I really like Vonnegut's humor in this book. While this book has the trappings of science fiction, do not expect the type of hard sci fi as you might read from Asimov or Clarke. Currently my favorite Vonnegut book.
This book is both a sci-fi and murder mystery in one. While it took a little work to get through the first few pages which set up the story line, I was engrossed from that point on.
As the story starts, humanity has just joined a galactic civilization where there is a pecking order to each species based on when they were "uplifted" by genetic manipulation and by whom and how many "client" species they have uplifted as a "patron". Each uplifted species is indentured to their patron species for 1,000 years. Humanity is in the enviable and highly unusual position of having been abandoned by their patron species and, as a young "wofling" race, already uplifted 2 other species. All this started with the "progenitors" millennia ago.
The story follows Jaacob Demwa as he is asked to join the Sundiver project, which is studying the sun by sending manned craft in to the upper chromosphere. And "ghosts" have been discovered living in the sun. Many wonder if the Solarians are mankind's long lost patrons.
Then the unimaginable happens and a craft manned by an uplifted chimp, one of mankind's client species, is apparently destroyed by the Solarians.
Thus ensues a great sci-fi murder mystery set in David Brin's Uplift universe with intrigue and politics on an enormous scale. This is a great story with great characters and I can't wait to read the other books in the series.
Good novel with a great story idea. Every human being (and one alien) that ever lived on Earth is resurrected on an alien world beside a river millions of miles long. Everyone is naked and hairless. They have a canister strapped to their arm that, when placed in "grails" spaced along the river, is filled with food, tobacco, toiletries and a narcotic gum.
So what does humanity do with this second chance? Unfortunately, most revert to form. War, rape, murder, but is it really murder if your are resurrected again?
This is book 1 of the Riverworld series. It follows the exploits of historical figures Sir Richard Francis Burton and Hermann Göring. Burton is trying to find the "why" of this alien world and after his 777 deaths gets close to the answer while Göring is haunted by his personal demons but eventually seems to come to terms with them and make peace.
This book will leave you with a lot of questions and few answers although there are hints such as when introduced to the "Ethicals".
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. I hope the others in the series are as good.
Oh, and one last thing. For those that saw the made for cable "Riverworld" movie, the book is much better!
I love The Chronicles of Amber stories and this one is a fitting conclusion to the first quintet, the Cycle of Corwin. There was a surprise twist to the ending, however. At least it was to me!
This books follows the royal family of Amber, in particular Prince Corwin, through all the in-fighting and machinations for succesion to the throne. The world building and characterizations are exceptional.
The idea behind this story is really good. However, the characterizations left a little to be desired. I could never really develop an affinity with any of the characters at all. They just seemed to be a little haphazard. Some of the prose was a little "iffy" as well.
A quick enjoyable read about a hero rising to challenge and change the status quo that has been in place for over 2000 years.