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Customer Review

on 28 October 2007
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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