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Heaven's War [Hardcover]

David S Goyer , Michael Cassutt
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 17.99
Price: 15.41 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

5 July 2012

THEIR FIRST CHALLENGE IS TO SURVIVE

When an unidentified object is spotted hurtling towards Earth, two rival teams race to claim it. But the affectionately-named Keanu conceals astonishing and dangerous secrets. Instead of barren rock, astronauts discover a giant ship with an extra-terrestrial crew. A ship that had headed to Earth with a mission and a message: Help Us. A brave new frontier beckons, but we are about to learn that it comes with a price.

Without warning or explanation, small groups of humans are transported from the competing scientific communities of Houston and Bangalore to the vast interior habitats of Keanu. Their first task is to stay alive. Their second, to explore the potential of their strange new home and locate their keepers. But most significantly of all, as the ship starts to break down around them, they must figure out why they were brought here and forge a path home.

PRAISE FOR THE SERIES

‘Recalls Arthur C. Clarke at his heights … Better still, there's more to come!’

Gregory Benford

‘Goyer and Cassutt offer a compelling yarn about first contact in the near future’

David Brin

‘A compulsive read… Goyer and Cassutt know their craft well’

SciFiNow

‘Full of unexpected twists and turns that lead to a thrilling conclusion’

Booklist



Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Tor (5 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230757030
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230757035
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 14.8 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 919,054 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

PRAISE FOR THE SERIES ‘Goyer and Cassutt offer a compelling yarn about first contact in the near future’ David Brin ‘Understands genre while turning it over its head … pulse-pounding’ Guillermo Del Toro ‘Plotted like an old-school SF story, it’s firmly in the modern cinematic trend in its writing style’ SFX ‘A compulsive read… Goyer and Cassutt know their craft well’ SciFiNow --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

David S. Goyer is a screenwriter, film director and comic book writer. His screenplays include: Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Flash. He has been working on the next Batman film. Michael Cassutt is a TV producer, screenwriter and author. TV work includes producing, writing or both for: The Outer Limits, Beverly Hills 90210 and The Twilight Zone. Cassutt has also written over 30 short stories, mostly in the SF/F genre.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A True Page-Turner 23 July 2012
By Marleen TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
After two simultaneous but separate missions to an unidentified object in Earth's orbit go horribly wrong Zack Stuart is the only astronaut staying behind in its interior. Four of his colleagues and rivals are on their way back to earth, the rest have died on the object affectionately named Keanu.
Meanwhile on earth 187 random people have been picked up from the rival space stations in Houston and Bangalore by big flying orbs and are on their way to Keanu. Amongst those abducted are Zack's 14 year old daughter Rachel, Gabriel Jones the father of the now deceased astronaut who caused a disaster on Keanu and Pavak Radhakrishnan, the son of the commander of the Bangalore space ship who is safely on his way back to earth.
It is now very clear that Keanu is not an asteroid or planet but in fact a space-ship, one that had a good reason to travel to earth, one that wants to recruit humans into its war against a force that could destroy the universe and one that is starting to fail.
The humans on Keanu will have to adjust to their new living arrangements, learn how to survive on a space-ship that appears to want to accommodate them but still holds many dangers, marvels and nightmares. But most of all, they have to figure out a way to make it back to earth in order to protect their home from disaster.

Before I say anything else about this book let me state that if at all possible you should not read this book unless you have read its prequel: Heaven's Shadow. The story in this book starts at the exact moment the first book ended, and although there are some references to what happened in the first book you need more background information than can be found there if you want to truly enjoy Heaven's War.
And this truly is a story to enjoy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Slow start 26 Mar 2013
By MWeeto
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The second half of the book was incredible. I couldn't put it down. The first quarter of the book though was the complete opposite. Ending made it worth it though.
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4.0 out of 5 stars worth persevering 8 Nov 2012
By Kayb
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Not as easy to follow as the first in the series, but worth persevering with and leaves you wanting to know how it all pans out in the third book of the trilogy.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The tricky middle chapter... 18 Oct 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
*Read Heaven's Shadow before reading this book*
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Heavens-Shadow-David-S-Goyer/dp/0330541374/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1350553418&sr=8-1

This is the tricky 'second part of a trilogy' which is essentially the bridge between what happened in book one and the 'big event' that will, I hope, happen in book 3.

Where the first book looked at a limited number of characters, this one takes on far too many narrative voices, which frustrates because it delays the action and slows down the plot. There is some nice writing and it is good to get under the skin of these character and understand what makes them tick, but at some point, you just want them to stop thinking and talking and start DOING.

The action does happen, but it takes a little too long to get there. And as soon as it gets there, it's so good that you forgive it for 200 pages of so-so narrative. It does what all middle chapters need to: it gets you to the point where you really, REALLY want to know how it's all going to turn out. And that, I suppose, is the point.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun read 5 Aug 2012
By D. Leon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Loved this sequel! The first book, Heavens War, I highly recommend you read first. That book lures you in, this book continues the journey and let's you get lost in the fantasy world. I'm excited for the next book to come out!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "I can't believe I know all that, somehow. It makes my head hurt and my stomach ache." 17 Dec 2013
By Oleg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"Heaven's War" is a great book in the tradition of pulp stories of the early 20th century. Nothing wrong with that. It is definitely not hard science fiction. Nor is it in any way comparable to "Rendezvous with Rama" other than the basic premise of an extra-solar object with a cylindrical habitat inside. While the story is totally unnecessary, the storytelling carries the reader along at a reasonable pace - although it is sometimes hard to say whether it is trying to be satirical on purpose (or not).

