the ending, probably because there are some loose ends, maybe because when a lot is being promised it is hard to deliver it .. i don't know. still, with all these 'bad spots', it is a good trilogy.
That description sure doesn't do much for the series. Book 1 is filled with fascinating characters and scenarios, including a group of alien kids in search of new books to read, a linguist, a heretic, a priest, a mysterious man who may never speak again… all taking place on a planet settled illegally by humans and aliens who have given up space travel. Their queer, peaceful society is shaken by the sudden arrival of criminals. They now have to get rid of them or risk being exploited and caught in their own crime! This book can be a bit slow to get through, but Brin's aliens are truly alien, the hybrid culture is interesting, the plot has many twists and turns and you never know what'll happen next!...Continua