Saturday, January 8, 2011

Rama Revealed

Arthur C. Clarke, Gentry Lee
Bantam Spectra, 1994 (my copy is from 1995)
Size: Long (my copy has 602 pages)
Theme: Interaction with alien civilizations
Narrative: Third-person
Main character: Several (arguably Nicole Wakefield)
Recommended minimum age: Teenager
Would purchase as a gift to any sci-fi reader: YES

This is the thrilling conclusion to the Rama series. And you will not be disappointed as you witness the final events of the humans taken to a Raman central station for interstellar travel. In this fourth and final book, the mysteries surrounding the Rama spaceships, the node, and the purpose of the Raman intelligences are (mostly) unveiled.

The plot of this last book focuses on the conflict within the human population of the Rama spaceship and the oppressive regime that has taken claim of the group, eventually resulting in the direct intervention by the intelligences controlling Rama. There is much action right from the beginning of the book, which continues the plot of “Garden of Rama” right where it stopped. Aside from the conflict between the small community of humans, questions are raised regarding the role humanity may play in galactic events.

Interestingly, and thankfully, in this storyline Clarke verges away from the human-centered view of the universe that many authors attempt. Still, the story is able to explore some of the sociological aspects that the 2 previous books have brought up.

The level of detail and rigor of the scientific explanations continues at the high standard that the author usually graces us with. I very much enjoyed reading this book, and found the entire series to be excellent, even if not as mind-challenging as some other space sagas. Also, the book is just long enough in order to have a full story, without trying to cram an end in just a few pages. It left me perfectly content, without the feeling that there should be more books to the series.

Spoilers (warning: the following text contains information that may hamper/ruin how much you enjoy the book):
Much is revealed during the book, which is hard to will be answered. Upon return, the original cosmonauts find Michael and Simone are now together. And, without revealing the whole story, the book ends with Nicole, an old woman with little time to live, being shown the mysteries of the Universe by the already familiar Raman communication construct, the entity they had named Eagle, as she thinks of her deceased husband Richard. 

1 comment:

  1. hey by any chance do you know of any sites with drawings of the aliens in this series?