Mild spoilers from "Heaven's Shadow": along comes an asteroid in 2019 - apparently from outer space - of about the size of Rhode Island. Since its course brings it pretty close to earth, two (competing) missions are sent for a visit. The exploration quickly turns into a rescue mission by the teams' own faults, only to be interrupted by cold-war type politics which leads to a detonation of a briefcase sized nuclear bomb. In the meantime, the near earth object sends some magical bubbles to pick up a few hundred people from earth and drop them off inside the habitats before making its way out of the solar system again.

More spoilers: In "Heaven's War" we now have to deal with and follow the people around the asteroid. What really makes this book a worthy sequel is the basic structure of the story which in itself is completely bootstrapping. Every problem that has to be solved by the human passengers is in fact only created by those same humans coming on board - at one point this is even explicitly said. While it is said that mankind (or some "volunteers") are supposedly needed to help in a galactic war that threatens everything, it seems that their main purpose is to name things. There are Architects, Revenants, Reivers, Sentinels, and a few other creatures or things that try to be deceptive. And there is a Prisoner, which so far is lurking in the background.

While there are almost two hundred people running around, the main part of the story is carried by two teenagers. Since it is not clear why any of the people was picked up, it doesn't matter anyway. Everyone is more or less left alone to their own sweet things. So, people start to wash in their drinking water reservoir which is more of a mud pool to begin with. Alternating days for men and women, of course. The gay guy naturally thinks about his chances of sexual activity first and foremost. Other people find a "machine" that produces food, which is good because an asteroid typically does not contain much soil. The general attitude can be described as optimistic defeatist, I guess. Which is: we're stranded on an asteroid and being kept alive by technology that we don't understand, so we might as well just try everything without much thinking. The food may be poisonous, but if one doesn't try it people have to starve after all - which means starting with small samples wouldn't make sense either...

Then there are the Revenants, reproductions of dead people whose main purpose is to convey the story of the Architects to humans. I don't know if the authors thought this was a neat trick, but it sure carries the heavy weight of a deus-(information)-ex-machina. Whatever mystery remains, the Revenants just have an answer. Already in the first book they are used as a point of view, so they apparently have to be trustworthy. There is a revenant dog (and a cow) - purpose unknown other than luring the mentioned teenagers into a pitch black tunnel.

It all could be fun if it wasn't for the recurring attempts of throwing in some sort of physics that we know. Gravity is obviously very low on the asteroid, but on the inside there are spots of dense gravity. Maybe again a neat idea by the authors who thought that anti-gravity was too far fetched here, but even introductory analysis tells you that you have to integrate this properly in space. The asteroid is an extra-solar object and obviously very fast when is swings around, but it can easily break into an orbit around earth with just three "eruptions" while people are on its surface. There are gelatinous space suits which magically carry sound waves through vacuum, no questions asked. The overarching threat for the universe is information that is not changing - sounds catchy but I suggest a simple search for entropy and rework this section a little bit.

Of course, this is a work of fiction, but at least it should be self-consistent. And while there is a little bit of mystery in the story, it completely lacks any sort of wonder. Whatever is thrown at the human characters, they instantly forget everything they ever learned or experienced in their lives so far and come up with an explanation it. Technically, the writing seems to be following every rule of a successful novel canonically- except this one last important thing: every now and then break the rules. The biggest question remains, whether the concluding "Heaven's Fall" will add anything in terms of an underlying crisis. In summary so far, the Architects stopped by earth to pick up humans because they are faster thinkers who then rely on alien advanced technology to solve problems that they themselves created in the first place.

This book doesn't hurt. Does that alone justify an initial hardcover edition already?
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First Contact - Best of the Best 13 Oct 2012
By Wayne J. Lutz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
When I needed to update 'Inbound to Earth,' I searched for first contact novels, and found this one. This book's future-astronaut technology keeps the story moving. Novels written with a sequel in mind are not usually my favorites, but this one held my interest until the end. I struggle in my own books to avoid sequels, but this one can stand on its own. And it was written well enough to entice me to try the author's next book. Keanu is an intriguing object, keeping the reader's interest as the mystery evolves. Well done!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Series is going downhill 25 Dec 2013
By Mark G. Thomas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
So, this is how *not* to do point-of-view chapters. I didn't think we were *ever* going to get off that first (arrival) day.

Oh, and Stargate-SG1 called--they want their Replicators back.
2.0 out of 5 stars "Lost" in space 20 Jun 2014
By jimco - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
As a couple of other reviewers have said, this book starts out painfully slow. I made it to page 108 and still the story had not yet begun to gel. Of course there was the overall setup -- humans stranded on an alien spacecraft -- but what was the unique story that the authors wanted to tell us? Whatever it was, they waited too long to begin telling it. As far as I could tell they were trying to recreate the television show "Lost", on a spaceship.
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