Back on form....mostly,
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This review is from: Garden Of Rama (Paperback)
It's safe to assume that if you're looking at buying this book then you've been through the masterpiece of the original Rama followed by, in my opinion, the absolute crushing disappointment of Rama 2. To cut to the point - this book, while far from perfect, is much closer to the original and is head and shoulders above Rama 2.
Don't be put off by the intimidating length - there's much more content, much less veering off into dream sequences (hooray!) and it begins in a way that really drew me in, just like the original. It maintains a fairly steady momentum despite becoming just a bit too far fetched in the middle in my mind. Without spoiling too much, I was quite let down by the explanation behind the Rama spacecraft itself, though there's plenty bigger places to explore.
The last third of the book approaches the quality of the original despite being quite different in tone and subject. It becomes much darker as the ending approaches, culminating in a great cliffhanger. Unlike Rama 2 this was satisfying given what had come before.
It would still benefit from some trimming down and a bit more explanation in parts though. But stick with it and you will be rewarded.