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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best "hard" sci-fi series i ever read!Very Good
This final book in the Rama saga is indeed a very good sci-fi conclusion.It has A.C.C. brilliant ideas and some wonderful characterisation by G.Lee. It has some of the best answers to Important questions on God and the universe.
A Must Read!
Published on 19 Jan. 2000

versus
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Narrative Void at the Heart of the Cylinder
As many reviewers have noted, the original Rama is one of the true SF classics, where Clarke's powers shone at their brightest. No wonder that there is a devoted following to pick up new installments as and when they land on the bookshelves. The big ideas - suitably wrapped in mystery - have always been Clarke's forte, and so while he never intended for a sequel, it was...
Published on 14 July 2009 by M. Sundström


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Narrative Void at the Heart of the Cylinder, 14 July 2009
By 
M. Sundström (Lund, Sweden) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Rama Revealed (Paperback)
As many reviewers have noted, the original Rama is one of the true SF classics, where Clarke's powers shone at their brightest. No wonder that there is a devoted following to pick up new installments as and when they land on the bookshelves. The big ideas - suitably wrapped in mystery - have always been Clarke's forte, and so while he never intended for a sequel, it was clear that there was plenty to work with when Gentry Lee came knocking on his door. Wikipedia helpfully informs me that he wanted a more character-driven story, and I suspect that this, allied to his obvious interest and expertise in the nitty-gritty of technology seemed a good fit when it was time to unwrap the cylindrical mysteries. The problem of course is that a good lingering question, particularly of the why-are-we-here variety, is in itself often a very satisfying end to a good SF read. The sequels are, for good and bad, very different from their sire.

Now, story-wise and plot-wise, Rama Revealed is not bad. We get to see some pretty odd aliens at work and at leisure. There are moments of suspense (though we are not talking Hamilton quality here...), and there are interesting revelations. And of course, we are dealing with Rama, so the Clarkian overlord questions remain, and are eventually addressed.

But. There had to be a but, right, and a big honking whale of a but it is. As I said, Gentry Lee apparently wanted to provide a more character-based story, and the problem with characters is that they... talk. I hereby ungenerously submit that Gentry Lee is wholly unable to write dialogue. The things they say to one another! Have you ever found yourselves in a garden or forest, say, and heard, or even imagined, utterances like: "Look how perfectly trimmed all the bushes and trees are... They don't protrude one iota into the airspace above our heads." On every other page there is some statement to make you absolutely cringe. And this has, at least for this reviewer, devastating side effects. Human relations begin to feel robotic, jerking alive in an approximation of the real thing, when there is a lull in the mystery-driven plot. I seem to recall a text about Enid Blyton's work, wittily remarking that the characters seemed hell-bent on consuming lashings of Ginger Beer at every conceivable turn. The boredom of repetitive events is inescapably human, but that does not mean that revelling in mundande repetition infuses a novel and its characters with a sense of life. There is, to put it mildly, a lot of falling asleep and waking from sleep in this book. The walking around in tunnels, too, gets almost hypnotically tedious after a while, and unless you harbour a pathological interest in the advancing decrepitude between the ages of (say) thirty and sixty, the moaning about this issue ("We are not as young as we were..." etc.) gradually grows into a disproportion. The thing is that we probably would not even notice these narrative echoes if dialogue was alive and well, and was used properly to develop characters or advance the story. Then, even a lull in the story can be highly illuminating.

The flat and leaden characters detract so much from the story that I actually found it hard to finish the book, and I suspect that readers with even a nascent interest in narrative style will feel something similar. Without the great impetus provided by Clarke's rocket boosters in 1972: would anyone even be reading this novel? How many of the indulgently awarded rating stars here and elsewhere actually belong to Rendezvous with Rama rather than to this very much inferior postscript?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good in parts, but ultimately disappointing - not a classic, 28 Mar. 2010
By 
W. Robinson "Big Bill Robinson" (Slough, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rama Revealed (Paperback)
The late, great Arthur C.Clarke wrote a lot of very fine science fiction, but probably the majority of SF fans would agree that his two finest books were 2001:A Space Odyssey, and Rendezvous with Rama. Both classics, and absolutely spellbinding, leaving tantalising questions which are best answered by the imagination.
The great mistake, in my opinion, is that both books were followed-up! Talk about gilding the lily. It is such a pity, because the answers which were in my imagination (and the equally-valid, but different answers in others' imagination) are all ruined by the above questions being answered in a different (and rather unsatisfying) way. I can't help thinking one obvious thought - it is all spoiled!
Turning to this specific book, I agree that it is very good in parts. The octospider race, their cultural history and their method of communicating is a great piece of SF invention. There are moments of high drama, and it is readable, if over-long. But somehow, for me, it never quite hit the heights. A lot of the dialogue is lame, and it bears so little resemblance to the original Rama that I feel Clarke would have been better off writing a completely separate book.
I am not quite sure what part Gentry Lee played in the writing. Furthermore, the original Rendezvous was Clarke's own work, and he had every right to produce a follow-up. Of course! But he has done himself a disservice.
To sum up, it's good SF, readable, but the ending is a bit of a let-down (unless I am too thick to get it). Too long, and no classic. Sorry!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best "hard" sci-fi series i ever read!Very Good, 19 Jan. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Rama Revealed (Paperback)
This final book in the Rama saga is indeed a very good sci-fi conclusion.It has A.C.C. brilliant ideas and some wonderful characterisation by G.Lee. It has some of the best answers to Important questions on God and the universe.
A Must Read!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Out with a whimper, sadly, 30 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Rama Revealed (Paperback)
This is a great example of a book that was carrying so much, good and bad, with so much potential, such great possibilities, but regrettably crumbled under that load. I will say firstly that it is by no means terrible and whatever flaws it has it at least makes an effort unlike the complete mess that was Rama 2.

