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  1. #16
    Tasty or your money back! Moderator fluffy bunny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Sheffield, UK

    spoilers for end of book

    I liked the way the whole 'Dent's last bomb' was handled. Brin set it up in such a way that implied that someone would save the day, either intentionally or by accident. Of course by some inverse sod's law, it turned out to be beneficial but still...

    One of the things that still bugs me about the whole uplift thing is why are we trying to make dolphins and apes more human? It was like those Trek episodes where Worf got told off got acting like a Klingon. If some alien race turned up and started messing with humans, modelling us to their standards, we'd probably tell them to get lost.

  2. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Birmingham, AL
    I read this about nine months ago, and this is what I wrote about it at the time:

    I enjoyed Startide Rising. It follows the adventures of a crew of humans, "neo-dolphins," and a "neo-chimp" as they explore a planet, repair their damaged ship, and try to figure out how to escape from the much more powerful galactic fleets that are battling it out overhead for the right to capture them and the big galactic secret they accidentally stumbled upon.

    At its best, it is pure space opera, entertaining and suspenseful. I enjoyed the neo-dolphin characters, who struggle to integrate a dreamy, instinctual way of looking at things with the practical, logical though process of man (frequently the characters end up speaking in haiku).

    I thought that the aborigines were poorly developed, and that the human characters were generally less compelling that the dolphins. And I guess that I am skeptical about the general structure of the uplift universe (which Brin has gone on to develop in other books).

    Nevertheless, this is an entertaining read and well worth your time.
    Looking back, I'd have to say that the ending was a bit of a let down; both the
    Trojan Horse escape and the "one guy battling the aliens who have finally landed"
    scenes left me unconvinced. Since then, I have read The Uplift War, which I thought was a better book.

  3. #18
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Vancouver, Canada
    Despite the fact that is offered up some truly great ideas - the whole concept of uplifting first and foremost among them - I still felt like I was reading the novelization of A Sharks Tale. The notion of the space-faring dolphins was, well, silly, and I have to echo FicusFan's critique: of all the mammals worst-suited to space travel, dolphins have to rank at the top of the list. Seriously, wouldn't a crew made up of humans and simians have been significantly more practical? But then, that would be another story.

    Overall, well-written although none of the characters jumped out at me. The battling aliens were interesting but too cartoonish and went a long way toward my envisioning the action as little more than a Pixar effort.

    I'm surprised. I really enjoyed Brin's Kiln People and was hoping that this book - given its an award-winner - would have offered a similar smattering of dark humor. Alas, twas not to be and, in the end, I'd file this one away as "forgettable".

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