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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Humans and Aliens in Eden
This tremendous series continues with the third book in the Rama series. At the end of Rama II three astronauts we left trapped in a huge cylindrical spacecraft heading off towards one of our closest stars.
The first fifth of the novel is presented in the form of Nicole des Jardine's diary and is probably the highlight. It tells of their 12 year journey to "The...
Published on 5 Dec 2001 by Colin Neal

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars STODGY, DULL START BUT WORTH STICKING WITH TO THE END
It's often said of certain authors that they could write a shopping list and still get an advance of 100K for it. I must say this is not Mr. Clarke at his best and certainly this third instalment of the "Rama" series is no where near as good as the first book - however, it's still head and shoulders above "Rama II". The begining of this story of...
Published on 14 May 2001


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Humans and Aliens in Eden, 5 Dec 2001
By 
Colin Neal (Reading, Berkshire. England United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Garden Of Rama (Paperback)
This tremendous series continues with the third book in the Rama series. At the end of Rama II three astronauts we left trapped in a huge cylindrical spacecraft heading off towards one of our closest stars.
The first fifth of the novel is presented in the form of Nicole des Jardine's diary and is probably the highlight. It tells of their 12 year journey to "The Node" - a giant space station built by the creators of Rama. There are no warp-drive shortcuts here, Clarke and Lee brilliantly tell the story of how the astronauts start a family, not knowing how long their journey will last and their efforts (often painful) to create genetic diversity amongst their offspring.
As the returned and refitted Rama craft returns to pick up more human specimens, the book takes a breather for about 100 pages, delving you into the lives of many new characters through deep and often uninteresting characterisation. The completed colony accelerates off into space again, but 'New Eden' is not without it's problems as the des Jardine descendents and cross sections of global society struggle to integrate.
With an excellent plot, but pondering middle section "The Garden of Rama" succeeds overall, but you're left wondering about the sudden change in the colony with Nakamura takes power. We're back to full form in the last 100 pages with Wakefield investigating the other species on the ship while other events unfold in the human habitat. This is where the story picks up again but is rushed. The conclusion is pretty moving and makes you instantly want to pick up the final book "Rama Revealed."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars STODGY, DULL START BUT WORTH STICKING WITH TO THE END, 14 May 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Garden Of Rama (Paperback)
It's often said of certain authors that they could write a shopping list and still get an advance of 100K for it. I must say this is not Mr. Clarke at his best and certainly this third instalment of the "Rama" series is no where near as good as the first book - however, it's still head and shoulders above "Rama II". The begining of this story of three marooned astronauts on an alien craft heading out of the solar system is slow, plodding and singularly without any excitement (plot or science wise) at all. Those less than avid Clarke readers will probably be very tempted to give up before the book finally starts to move in the middle to end section of the novel when the writing and plot development certainly move back towards what you would expect from on the best SF writers of the 20th century. This is not a book to read as a "stand alone" novel and in some places a working knowledge of it's predecessors is essential, however, it is still worth the effort to wade through the shakey start. Overall a passable effort by messrs. Clarke & Lee but one cannot help thinking that this books primary purpose is only as a foretaster of the real meat in the last book in the series "Rama revealed" and is not designed to be a story in itself.
Not bad but could have been shortened by about 100 pages without significant loss to the reader.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hmm..., 8 Sep 2001
By 
chant100@hotmail.com (Southampton, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Garden Of Rama (Paperback)
Disappointing when compared to the sheer imaginative, fantastical brilliance of the first book and, to a lesser extent, the second. Hated the direction it took, the whole colony thing and that...the mystery wasn't so much lost as put aside. And the mystery was the story for me! But once over it was a good read and it recovered a little towards the end.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Garden of Rama, 18 Dec 2011
This review is from: Garden Of Rama (Paperback)
Very Disappointing. Story could have taken place in any small town. Babies, children, relationslips , politics with very little sci-fi. Typical Woman's book!
Arthur C. Clarke must have gone on an extended holiday.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Such a let down., 14 May 2012
This review is from: Garden Of Rama (Paperback)
I don't normally feel compelled to write reviews, however I will make an exception for Garden of Rama which is a phenomenal let down compared to the first two Rama Books.

Rendevouz with Rama is excellent, pure science fiction that's entertaining and easy to read.

Rama 2 is co written by Gentry Lee and while it's not as good as the first book, has some excellent parts and despite some overly convoluted character backgrounds is still a worthwhile read.