The first half of the book carries on directly from Garden of Rama and is very good, even excellent in parts. Like Garden it is reasonably well written and avoids the worst pitfalls of the series so far. In fact it manages to make a few amends for story elements that should have gotten better treatment in the previous books. Up to this point I was really quite impressed with the direction the story went, even if I didn't quite agree with it. Once again it does drag on too much in many places but it is mostly readable.

So, all that's left is to neatly wrap everything up with a satisfying conclusion. But, you'll know by the last chapters and pages that's not coming. You'll realise with increasing dread, having put so much into the series, that it's beginning to resemble Rama 2 again, with pages and pages of dialog and explanations but no feeling of progress. It grinds to a halt, it fizzles out, it gets bogged down....

I wanted to rate this 3 stars, maybe even 4, as the majority of it is really okay and quite good. But I can't get over the ending. It doesn't ruin it, because there's nothing to ruin. It's the sort of thing that has you wondering if there was a mistake made that spliced in part of a totally different book by accident. Or maybe there's a missing chapter that *really* explains everything.

The Rama series, with all it's highs and lows, deserved much better than this.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Overlong, 23 May 2010
By 
Brian Gibbins "sf fan" (Gloucester UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rama Revealed (Paperback)
This book, like its 2 predecessors in the series, would have benefitted greatly by being cut to two thirds its size, starting with the irrelevant guff abour Nicole's privileged upbringing in Paris, but concentrating on the ludicrous irrelevancies about her childhood life in Africa, with her all-seeing grandmother and the mythical and completely pointless Omer (a few comments from Homer Simpson would have ben just as heldpul).

From my wide previous reading of Arthur C Clarke, I can only assume that this pseudo-philosophical twaddle emanates from the pen of Lee Gentry.

The alien cultures Clarkes deliniates are cleverly realised, but it's still a relief to get to the and find that the super-races moulding every creature's destiny with little regard for the morality of their actions, have a great get-out clause. when God pops up at the last minute to say 'It's all right, lads, they were doing it on my behalf all along!,
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Its OK, 15 July 2014
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Very slow moving to start with. Obviously more Gentry Lee than Arthur C!, up to halfway through, book more concerned on development of characters and their inter-relationships. Characters a little too Stereo typed as well. Not a good Collaboration. I would have preferred pure Sci Fi!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Relieving, 8 Dec. 2002
This review is from: Rama Revealed (Paperback)
The final book in the Rama series is one which is approached by the readers of the saga quite gingerly, maybe even reluctantly. The other three before it were getting weaker and weaker, so what about the colossal Rama Revealed? Well, I am relieved to say that the book was excellent, and stands as a masterpiece of a conclusion for Clarke. Unlike the slighty patchy ending to the Odyssey series, (which is, however, better than the Rama series), this last book is definitely not the least. It is a rollercoaster ride, and better than Rendezvous with Rama, Rama II and Garden of Rama combined. Full of twists and turns, any sci-fi reader will love it. Take the book with both hands, as it really isn't as bad as you might have thought beforehand. Let your suspicions rest, because you will thoroughly enjoy this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very Engrossing and Excellent Book. A good book to Fall into, 10 Mar. 2000
This review is from: Rama Revealed (Paperback)
I first started to read Arthur C clarke books when I was 16. I am now at university enjoying Astrophyisics course.
I found Rama Revealed to be an excelent book, This book could not exist on it's own, you have to read Rama 2 and Garden of Rama to fully understand the ending.
The book starts at the end of a spectacular and nail bitting cliff hanger from Garden of Rama. I felt the charictors come to life and I was absorbed into there lives and activities.
The ending is very good, not that its the explaination of the universe, Rama and the Precursors. The ending was on the main charicter.
I throughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to someone who can sit down and read a few chapters at a time.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Very dissapointing...more of a appendix than a story, 9 July 2000
This review is from: Rama Revealed (Paperback)
I read the first book and was completley blown away by the magnitude of immagination and ideas that it made you think about, however it all goes downhill from there.
This is a book i was really looking forward to and while it does answer some questions (which i think would be better left unsaid) it is for the most part a long winded drawn out affair about human nature rather than an imaginative pice of science fiction which i have come to expect from ACC
The mystery and awe is spoilt by a diluted plot that fails to bring any complete satisfaction that i was hoping for.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fairly good, 30 Nov. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Rama Revealed (Paperback)
Final book. Much better than book number 2 and three. Still not worth "Rendezvous with Rama". Nice surprice at the end when you get the meaning of the Universe.
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Rama Revealed
Rama Revealed by Gentry Lee (Paperback - 17 Jan. 2000)
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