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4.0 out of 5 stars Epic!
Having first read 'Marrow' and then the reviews to 'The Well of Stars', I was a bit reluctant to delve into the latter, for fear that the magic of the first book would be somehow compromised. Having just finished it, though, I am glad I took that second step. I found the build-up of the tension excellent to the last minute (indeed better than 'Marrow'), and I must say...
Published on 8 Sept. 2011 by Dimitris

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre sequel to excellent original
This novel continues the story of the `ship' begun in the excellent "Marrow". Unfortunately one gets the impression that the author has rather run out of new ideas. It feels much like part of an episodic serial in which the cast battle villain-of-the-week, complete with tidy resolution (reminiscient of an up-market novelisation of the Space1999 TV-series). The cast is...
Published on 15 July 2005 by Youngs


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre sequel to excellent original, 15 July 2005
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This review is from: The Well Of Stars (Paperback)
This novel continues the story of the `ship' begun in the excellent "Marrow". Unfortunately one gets the impression that the author has rather run out of new ideas. It feels much like part of an episodic serial in which the cast battle villain-of-the-week, complete with tidy resolution (reminiscient of an up-market novelisation of the Space1999 TV-series). The cast is familiar (plus a few `guest stars') and the BIG SECRETS of the ship lurk in the background as constant plot elements without being developed at all - the state at the end of the novel is pretty much as it was at the beginning.
Hopefully the author will tie it all up spectacularly in the (inevitable) third novel rather than have it morph limply into an interminable saga.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One expected better, 1 Mar. 2007
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This review is from: The Well Of Stars (Paperback)
Reed is a stylist. Claiming to have no influences in the SF canon, the Nebraska-based author is very much and individual voice, although there are echoes of Simak in some of his early work.

Since `Marrow', sales of which elevated Reed's profile to the level of best-selling SF author (rather than modestly selling quality SF writer) his books have moved away from mid-America based (yet complex) slow moving tales to a form of post-cyberpunk space opera.

Here, in this sequel to `Marrow', Reed once more employs one of his favourite devices, the near-immortal superhuman, or rather, an entire population of them, travelling through space on a ship the size of Jupiter which has an entire world entombed in its core.

The Great Ship, as it is known, attracts the attention of the polyponds, separate parts of a gestalt Gaian entity which inhabits an entire nebula.

Reed's style here is deeply poetic, stylistically romantic and oddly appropriate for the society he has created. Near-immortal humans on the Great Ship see little change and neither does their society. The almost baroque style seems therefore entirely apt.

Reed is not an author prone to writing sequels, having only done it once before in his career to my knowledge, and one does have to ask how much the conception of `Well of Stars' was influenced by the success of `Marrow'.

Reed occasionally has a problem with ending his novels, and he seems to have left this open for a third voyage on the Great Ship. The ending provided here is somewhat unsatisfying and relies rather too much on a convenient plot twist.

Having said that, his work is generally superior to most other contemporary SF and this is a genuinely decent novel, but one feels that he could have done better, since this is not up to the quality of 'Marrow'.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Promises so much ..., 26 Oct. 2008
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P. J. A. Jennings "pja_jennings" (Oxfordshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Well Of Stars (Paperback)
... but ultimately fails to deliver.

WARNING - somewhat of a spoiler

Throughout this book we follow part of a galaxy spanning, billions of years long voyage of The Great Ship, 20 times bigger than the Earth and built in the mists of time by a supposedly long lost race. Thousands of years before this book starts, humans have come across the abandoned vessel and staked their claim to it. Ever since they have been piloting it through the galaxy taking on board thousands of other races to join them in exchange for knowledge or real estate. This is the stuff of Neal Asher or Iain M Banks and their ilk.

As the book opens they are off course heading into a dark nebula. Their engines are not powerful enough to steer them clear. Over the next century or so they enter the nebula where they are attacked. The battle builds and builds till we are 12 minutes from total disaster. Then we jump 30 hours and they have been saved by a third party who's existence was unknown. None of the efforts throughout the book of any of the crew (human or alien) have any bearing on their salvation. It's such a weak ending to what has been a fantastic build up.

I must confess that this is the first book by Robert Reed that I've read. I will track down a copy of Marrow to see how it all started, particularly as it received better reviews.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Epic!, 8 Sept. 2011
This review is from: The Well Of Stars (Paperback)
Having first read 'Marrow' and then the reviews to 'The Well of Stars', I was a bit reluctant to delve into the latter, for fear that the magic of the first book would be somehow compromised. Having just finished it, though, I am glad I took that second step. I found the build-up of the tension excellent to the last minute (indeed better than 'Marrow'), and I must say that the 'villain' this time kept me thrilled (and guessing) with its various manouvres. I did feel some story 'threads' could have been developed more, but knowing the end now, I expect this to happen in the third book (indeed intevitable!). I'm not going to reveal the plot or what happens in the end (or whether the big secret constantly hinted at is explained and to what degree); all I am going to say is that the Great Ship takes a real beating this time, emerging from it with a key change that connects the story with the first book and may help bring Marrow (the planet) back to the centre of events. On the criticism side, I did feel that the interesting ending was a bit rushed and underdeveloped - hence the missing star in the rating. Overall, though, a great read for S/F fans.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best sequel, 17 Jun. 2009
This review is from: The Well Of Stars (Paperback)
This seemed a very drawn out sequel. As with all the other reviews here Marrow was excellent, openning the reader into a whole new way of thinking about the vastness of space and the time spans that are involved in the formation of our universe. This sequel starts off quite well but loses its essence about midway. It made me put the book down for 2 years before i went back to finish it ! If you have read Marrow, just know this: it only answers on of the questions you might have had towrds the end of the book, and not too well at that.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Marrow, 1 Nov. 2010
This review is from: The Well Of Stars (Paperback)
I'm really writing this because the every other review on Amazon states that this is disappointing, or loses its way half way through. I couldn't disagree more. Where Marrow looks in, The Well of Stars looks out and delivers a constantly exciting, well written, technically involving and deeply sinister tale of... (well I don't believe in reading the back cover before the book so won't go any further).

If you enjoyed Marrow, please please give this a go. I've read some cracking scifi in 2010 and this was probably the best.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing sequel, 3 Nov. 2005
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This review is from: The Well Of Stars (Paperback)
After the excellent "Marrow" I was expecting a fresh and interesting read. Sadly this is neither and comes across like a segment from an interminable TV saga - the same characters are present at the beginning and end, relatively unchanged, having fought and defeated this weeks special-guest-star monster.
One is left with the impression that, if there's a 3rd book in the series, then it would be quite easy to read it directly after Marrow and skip this `episode'. It's a pity because the underlying hypothesis is great - though the author's understanding of cosmic time/distance scales is somewhat lacking in what otherwise portrays itself as hard sci-fi.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great follow on from Marrow, 5 Jan. 2005
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This review is from: The Well Of Stars (Paperback)
I really enjoyed Marrow and was not disappointed with this follow-on.
Robert writes a fascinating, but believable plot, that manages to keep one step ahead of you and at the same time expands on the existing characters.
I'm looking forward to the next book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 17 Dec. 2014
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R. Paveley - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Well Of Stars (Paperback)
i can see why it won an award
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The Well Of Stars
The Well Of Stars by Robert Reed (Paperback - 2 Dec. 2004)
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