Garden of Rama is sadly a complete mess. Apart from the first quarter, sci fi has gone out of the window and has been replaced with confusing characters, convoluted background information. Full of laughable and thoroughly unlikeable characters, the book turns into a complete mess and frankly I'm not going to bother with the fourth book because of how poor I found Garden of Rama to be.

Sad as this had the potential to have been a very good book.

My opinion?

Read the first two books and stop there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars completely ruins the entire concept, 14 Jun 2011
By 
rob crawford "Rob Crawford" (Balmette Talloires, France) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Garden Of Rama (Paperback)
This continues the continuation. It gives details of the ship, keeping its purpose a mystery and developing the personalities in depressingly predictable ways.
It is not bad, but it simply fails to meet the mark of Clarke's solo works, which means either that his powers are failing or the co-author is doing the work.

If you are a purist and serious sci-fi fan, don't bother with this. But if you are looking for a pretty good read that continues a story without surprises, this is OK. But it is only OK.

I was profoundly disappointed with this, as with all of Clarke's sequels (with the exception of 2010 Space Od.) It is simply an insipid logical extension and you feel contantly that the author(s) are groping to extend it in an interesting way. I wish they didn't write this. If you are after real quality, don't get it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One of the worst books I have ever read!, 29 Feb 2008
By 
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This review is from: Garden Of Rama (Paperback)
The first book in the series, Rendezvous with Rama, is a classic and the sequel (Rama II - largely written by Gentry Lee rather than Clarke)is pretty good, but this one is abysmal - thoroughly unenjoyable.

For reasons I won't go into, I had to read it - but would normally have tossed it away after about 50 pages.

Long-winded, rambling and disjointed. The major themes of coping with a limited gene pool and how humans will ruin a 'New Eden' have been dealt with far more competently (and concisely) by many other authors.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings about these Rama follow-ups, 28 Oct 2007
By 
W. Robinson "Big Bill Robinson" (Slough, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Garden Of Rama (Paperback)
Well, after finishing this one, my feeling is confirmed, namely, it was a mistake to follow up the absolute classic "Rendezvous with Rama" with further sequels.
There are two reasons why I think it's a mistake to do this (i)The sequels are almost never as good as the first book, and are often a bit disappointing, and (ii)The many questions left by the first book, which are best left to the imagination, are answered in a different way, which is unsatisfying. Incidentally I feel exactly the same way about the three sequels to 2001:A Space Odyssey.
I am not quite sure what part Mr Gentry Lee played in this (Clarke and Lee are named as joint authors) but it seems that a lot of Clarke's ideas have been diluted. For instance, in Clarke's earlier novels, he has space travel acting as a catalyst to improve the human condition, so that problems such as war, drug addiction etc become largely things of the past. But in this book, without giving too much away, most of the humans are the same old dirty rotten scoundrels that they were before space travel ever came along! Pity.
Anyway, Garden of Rama tells what happens after Rama II, when the second massive alien spaceship is attacked with nuclear weapons. There are a few people still on board, who are not rescued. Can they survive? Where will the Rama ship take them? And what will happen when they get there?
It's a good read, mostly, with some interesting aliens and just about enough action and intrigue to pull the novel into shape. But I can't help thinking that it would have been far better to just leave the original Rama novel as a one-off classic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not the best in the series - but still Fantastic, 4 Jan 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Garden Of Rama (Paperback)
I got wrorried at the start of this one, it seemed to be about sex lives and nothing else. However, there is classic Clarke revival about half-way though the book. From then on, every page seems set to hold another surprise. It links very closely to number four. At the end of this you need to be able to immediately pick up the next book to continue the story. As far as the book in relation to the series is, it lacks the ferocity that we are introduced to in Rendezvous with Rama and the last book is slightly better as well. Still - a great read, but make sure you have book number four ready for as soon as you finish this one.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Beware! This is a Gentry Lee book, not Arthur C Clarke!!, 15 Dec 2013
This review is from: The Garden of Rama (Kindle Edition)
Arthur C Clarke's name may be first on the book cover but this really must be considered more of a Gentry Lee novel...and it shows! Loads of very boring, mundane, non-science fiction writing about a load of uninteresting characters. Zero suspense and very unimaginative. And what's very surprising, is how bad the predictions of the future Earth are. For instance, despite this being 200 years in the future and the book written in the early 1990s, the Soviet Union still exists, lots of people are still smoking, Japan is still a major world power, and African Americans are called American Negroes!" All very "un-Arthur C Clarke". After this I'm not sure if I have the energy to wade through Rama Revealed. Probably just read a synopsis to find out what the Ramans are up to and leave it at that.
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