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4.4 out of 5 stars18
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 28 January 2011
Sequel to best selling hard sci-fi novel Eon, set some forty years later. Following the Sundering (the separation of the Way from the asteroid starship Thistledown) 40 years earlier, Earth and the Hexamon (the future society of humanity) are not getting along. The `Old Natives' of Earth resent being treated like children by their descendants from the future, and in the long aftermath of the Death (the nuclear war that decimated Earth) want to be left alone to their own devices to recover as they see fit, which the Hexamon will not allow. Meanwhile, the Hexamon itself is beginning to weary of Earth, with its quagmire of need and excesses of misery and is somewhat homesick for the Way, the incredible world it left behind with the Sundering. But when Pavel Mirsky - the former `Old Native' Russian leader who opted to travel down the Way with half of the Hexamon's Axis City and its citizens just before the Sundering 40 years earlier and who with these citizens was forever separated from our universe - makes an impossible appearance on Earth, having returned from the end of time and space as an avatar and makes a startling request of the Hexamon, the political winds that this stirs up will lead to revolution, a terrible encounter with old enemies and the necessity of some old loyal servants of the Hexamon betraying the very Hexamon to fulfill higher duties. Meanwhile, in a parallel universe, on a parallel Earth (Gaia), Rhita Vaskayza, 21-year-old granddaughter of Patricia Vasquez (the mathematical genius whose theories led to the creation of the Way) seeks to fulfill her grandmother's wishes, searching for her grandmother's home universe and Earth using the extraordinary device known only as a clavicle. But will she find it... or enter into a nightmare?

Comments: I found this sequel a better read than Eon, and rather hard to put down. For starters there were less characters to try to keep track of, which meant better characterization. I found Korzenowski - `The Engineer', who designed the Way - very interesting, perhaps even more so than one of the book's other great protagonists, man-of-the-future, Olmy. You really start to get to know Korzenowski in this book (Korzenowski didn't have much to do in Eon, not featuring in the book until near the very end). And as for Olmy he is as sparkling as he was in Eon; whether we are observing him going through difficulties with his partner Suli Ram Kikura, interacting with his son Tapi, gaining knowledge about the Hexamon's mortal foes the Jarts or even going through his deepest and most complete failure. However although I cared for the character of Garry Lanier (as I did in Eon) I did find him largely too bleak, pessimistic and bitter in this book. He is 40 years older than he was in Eon, and frankly has not aged well. I preferred him in Eon. And I would have liked Judith Hoffman (a fairly major character from Eon) to have had a larger role in this book, but as it is, in this book she is a minor character.

We get to meet alien adversaries the Jarts in this book (they are only talked about in Eon), and they are as formidable foes to the Hexamon as they are strange. Finally Rhita Vaskayza (granddaughter of central character from book one Patricia Vasquez) is an excellent character and a thoroughly modern young woman. And Gaia - her character's world - is very interesting, extremely detailed and compelling (Bear obviously worked hard creating this parallel Earth and its history), and could merit a book in itself. (Hint hint, Bear?)

Satisfyingly, like Eon this book was very epic in scope. It also had somewhat less technical language, although it was often fairly hard to visualize things being described (although not as hard as Eon). Also Bear has a much greater vocabulary than I do and as I read Eternity I found myself reaching for the dictionary every few minutes to look up a word. Nonetheless this book was most enjoyable and had a satisfying climax.

Conclusion: generally a quite satisfying read, although you may find the (probable) need to pick up the dictionary every few minutes annoying. Also at 400 pages this book is 100 pages shorter than its predecessor Eon, which is a shame as it is a better read. If you read Eon, you must read this.
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on 14 December 2000
After randomly buying eon for no apparent reason, reading it twenty-four hours (non-stop, with no sleep) I was immediately engrossed by the vastness and scale of the universe Bear had created. When I learnt of a sequal I made it my mission to hunt it down and read it. I was not dissapointed. Greg Bear has created such an incredible world that you cannot be anything but amazed by every aspect of it. When I first read the books I was daunted by the complexity of the physics, it is true that a degree in theoretical in physics has haelped in my comprehension, but anyone with a little imagination should not be troubled by Bear's fantastic universe. The best thing about the book is it's developement of the characters of the original inhabitants of Thistledown and the Way, providing a nice view of humanity, thousands of years in the future.
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on 13 May 2009
I read the first instalment of the Thistledown series a few years ago and although I never got round to reading the sequel until now, it was an unforgettable experience reading Greg Bear's Eon.
This fitting and perfect sequel leads you on an enthralling, wondrous, mesmerising journey keeping you engaged in the story with every word and every page. A truly grand and visionary work, I personally view it as "Eon - part 2"!!!! If you haven't, you simply must read this work from an exceptional imagination!!!!!!!! Authors like Bear are rare in this world.
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on 26 March 2001
Eternity, the sequel to the classic Eon, is well worth reading. Although it gets off to a bit of a slow start, it soon warms up, with many of Eon's mind-boggling concepts present. The ending is mind-blowing! If you enjoyed Eon, you should read Eternity for sure.
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on 3 May 2013
Clearly a follow on novel but fails to make the grade after Eon. I read these years ago and enjoyed them and came back after a science group discussion on science fiction. Still have Legacy to go - didn't read that before, so fingers crossed. Still think Asimov's Foundation trilogy takes some beating.
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on 30 November 2014
First thing, Amazon has the book order mixed up. This is volume 2, following from Eon, volume 1. Fans will already know this. Nowbies are highly advised to read Eon first as this one won't make sense otherwise. Unlike many sequels, it does not contain a precis of the first volume in the opening chapter.

As sequels go, it is fluently written and expands on storylines started in the original, after a pause of 40 years book time. However it does not actually contain anything new, at least not in the way a new science fiction novel should tread the threashold of what-might-be. It simply uses all the ideas from volume one, shuffles them, and throws them out in a new order. It's a very good read though, so worth investigating (after reading Eon). The third book in the trilogy is unrelated and unreadable so avoid it.
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VINE VOICEon 26 June 2010
Greg Bear always delights his readers - IN this volume, he leaves behind those Scifi writers and takes huge intuitive leaps proving he is the face of SciFi for the twenty-first century. It tells us of Thstledown, an asteroid of the future; Gaia, a parallel reality where Alexander the Great's Empire has persisted for two thousand years; The Way - an infinite corridor through space and time which traverses and encompasses different universes.This huge novel pulls together the strands of these mysteries in a book that goes beyond all frontiers!

I could not put it down, do give it a chance. Eternity
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on 8 September 2000
It seems Eon was just a prequel for an idea here. This book is absolutely outstanding and is second only to LOTR in my opinion.
When i read this book, at one point i had to put it down, because the twist the story takes just took my breath away. BUY IT NOW
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on 18 June 2014
I really enjoyed this book, it answered a lot of questions, perhaps even more than it left unanswered. I would recommend anyone who has read Eon read Eternity.
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on 9 February 2014
It was an ok read i guess, my advice is probably save your money unless someone has recommended it and insists you read it. Rather underwhelming.
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