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Bowl of Heaven Audio Download – Unabridged

2.9 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 12 hours and 59 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 16 Oct. 2012
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009RFAG94
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank:

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
OK, just finished it and yes it is dire; hard to believe it was actually written by Niven. I did know upfront (having read the reviews here) that it would not be a complete story and we have to wait to 2015 to get the next, and guaranteed final, installment. But that ending was abrupt in the extreme - no attempt at all was made to package the narrative; it ended like a chapter would end - neither cliff-hanger nor partial resolution.

At the start of the book the narrative style is on a par with what a 12-year-old might write. For example alien plants and animals are routinely described as "strange" - I'm afraid I cannot picture a "strange" animal, I need more. It does improve as the book progresses but never rises to a level deserving of publication. And talking of progress, for some reason every single instance of the word "progress" has a mysterious space in it, ie "pro gress"; also the word "plea sure" but that only occurs once.

The plot errors are glaring and the action unlikely. Internal consistency is mandatory in SF and it's missing here. In micro-gravity people still get stamped on and walls are climbed. The internal layout of the spaceship is never described and I have no idea where the characters eat or sleep or work on board. Do they have cabins? Or go back and sleep in their suspended animation units due to lack of space elsewhere? And talking of suspended animation - our hero wakes after eighty years of sleep and tucks into some biscuits he packed as a wake-up snack! Eighty-year-old food? I wouldn't. And on rising he then takes several chapters to even inquire after news from Earth. And news when it does come is entirely technical.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I gave up reading this half way through. The concept is silly. The only character (a minor one at that) that I had managed to like was killed off. The characters are all navel gazing with not much real action. They avoid the most obvious and safest actions when contacting an alien artifact/race. The aliens aren't really alien, filled with human emotions and motives. The science is shaky. But I can handle shaky science if its a good story and this isn't. I've read all of Larry Niven's books and a few of Gregory Bedford's. This is not a Larry Niven book.
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Format: Hardcover
Ringworld fans will recall Louis Wu musing on the idea of controlling Ringworld's sun and moving the entire structure out of Known Space and avoiding the galactic core exploding. Niven and Benford have taken the idea of moving Ringworld and made a very uninteresting book. The Bowl is Ringworld with a lot of superstructure to allow the star to be use as a jet. There the interesting bits end.

The builders are not that effective and seem to slip up when dealing with Humans. One definition of a Mary-Sue character is when the opponents lose fifteen IQ points. QED.

The Human crew of the Earth starship have little to differentiate them and, as another reviewer said, they merged into one. The Aliens really were not that alien and the remaining crew on the ship seemed not to spend too much effort trying to communicate with the Bowl's owners.

All in all, not a great story.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
So very very disappointing. It's a rubbish story anyway but who the hell proof-read it? It isn't even internally consistent! The significant events that are reported from 2 different view-point character's perspective should at least describe the same significant events. Did the aliens capture half the team in their environment chamber with only Tananareve caught outside or did the team members get picked up *after* they'd left the chamber and were running for it? Oh it was both! Crap! Later there are scenes involving the group of humans who were *not* captured "Tananareve ... extracted the metal shard - Howard refused even to wince.". This is the same Tananareve who was captured with the first group a few pages earlier! Again I ask, who proof-read this? Far too many errors like these are scattered through the book. Sad.
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Format: Hardcover
Well two main thoughts cross my mind. Firstly Niven has now found how to actually move a Ringworld interstellar distances. Secondly it is infuriating to discover, only on the very last page of the book, that this isn't a self-contained novel after all. Nowhere in any of the book's publicity or cover was this indicated and I am sure that this will tick off a number of readers.
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Format: Hardcover
A bit cheeky not to explain anywhere except the last page that it's volume 1. Won't be bothering with volume 2, and nor will the authors I suspect. I'll be wary of Titan books from now on. Nice enough concept, although not original. Poorly executed. Sloppy mistakes in the writing and the 'science' doesn't work. Someone should have edited this thing. Overall, don't bother reading this.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The fact that the headline review on the front page is from the Wall Street Journal says it all. This may have been 'hard sci fi' 30yrs ago (if not 50 yrs ago) but it is pants now. This is a poor book, a lot of characters trundling around a vast landscape doing nothing interesting, slowly. The later txt is quite tedious. Maybe a decent book if you're 10. But if you're used to Peter F Hamilton, Greg Bear or Neal Asher, this is junk.
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